Academic Certification

The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) academic certification program assists Canadian faculties of medicine and universities in the recruitment and retention of family medicine specialists as full-time clinical faculty at the rank of full or associate professor. This program aims to facilitate the recruitment of clinician scientists and clinician educators.  

The Board of Examinations and Certification will consider an application for academic certification for a full-time medical faculty member under the following conditions:

Eligibility Criteria

  1. The application for consideration of academic certification is made by the department of family medicine to which the candidate is being recruited and supported by the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine.
  2. At the time of application, the candidate:
    a. is an academic physician;
    b. holds the rank of associate professor or higher, and;
    c. has been at least five years in a full-time academic position;
    d. holds a full-time academic faculty position (i.e. engaged primarily in academic duties). 
  3. Applications for candidates recruited at the rank of assistant professor may be considered for academic certification, if the candidate satisfies all conditions and criteria stated in these guidelines and:
    a. has been promoted or is being promoted to the rank of associate professor;
    b. has registered in and is compliant with the requirements of the CFPC’s Maintenance of Certification Program.

Program Conditions

  1. Academic certification remains in effect only if the Certificant maintains a full-time academic appointment in the Department of Family Medicine at the medical school from which his/her application was made or any of its affiliated institutions. In addition, they must maintain CFPC membership.
  2. If an academic Certificant moves to another Canadian medical school, academic certification may be transferred at the request of the Department of Family Medicine at that medical school provided that all the criteria for academic certification are met.
  3. Academic certification comes into effect on the date such certification is granted by the Board of Examinations and Certification, or on the date upon which the candidate takes up the faculty position, whichever is later.
  4. Approval of academic certification will lapse if the academic appointment, on which it is based, is not accepted within two years of having been granted by the College of Family Physicians of Canada, unless the sponsoring department of family medicine requests an extension of a specified time.


Individuals seeking academic certification must either be members of the CFPC at the time their application is submitted or must submit an application for membership at the time of application for academic certification.

The application for academic certification must include:

  • A request from the chair of the department of family medicine with: 
    • a description of the candidate's planned position(s) within the faculty and the teaching hospitals, as attested by letter(s) of employment/contract; 
    • confirmation that the candidate fulfills the faculty's criteria for the rank to which the candidate is being appointed;
  • An up to date curriculum vitae providing a detailed description of training, past and current clinical activities, and a full listing of publications, awards, grants, etc.
  • Authenticated copies of degrees, diplomas and certificates;
  • Attestation(s) of academic appointment from the applicant's originating (foreign) institution(s) describing the type of appointment;
  • A supporting letter from the Dean of Medicine
  1. The Education Department reviews applications to ensure that all criteria and application requirements have been fulfilled.
  2. The Board of Examinations and Certification, the decision-making authority for academic certification, reviews completed applications with a recommendation from the Director of Education.
  3. Academic certification will remain in effect only as long as the certificant maintains the full-time academic and hospital posts to which he/she was appointed, maintains a licence to practice, pays the annual Membership dues and complies with the conditions of the Maintenance of Certification program.
  4. The sponsoring chair of family medicine will be responsible for informing the CFPC of any significant change in the academic certificant's status or conditions of appointment.
  5. After completing the practice eligible criteria, those with academic certification may choose to sit the Certification Examination in Family Medicine in order to achieve permanent certification. Please consult our website or contact the examinations office for more information on eligibility requirements.
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