In consideration of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the College will recognize, on an interim basis, online didactic courses1 offered during the pandemic as equivalent to classroom theoretical instruction, as described under section 9 of the Registration Regulation. That is, one of the registration requirements for the General class being the successful completion of a post‐secondary program in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Under the Registration Regulation, the program must:
- in the case of a full traditional Chinese medicine program, consist of at least four years of full-time education, or education that is of equivalent duration, and
- in the case of a traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture program, consist of at least three years of full-time education, or education that is of equivalent duration.
The regulation further defines full-time education as “a program of study that annually consists of at least 480 hours of classroom theoretical instruction or at least 620 hours of practical instruction or some combination of the two where, for every hour of classroom theoretical instruction that is less than 480 hours there must be a corresponding increase of 1.3 hours in the number of hours of practical instruction”. O. Reg. 27/13, s. 1.
The online didactic courses offered during the pandemic will also be accepted for the purpose of approving candidates for the Pan-Canadian Examinations.
Practical Instruction and Supervised Clinical Training
In addition, to the theoretical and practical requirements listed above, applicants for the General class must also successfully complete a program of supervised clinical training, which consists of at least 45 weeks of clinical experience involving at least 500 hours of direct patient contact.
It is the College’s position that all practical instruction and supervised clinical training must be provided in person. Consequently, while the declaration of emergency remains in effect, all practical instruction and supervised clinical training should be suspended at this time.
To be eligible to write the Pan-Canadian Examinations, candidates must meet a number of requirements, including the supervised clinical training requirement. For more information, please see the Pan-Canadian Examinations Application Guide.
Recognizing the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the College has granted provisional approval to write the 2020 (October), 2021 and 2022 Pan-Can Examinations to all students whose supervised clinical training is delayed because of COVID-19, provided that:
- the candidate’s application for the Pan-Canadian Examinations meets all other requirements;
- the College receives confirmation from the program director or coordinator that the candidate meets all the requirements for graduation with the exception of the supervised clinical training; and
- the student is in the process of completing the supervised clinical training requirement.
The purpose of this provisional exemption is to allow students whose clinical training is delayed because of COVID-19 to write the Pan-Can Examinations during the pandemic. The exemption does not apply to the supervised clinical training requirement which is required to obtain a General Class certificate. To be granted the General Class Certificate, applicants must meet all the requirements listed under section 9 of the Registration Regulation, this includes completion of the supervised clinical training.
The College is monitoring the unprecedented situation posed by COVID-19 and will continue to provide updates to our members, applicants, education providers and other stakeholders.