New English Language Proficiency requirements after July 1, 2019

Dina Baras CPSA

On July 1, 2019, the CPSA’s English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirements will be updated to align with the Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FMRAC) Model Standards of Registration.

The new ELP requirement gives universities in Alberta the ability to evaluate competency of English language for their students and gives more exemption options for candidates. We’ve worked with key stakeholders, such as the Universities in Alberta and the Alberta International Medical Graduate (AIMG) Program, to carry out these changes.

After July 1, 2019, there will be 3 ELP exemptions for candidates. Candidates will be exempt if:

  • their undergraduate or postgraduate medical education experience is in a country where English is the first and native language**,
  • more than 50% of their undergraduate and postgraduate* medical education was taken in a country where English is the first and native language
  • OR if they are in independent practice in Canada or in a country where English is the first and native language and have already met ELP requirements before registering with their regulatory body.

If a candidate has been accepted into a postgraduate training program in Alberta but does not meet one of the exemptions above, the College will accept confirmation from their university that they have successfully completed the university’s ELP evaluation and is competent in English.***

Questions? Contact Bruce.Leisen@cpsa.ab.ca


*Includes residency and clinical fellowship training

**Australia, Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America, US Virgin Islands; and the Caribbean Islands of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Grenadines, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobego  

***This applies to physicians accepted into postgraduate residencies, fellowships and visiting elective training through the PGME offices. Visiting elective trainees are exempt from ELP testing for the first 90 days. Candidates will be exempt from any requirement for future testing if the College receives university confirmation that they have successfully completed the university’s process to evaluate competency in ELP.