The Pre-Residency Programs (PRP and PRP-FM) are mandatory for all International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who have been accepted into residency positions in the province. Ontario specific programming ensures that learners are provided the foundational experience, exposure, and opportunity to practice the competencies necessary to continue their training in Ontario.
The PRP – Family Medicine program is comprised of two phases. Phase one is completed on site at Touchstone Institute and the second phase is completed at the learner’s university and coordinated by their specific Family Medicine Program. PRP-FM learners have additional synchronous and asynchronous courses while at Touchstone Institute.
Much like PRP-FM, the Canadian Medicine Primer (CMP) includes additional content curated specifically for internationally trained visa trainees entering Ontario residency programs, and internationally sponsored fellows pursuing specialty education.
In 2021-22, our learning Programs were all delivered virtually. Trainees of all programs attend one of two Foundations module sessions followed by one of three Advanced sessions.
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Antigua and Barbuda
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
Trinidad and Tobago
West Bank and Gaza Strip
The Foundations Module is attended by all learners transitioning to training positions to Ontario and has five dedicated streams of learning tailored to specialty and training levels. We redesigned the delivery of many sessions to utilize more interactivity and engagement through enhanced based group learning, polling, and use of asynchronous activities. The Foundations Module addresses many important theoretical, cultural, and systems based knowledge to ensure learners are prepared to engage in simulated encounters during the Advanced Module
The Advanced Module is attended by all learners who attend the Foundations module, and it focuses on application of knowledge through complex simulated encounters. This year we delivered simulated encounters entirely through a virtual platform, which included simulated clients, physician facilitators who provided formative assessment, and moderators to support the delivery. We successfully engaged learners in over 800 encounters virtually, throughout the delivery of the Advanced Modules.
The Canadian Medicine Primer has been developed to address the needs of visa trainees and clinical fellows who are working in Ontario. The program’s population is made up of referrals from medical schools. The program follows a similar curriculum to the PRP with several courses focused on issues only affecting visa trainees. The CMP was designed in collaboration with Ontario medical schools to support successful integration to safe practice in the Canadian context.
Administering assessments is a core Touchstone Institute role. Restarting regular exam administrations was a priority for ourselves and our stakeholders in 2021-22. Virtual modalities and safe, in-person protocols were developed to meet the assessment needs of professional regulators. Our experienced research and analysis department closely monitored reliability and validity to ensure high quality in all administrations, whether in-person or virtual.
In 2021, we offered exams in different modalities to meet the needs of examinees, clients, and stakeholders.
In-Person Exams were administered on site with extensive pandemic related safety protocols
Hybrid Exams had an In-Person component as well as remote administration of a multiple choice questionnaire (MCQ) or other computer-based exams
Virtual Exams were redeveloped to be administered entirely remotely, and included live simulations or interviews along with an MCQ
Assessment Program Participants
The Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN) is a profession specific language exam for internationally educated nurses (IENs) pursuing registration in Canada. CELBAN was successfully digitized last fiscal year and this past fiscal year we virtually assessed a total of 2,099 examinees, including a small number of examinees located outside the country.
CELBAN was developed by the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks (CCLB) and is jointly owned between CCLB and Touchstone Institute with governance from the CELBAN Oversight Committee, made up of representatives from both parties.
The Internationally Educated Nurses Competency Assessment Program (IENCAP) is a standardized examination that tests the knowledge, skills, and judgement of internationally educated nurses (IENs) seeking registration in Ontario. Touchstone Institute delivered the IENCAP to 462 nurses this fiscal year, using a virtual MCQ administered remotely and safe in-person OSCEs at our facility.
The program was developed by Touchstone Institute in collaboration with the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO).
The Alberta Registered Nurses Assessment Program (ARNAP) is a standardized examination that assesses the knowledge, skills and judgement of internationally educated nurses (IENs) seeking registration in Alberta. In addition to nursing skills, the ARNAP assesses examinees’ language proficiency and comprehension, performance in client interactions, ethics, and professionalism. In 2021-2022, 46 nurses were examined using a virtual MCQ administered remotely and safe in-person OSCEs.
The National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) examination for graduates from international medical schools is a national, objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) that tests the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for entrance into postgraduate training in Canada. Touchstone Institute administered a safe, in-person NAC in October 2021 and assessed 233 participants.
The NAC is a Medical Council of Canada Exam.
Beyond Medicine and Nursing
The Internationally Graduated Optometrists Evaluating Examination (IGOEE) tests the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values of internationally graduated optometrists (IGOs) through short- and long-case OSCEs and is recognized by the Federation of Optometric Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FORAC). It includes an MCQ and the Therapeutic Prescribing Assessment for Optometry (TPAO), a supplementary written assessment. Touchstone Institute administered the IGOEE to 33 IGOs in June 2021. The MCQ & TPAO were administered virtually using remote proctoring software, and the short- and long-case OSCEs were held in-person with safety protocols.
Touchstone Institute developed the IGOEE in collaboration with the College of Optometrists of Ontario (COO).
The Knowledge and Competency Assessment Tool (KCAT) assesses the foundational knowledge and competency of internationally educated dietitians (IEDs) who are applying for registration in Ontario. The KCAT was administered virtually to 41 candidates in May 2021 and to 36 candidates in February 2022.
The KCAT was developed by Touchstone Institute in collaboration with the College of Dietitians of Ontario (CDO).
The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) is the national certification body for the profession of pharmacy in Canada. In 2021-22, Touchstone Institute assessed 73 applicants for the PEBC. This is a fully on-site exam that is coordinated at sites across Canada.
The PEBC exam was developed by the national certification body and was administered by Touchstone Institute on their behalf.
The Assisted Reproductive Technology Laboratory (ART Lab) Exam is the certification program for professionals working in Assisted Reproductive Technology Laboratories in Canada. The exam is offered in both English and French. Assessments were virtually administered to 39 reproductive specialists, scientists, and allied health professionals in April 2021.
This exam was developed by Touchstone Institute with the ART Laboratory Special Interest Group (ART Lab SIG) of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS).