Transfers from One Program to Another Interprovincial (Guidelines for)

Inter-provincial PGME Transfer Guideline  

Revised December 6, 2019


The Postgraduate Medical Education Offices across Canada are supportive of transfers from institution to institution. These guidelines are intended to provide a transparent process that is clear to both the Resident and Universities involved. Prior to engaging in discussion regarding a transfer, it is the responsibility of the Resident to review the national guidelines as well as their own home school’s transfer guideline/policy.


These guidelines apply to Residents currently enrolled in a postgraduate training program in Canada (subject to the criteria of the RECEIVING provincial licensing jurisdiction(s) and the RECEIVING University). These guidelines apply to all transfers that take place outside of the second iteration of CaRMS.


The following are basic principles to which all PGME Offices adhere regarding Resident transfers:

1. Transfers should not subvert the CaRMS match, and consideration will not be given until at least 6 months and adequate exposure to the Resident’s home discipline, as determined by the Postgraduate Dean at the HOME University.

2. Discussions regarding transfer will remain confidential until such time as the Resident consents to disclosure of their intent to transfer.

3. Provincial government funding is not transferrable between institutions. Special cases that require the transfer of government funding are to be resolved between concerned PGME Offices.

4. Residents must meet the selection and admission criteria of the program to which they are seeking a transfer.

5. Capacity, funding, and other constraints may limit the availability of program transfers; it is therefore not possible to accommodate all requests.

6. Each transfer is unique and will be considered on its own merit.

7. National transfers will be considered after each School has completed their own internal transfer process. Applications will be forwarded by the PGME Office annually to the RECEIVING PGME Office, after the second iteration of CaRMS.

8. The local Faculty of Medicine guideline / policy regarding internal timelines takes precedent over the national guidelines.

9. Residents have the ability to access positions in the second iteration of CaRMS, with the exception of Quebec. It is the Resident’s responsibility to clear any return-of-service commitments with the provincial Ministry of Health. Quebec programs will not consider any Residents with return-of-service obligations to other jurisdictions.


Initial enquiry:

1. A Resident who is interested in pursuing a transfer to another Canadian University should contact the Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) Office of their HOME University to register their interest in transfer.

• The Resident must register their interest in a transfer with their HOME University no later than March 31 of each year.

• The HOME PGME Office will forward the list of candidates for consideration to each RECEIVING PGME Office, by April 30.(Template to be provided and agreed upon by all schools).

2. The RECEIVING PGME Office will review the request and determine whether clinical training capacity and funding is available. Funding allocation decisions (i.e., determination of capacity to consider applications) will be made after the second iteration of CaRMS.

3. The RECEIVING PGME Office will inform the HOME PGME Office if the RECEIVING program can or cannot receive a transfer application. If they are able to review the request the RECEIVING PGME Office would request the documentation identified below.

4. The Resident must provide their consent for their HOME PGME Office to release the following documents / information to the RECEIVING PGME Office:

• CV

• Brief letter outlining their request and reason for the transfer

• All in-training assessments

• Summary of Training Record from the Home University (including leaves from the program)

• Brief summary from the PGME Office regarding any remediation and outcomes. If there are ongoing investigations / appeals in progress, the other school will be notified.

• Other documents may also be requested to complete an application file (e.g., MCC QE Statement of results, reference letters, etc.)

If consideration is possible:

1. The file will be sent from the HOME PGME Office to the RECEIVING PGME Office.

2. The RECEIVING PGME Office will forward the file to the RECEIVING Program for consideration.

3. The RECEIVING Program may request additional supporting documents directly from the transfer applicant (e.g., reference letters).

4. The RECEIVING Program Director may request (with permission of the transfer applicant) a reference from the HOME Program Director at this stage of the transfer process. The reference may be considered as part of the transfer application. Direct contact with a HOME Program Director should not occur before this time.

If consideration is not possible:

If the RECEIVING PGME Office or program determines they cannot accommodate a transfer request, the HOME PGME office will be notified and it will be their responsibility to notify the transfer applicant.

If a transfer request is accepted:

1. If the Resident is accepted into the RECEIVING program, the RECEIVING PGME Office, in consultation with the RECEIVING program, will issue a conditional offer contingent on the release from their HOME School. A copy of the letter of offer will be provided to the HOME School (so confidentiality will not be possible after this point).

• Of note, training level may be impacted by the transfer. The anticipated training level will be detailed in the letter of offer. See provincial/local guidelines.

2. Should the Resident decide to accept, the Resident must inform their HOME Program Director and PGME Office and request a release from they/their HOME program and arrive at a mutually acceptable departure date.

3. The HOME PGME Office will send a formal letter of release to the RECEIVING PGME Office.

4. Every effort will be made to complete the transfer for a July 1 start date however, program and medical regulatory licensing timing may delay the start date.