The Selection Process

Who is selected for a peer and practice assessment?

At any time and under any circumstance, the Quality Assurance Committee may require a member to participate in a peer and practice assessment. You may have undergone an assessment originating from another area of the College, such as Investigations & Resolutions Department (I&R) or the Premises Inspection Committee (PIC), Change of Scope, Re-entry or Registration; however, this does not necessarily exempt you from participation in a Quality Assurance peer and practice assessment.

The most common criteria when selecting physicians for assessment are the following:

Random selection: Physicians who have been in independent practice for at least five years and who are under the age of 70 are eligible for random selection every 10 years. 

Age-related selection: All practising physicians are assessed at age 70 and every five years thereafter while they maintain a certificate of registration. Those physicians between the ages of 65 and 69 who have received a satisfactory outcome will be assessed every five years from the date of the final decision.

Physicians who work in Long Term Care Facilities: Long Term Care facilities are randomly selected from a list of licensed facilities in Ontario. Physicians who provide care in those facilities may be contacted for peer and practice assessment.

Physicians changing their scope of practice or re-entering practice: Physicians who are in the change in scope or re-entry to practice process may be required to undergo a practice assessment.

Physicians who wish to become assessors: Members wishing to become a peer assessor must first successfully complete a peer and practice assessment.

Methadone Prescriber Focused Peer Assessments: A requirement of being a methadone prescriber in Ontario requires participation in a 1, 3 5 year cycle of assessment that begins with the first assessment conducted approximately one year after a prescriber receives their exemption and has a minimum of 6-10 patients on methadone for whom they are the most responsible physician. Methadone prescriber focused peer assessments are overseen by a Methadone Specialty Panel which operates under the Quality Assurance Committee.

The College also reserves the right to select members for assessment in support of approved research or identification of other factors for which an assessment would be beneficial.

If you are selected for an assessment

When a physician is selected to undergo a peer and practice assessment, there are a number of pre-assessment activities that take place

  • You will be contacted by an Assessment Coordinator.
  • You will be required to complete a Physician Questionnaire and, in some cases, a Facility Questionnaire. This helps program staff determine if you are eligible for assessment and identify the most appropriate assessor for your practice. As a physician may have multiple scopes of practice, the scope of practice that will be assessed by the College will be determined after review of the completed Physician Questionnaire. When you receive confirmation of the assessment, it will clearly identify the area of practice (scope) that will be assessed and the specific assessment protocol(s) that will be used by the assessor and which are available to you online.
  • You will also be provided with information explaining why you were selected for an assessment (e.g. age-related, random selection, etc.) 

A peer and practice assessment is conducted by one or more assessors, as required. You will receive a package from the Assessment Coordinator assigned to manage your assessment, in which you will find the name of the assessor visiting your practice. If there are any conflicts identified with your assigned assessor, please inform the Assessment Coordinator as soon as possible.

The assessor will contact you to arrange a mutually convenient date for the assessment and discuss the record selection process. If you use an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system for your charts, you will be asked to make arrangements ahead of time to ensure the assessor has temporary, read-only access to the system — this is required for both office and hospital-based practices.

There may be instances where an assessment is exempted or postponed such as (but not limited to) maternity/sabbatical leave, current illness, or conversion to EMR. Upon completion of the Physician Questionnaire, the Assessment Coordinator will follow up with the physician to discuss those situations.