Ethical Review & Guidelines

To ensure that the focus of certified Mainpro+® continuing professional development (CPD) programming remains on addressing the educational needs of family physicians—and not on ancillary benefits such as meals, entertainment, and monetary rewards—the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) has instituted a formal ethical review process for all live certified Mainpro+ programs that have received for-profit financial or in-kind support.

Continuing professional development is an essential component of maintaining proficiency for family physicians. The CFPC recognizes there are many costs associated with planning, developing, and implementing educational events and programs. The CFPC and its local Chapters believe it is ethically acceptable for industry (pharmaceutical, biomedical, etc.) to contribute to CPD events as long as all contributions are at arm’s length and that all parties adhere to the guidelines presented in Mainpro+ Certification Standards.

Ethical review ensures compliance of the following with CFPC certification standards and guidelines for ethical conduct as outlined by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Guidelines for Physicians in Interactions with Industry (2007) and the Innovative Medicines Canada Code of Ethical Practices (2016):

  • Promotional materials, invitations to and correspondence with potential attendees, and all other published announcements
  • Publicity in print or electronic media (including websites, blogs, email invitations, etc.)
  • Session location or venue, meals, and entertainment or social events
  • Costs to be assumed by attendees (eg, registration and social events)
  • Completed conflict-of-interest forms and CoI slides for speakers at the session being reviewed

After receiving notification from the CFPC of program approval, but before you offer an approved Mainpro+ program to physicians, you must complete and submit the ethical review  form along with ethical review fee payment using the Cert+ platform. Please allow at least 10 business days for the ethical review process.

Establishing limits on meal expenses related to certified Mainpro+ events

The CFPC’s National Committee on Continuing Professional Development (NCCPD) approved the following maximum allowable costs associated with certified Mainpro+ sessions (last reviewed January 2015).

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