Category Archives: Credentials

Delivery of Palliative Care by Physicians in Canada: A Definitions Document

(September 2019) The Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians (CSPCP) is pleased to share recommended credentialing standards for specialist palliative care physicians practicing in Canada.

English: Delivery of Palliative Care by Palliative Physicians in Canada – a Definitions Document July 2019 final – EN.

French: Delivery of Palliative Care by Palliative Physicians in Canada – FR

The palliative care needs of Canadians are best met through the provision of palliative care across primary and specialist levels of care, which requires physicians with differing levels of expertise and training, as described in the national Framework on Palliative Care in Canada. All physicians should have core competencies and skills in palliative care, taught at the undergraduate and postgraduate education levels, to be able to provide a palliative approach to care for their patients. For the development of specialized expertise in palliative care, we now have two certification routes developed for palliative care consultants: a Certificate of Added Competence through the College of Family Physicians of Canada and a Subspecialty in Palliative Medicine through the Royal College. Both routes support the development of consultant level, specialist palliative care expertise.

Recognition of these providers at the provincial level is necessary in order for us to begin to assess, measure and plan for human resources, including residency positions, needed across Canada to improve teaching, mentoring, research, program development and access to palliative care.


Certificates of Added Competence (CACs) from the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) provide a means of recognizing those family physicians who have achieved a defined level of competence and a commitment to maintenance. Physicians who hold CACs are a valued resource to other family physicians and to our patients. (Source: CFPC web site).

Currently the only way to earn a CAC in Palliative Care is through the successful completion of an accredited enhanced skills residency program. The list of programs is on the CSPCP web site: The CFPC is also developing a practice eligible route, but the requirements and time line are not yet known. Updates from the CFPC will be posted here when available.


The first cohort of subspecialty Palliative Medicine residents began their two-year training programs on July 1, 2017. Any trainees interested in pursuing subspecialty training in Palliative Medicine are encouraged to contact the program directors (PD) at their institution. A list of programs and PDs is on the Training Opportunities page of this web site.

A practice eligible route (PER) is also available for physicians who meet the eligibility requirements. Information about PER is on the Royal College web site. The Royal College has also announced the Practice Eligibility Route for the Subspecialty Examination Affiliate Program (PER-SEAP). PER-SEAP is a new route for internationally trained specialists who are practising in Canada in a subspecialty but are not Royal College certified in a primary specialty. Information about PER-SEAP.

For more information please contact:

UPDATE: Postgraduate Education Committee Update Application Process

UPDATE: UBC will be able to offer one (1) position for July 2017 for the RC pall med subspecialty residency program.

The Postgraduate Education Committee has requested we update the members of the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians regarding an update with the application process for the two-year subspecialty program in Palliative Medicine.

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) recently recognized Palliative Medicine as a subspecialty and is now accepting applications to have accredited programs in Palliative Medicine. This new, two-year subspecialty program will replace the previous one-year program that was conjointly accredited with the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). The one-year programs will continue to exist as certificate of added competency programs accredited by the CFPC.

Click hereto read more regarding eligibility and details of the application process.

Announcement re the 2-year Subspecialty in Palliative Medicine

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s Working Group in Palliative Medicine is pleased to announce that the specialty specific documents for the two-year subspecialties in Adult and Pediatric Palliative Medicine have been finalized. The Specific Standards of Accreditation (SSA), Objectives of Training (OTR), Specialty Training Requirements (STR), and Final In-Training Evaluation Report (FITER) for both streams are now available on the Royal College website ( Medical schools wishing to apply for accreditation of a two-year subspecialty program can contact the Educational Standards Unit ( for applications and deadlines.

With its mandate completed, the Working Group will be been transitioned to a Specialty Committee in Palliative Medicine. The Specialty Committee will focus on developing the criteria for the Practice Eligible Route (PER) and review applications. It is hoped that the first subspecialty training programs in Palliative Medicine in Canada will commence July 1, 2017. An Examination Committee will develop the new credentialing exam with the target date of September 2018 as its initial offering. More information will be available at the Advanced Learning in Palliative Medicine Conference in May.

Dr. Deborah Dudgeon, Chair, and Dr. Cori Schroder, Vice-Chair, of the Working Group wish to acknowledge the incredible commitment of the members of the working group. Thank you to:
Dr. James Downar
Dr. David Henderson
Dr. Leonie Herx
Dr. Doreen Oneschuk
Dr. Jana Pilkey
Dr. Valerie Schulz

They also wish to thank Susanne Fletcher and Dr. Jolanta Karpinski at the Royal College for their support throughout the process.