Waiver of Training Following a Leave of Absence

Approved by PGME Committee March 6, 2014


The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada expect all residents to successfully complete all aspects of their training program, including the length of training. Leaves of absence (LOA) are encountered during residency training (due to illness, parental leave, personal reasons etc) and result in a change in the end date of training equal to the amount of time for the LOA. The required training time missed will ordinarily be made up by the resident with equivalent time upon return to training. In some circumstances a reduction in training time (waiver of training) may be permitted upon approval from the Residency Training Committee (RTC) and the Associate Dean, PGME.  Each program will determine whether to permit waivers of training and the criteria the RTC will use to grant such requests. Such waivers are not permitted for failed rotations, and will be considered only for residents whose performance demonstrates that all competencies set out by the respective college have been met.  

Guidelines: 

1. A reduction of training time can be considered only in the final year of training for RC programs, and the last 6 months for Family Medicine programs. RTCs need to be able to evaluate each resident’s competency before considering such requests. It is not possible to do this at the time of the LOA.  

2. The maximum time to be considered for reduction is set out by the RCPSC (for specialty residents) and the CFPC (for Family Medicine residents).                                                                    

RCPSC, CFPC and CMQ Maximum Allowable Times for Waivers

Length of Program 

Maximum Allowable Waive Time 

One year program 

no waiver allowed 

Less than one year for remediation or enhanced skills 

no waiver allowed 

2 year program (excluding Family Medicine) 

up to 6 Weeks 

2 year program (i.e. Family Medicine) 

 up to 4 Weeks 

3 year program 

up to 6 Weeks 

4 year program 

up to 3 Months 

5 year program 

up to 3 Months 

6 Year Program 

up to 3 Months 

For residents taking subspecialty training in the final year of a specialty program in all provinces (e.g. Internal Medicine and Pediatrics), up to three months is allowable during PGY1-4 only if both the Program Director in the specialty and subspecialty programs agree that a waiver can be recommended.

3. A reduction in training time should be based on resident’s performance and competency. The resident’s ITERs and other evaluations must reflect that all competencies set out by the credentialing authority (Royal College or College of Family Physicians) have been met. Each program allowing such waivers will define how such competency is demonstrated.    

4. The request for a reduction of training time should come from the resident in writing to the RTC prior to the start of their final year of training. Granting a waiver is not automatic, and the RTC will make a recommendation to the Associate Dean, PGME using the attached form. The recommendation must be approved by the Associate Dean, PGME and will be communicated by the PGME Office to the respective national body (RCPSC or College of Family Physicians of Canada). A decision not to grant a waiver of training cannot be appealed.  

5. Reduction of training time will not be granted for after a resident has completed the final certifying examinations. 

Application for Waiver of Training after a Leave of Absence from Residency 

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and the College des medecins du Quebec joint policy on Waiver of Training after a Leave of Absence from Residency can be found in the RCPSC Green Book, Policies and Procedures for Certification and Fellowship [PDF - 292kB], Section IV, 4.3.2

Application for Waiver of Training Following a Leave of Absence from Residency Form [PDF  -464kB]