Assessors are individuals who review or provide an opinion on a physician’s practice to ensure that they are practising at an acceptable standard or have met the current standard of practice in Ontario. Having assessors in each medical discipline ensures that physicians are reviewed by peers who understand the normal limitations of the practice they are assessing and the difference between ideal and reasonable care. The College uses assessors in many different programs:
Quality Assurance: Peer assessment is a cornerstone of professional-regulation and has existed since the early 1980s. The purpose of the program is two-fold: to ensure physicians are practising at an acceptable standard, and provide them the opportunity for an educational interaction with the College.
Methadone: Physicians who prescribe methadone for the treatment of opioid use disorder undergo an assessment one year after the begin prescribing. This assessment is based on the 2011 Methadone Maintenance Treatment Guidelines.
Independent Health Facilities: The College conducts quality assessments in all Independent Health Facilities (IHFs). We base assessments on the Clinical Practice Parameters and Facility Standards, as well as generally accepted medical standards. An assessment team is comprised of a specialty-specific peer physician and a technologist or nurse, depending on whether the facility is diagnostic and/or surgical.
Registration: There are several pathways to registration for physicians who do not have the standard qualifications to become registered in Ontario. Some of the pathways to registration may require an assessment that will be included in the Registration Committee's decision making. For these pathways, the assessment is required after one-year of supervised practice.
Investigations and Resolutions: The Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) receives complaints or reports about physicians. The Committee requires the experience and training of physicians for various types of investigations. A physician in the role of an inspector or independent opinion provider may be asked to review complaints about a single patient, or be involved in a more comprehensive review of care.
Out of Hospital Premises: The CPSO is able to inspect out‐of‐hospital premises (OHPs) where procedures are performed using certain types of anesthesia. The inspection is based on the Out-of-Hospital Premises Standards document, as well as generally accepted clinical standards for all health care providers working in the OHP. These inspections are conducted by a team of assessors comprised of a proceduralist, nurse and/or anesthesiologist.
The requirements for assessors vary, depending on the program. Ideally, a potential assessor for any program area will have undergone a peer assessment and received a satisfactory outcome prior to being accepted as an assessor. This is a requirement for assessors who conduct peer and practice assessments for Quality Assurance.
Qualifications and Expectations
- Understanding of and commitment to self-regulation.
- At the time of the application, in active clinical practice with a minimum of five consecutive years practicing in the scope of practice in which they would be an assessor.
- At the time of the application, not currently the subject of any complaint, disciplinary or incapacity proceeding.
- Strong sense of professional responsibility demonstrated by a commitment to life-long learning.
- Experience in providing constructive/specific feedback.
- Skilled in rapport-building with excellent verbal, written and listening skills.
- Promotes and upholds high standards and evidence-based practice.
- Active participant in continuing professional development.
The time commitment will vary depending on the assessment type, and will include report writing and travel time.
If you are interested in applying for an assessor role(s), please complete, print and return the applicable Assessor Application(s) to the College.
For more information, please contact us by email or by calling our toll-free number at 1-800-268-7096.