Exam cancellation watch

This is an important message regarding the upcoming examinations in October and November. This is a caution to monitor notifications and communications as these examinations may need to be cancelled out of necessity.

NO ADDITIONAL EXAMINATIONS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED AT THIS TIME. If a cancellation is imminent or has occurred, the Notification on the Website will be updated to a “warning”.

As demonstrated with released daily case counts and the rolling seven-day numbers, Ontario’s COVID-19 cases are steadily rising. Modelling released by the Chief Medical Officer of Health suggests that by mid-October, Ontario could potentially see rates increase to 1,000 cases a day or higher in a worse-case scenario.

Along with growing daily case counts, the College is anticipating a concurrent increase in restrictions. Like all of you, we do not know what these may be or the next steps or timelines should they be instituted. If tightened restrictions limit the number of people who can gather indoors to 25 or less, the College will be unable to deliver its examinations until well after the restrictions are lifted.

“As I am sure everyone knows, 2020 is the year that keeps on giving!” said Andrew Parr, Chief Executive Officer of the College. “We understand the challenges that the cancellations take on our examination candidates, including both recent graduates and Registrants of the College. Many graduates are waiting to complete their entry-to-practise examinations but keep getting knocked down by the pandemic.”

He added that “Having to cancel all or any part of the College’s examinations is also an expensive proposition for the College as we not only continue to incur exam costs, such as those associated with examination planning, supplies or the rental of examination space, but lose the examination fees that normally offset these costs”.

Should the Province of Ontario refrain from heightening restrictions on gatherings and business, there nevertheless remains a risk, albeit smaller, of the College being unable to deliver the examinations. This is due to the College’s reliance on so many individuals who are at risk of contracting the virus in the context of these ever-rising numbers.

Every College examination involves several groups of people including:

  • Examination staff of the College, who must be present to coordinate exam day activities and movement of people;
  • Invigilators who are required to monitor examination rooms where written components of examinations are delivered; and
  • Examiners/assessors, who are required to administer any hands on or demonstration-based components or deliver oral case exams to individuals.

If the College is required to cancel an examination, candidates will be refunded their examination fee. Wherever possible, we will try to offer an alternative date as soon as it possibly can, and that information will be posted on our website.

We understand that there are a lot of unknowns when it comes to the delivery of College examinations. To assist, we have included a set of Frequently Asked Questions to help exam candidates and Registrants understand the complexities of the situation.

We know that this has been a challenging year for many, and we appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding during this time.

Erica Laugalys
Director of Registration and Examinations
October 5, 2020

Note: The College is borrowing the term “watch” from its more common usage surrounding weather alerts as it is commonly understood. A watch is to be aware of the potential, a warning, if issued, would be a notice that cancellation is imminent. 

FAQ Exam cancellation