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Assessments

We require members to take part in peer and practice assessments because they help you maintain a standard level of practice, while also identifying opportunities for improvement.

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We’ve designed our assessments to engage physicians in an educational experience that provides feedback and supports lifelong learning. We share the responsibility of ensuring you provide quality care by continually improving your skills, and responding to concerns about your practice and/or behaviour.

If selected for an assessment, we encourage you to review our information about the process. It can be beneficial to proactively prepare for your assessment by reviewing your records using the assessment protocols for your practice. If you identify any issues or deficiencies, you can take action before the assessment and share what you have done with the assessor.

Physicians have the opportunity to provide feedback following an assessment. We review all suggestions, share them with the assessors and consider them for future program development.

Your annual dues cover the costs of your first assessment and reassessment. However, any subsequent reassessments, and peer and practice reassessments (comprehensive) are subject to a fee. The Fees Model FAQs describes the different types of assessments and their associated fees (if any).

The Selection Process

Who is selected for a peer and practice assessment?

The Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) may require you to participate in a peer and practice assessment at any time. Note, completing an assessment for another College area does not necessarily exempt you from participating in a QAC assessment.

The most common criteria when selecting physicians for assessment are:

Age-related selection: We assess all practising physicians not assessed in the last five years at age 70 and then every five years as long as they are in active practice. 

Physicians who work in Long Term Care Facilities: We randomly select Long Term Care facilities from a list of licensed facilities in Ontario. We may contact physicians who provide care in those facilities for peer and practice assessment.

Physicians changing their scope of practice or re-entering practice: We may require physicians in the process of changing scope or re-entering practice to undergo a practice assessment.

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

Methadone Prescriber-Focused Peer Assessments: We assess methadone prescribers one year after they begin prescribing for the treatment of substance use disorder and have a minimum of 6-10 patients for whom they are the most responsible physician. If this assessment is satisfactory, we assess the prescriber according to the above criteria.  

The CPSO 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 we select a physician to undergo a peer and practice assessment:

  • We advise you why we selected you.
  • You must complete a detailed 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.
    • If you have multiple scopes of practice, the questionnaire will determine which we will assess. Your assessment confirmation clearly identifies the area of practice being assessed and its specific assessment protocol(s), which are made available to you online.
  • The Assessment Coordinator assigned to manage your assessment sends you a package containing the name of the assessor visiting your practice. 
    • If you identify any conflicts with your assigned assessor, please inform the coordinator as soon as possible.
  • The assessor contacts you to arrange a mutually convenient date for the assessment and discuss the record selection process. 
    • If your office or hospital-based practice use an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system, you must make arrangements ahead of time to ensure the assessor has temporary, read-only access to the system.

There may be instances where we exempt or postpone an assessment, such as, but not limited to, maternity/sabbatical leave, current illness, or conversion to EMR. Upon completion of the Physician Questionnaire, the Assessment Coordinator follows up to discuss those situations.