COVID-19: update #4

With the World Health Organization’s declaration of a COVID-19 pandemic and the rapidly evolving situation in Canada, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada has had to postpone all exams, including the written exams for March and April, which will have an impact on oral exams this spring.

We regret having to make this decision and the understandable impact this may have. We are working with local university partners and resident groups (RDoC and FMRQ) to deliver the exams as soon as feasible with no additional cost to you. We are actively working to deliver the exams as we are enabled by the coronavirus situation. This is a top priority for the Royal College.

The Royal College has been in discussions with Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FMRAC) to confirm that alternative licensing arrangements are possible in all jurisdictions if candidates who have completed their training cannot for reasons of the pandemic complete their examinations.

FMRAC has polled all jurisdictions. From the information provided all 10 provincial regulatory authorities have confirmed that they have mechanisms (authority or discretion) to provide temporary, restrictive or provisional licensure to residents who have completed their Canadian residency programs but have yet to complete their examination.

There are slight variations among provinces and the Royal College and program directors may have to provide specific supporting information.

COVID-19 and impact on meetings

At this point in time, the decision has been made to not hold in-person meetings up until April 30, 2020. All meetings are either being held virtually or postponed until a later date. Decisions for meetings beyond this date will be made as the situation evolves. We are committed to keeping you informed throughout this pandemic.

COVID-19: update #3

The Royal College holds the safety of our staff, volunteers, residents and partners as our top priority. Based on the World Health Organization calling COVID-19 a pandemic, we are working to explore options for spring exams. The Royal College is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to keep you updated.

COVID-19 and any potential impact on meetings

At this time, all meetings are also moving forward as planned. We will continue to monitor the situation and will continue to keep you updated. We are also planning for the possibility of conducting some meetings virtually, if necessary.

The Royal College sincerely appreciates the work of our volunteers and we understand that you may also be impacted by COVID-19 both professionally and/or personally. If a situation arises where you are unable to attend your meeting, we fully understand and ask that you contact your meeting administrator with any changes.

COVID-19: update #2

The Crisis Management Team (CMT) together with EDC and teams across the Royal College are closely monitoring updates on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) for our staff, volunteers and Fellows as the situation evolves.

CMT is also in regular communications with partners and stakeholders to ensure that any decisions regarding travel and mass gatherings are consistent. The situation is changing daily, and as a result, we will be sharing updates regularly.


CMT recognizes that this is a very difficult time with the situation changing daily. Exams are still being conducted to current schedule. We will be informing exam candidates later this afternoon that if they are unable to sit their spring exam (due to quarantine, illness/self-quarantine, or leave restrictions at their hospital as a result of COVID-19 protocols), the following option is available to them:

  • Defer their 2020 exam until the next sitting of the exam and receive a full refund of their exam fee without losing an examination attempt, and without impacting their exam eligibility for subsequent attempts.


Any business travel to Level 3 countries is not allowed. EDC is closely monitoring and following the World Health Organization and the Government of Canada’s recommendations regarding travel and will re-evaluate this situation daily. We will advise you if there are any changes.  If you have returned from any personal travel, in particular from high-risk countries, and are showing signs of illness, please self-quarantine. If you decide to travel to any of the Level 3 countries, the Royal College would require you to self-quarantine for 14 days.  In this case, we encourage you to take advantage of our flex working arrangements.

Also note volunteers will receive further guidance and direction around working for the Royal College.

How to keep safe and healthy

Now and always during cold and flu season, stay home if you are sick. Encourage those you know are sick to stay home until they no longer have symptoms.

Fight germs! Wash your hands frequently using soap and water; use hand-sanitizer when handwashing is not an option; and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. Learn more.

Practice safe workspaces. Wipe down your workstation, meeting spaces and lunch-room tables after you are finished using them. Disinfectant wipes will be made available to all staff (from Anita Herweyer at Lansdowne, Andre St-Pierre in the Annex building or the Corporate Services and Facility Management office at Echo).

Flex your hours. If you care for someone at higher risk for infection or just can’t risk getting sick because of family obligations, you are encouraged to take advantage of our flex working arrangements. If working from home is more suitable to you, then please do so. Just keep in touch with your supervisor and make sure to take care yourself and family.

Go virtual. Whether it’s a team meeting, a one-on-one or a lunch n’ learn, please remember to add a teleconference bridge, Webex or Go-to-Meeting to your meeting invitations. Make it easy for employees to stay connected. Please note: if you prefer to avoid mass gatherings, the Town Hall on Thursday is optional for in-person attendance; it will be recorded so you can view it later.

Stay informed

Make sure that you get high-quality information about COVID-19 from reliable sources. The information on the Government of Canada website is clear, easy to use and up-to-date:

The Executive Directors’ Committee and Crisis Management Team is now connecting daily, to keep abreast of the ever-changing situation to ensure that everyone is informed and safe.

COVID-19: update #1

The Royal College’s Crisis Management Team (CMT) is carefully monitoring the coronavirus outbreak to determine if and when we may need to take action to proactively protect the health of our staff, volunteers, residents and partners.

The CMT has been convening weekly to monitor and assess the risks and developments of the outbreak and provide regular updates to the Royal College.

At this time, there are no cancellations or changes to any planned exams, initiatives or activities.

Looking to learn more about this virus?

For more information and updates on the coronavirus outbreak, the following resources are available: