BC Physiotherapists Rally Together to Have a Voice

Head in Hands

UPDATE 2018: It Happened AGAIN!

After all I/we went through to voice our concern about the RCA exam in 2015, they stuck to their guns and made a new group of BC physios write the exam three years later with the same result of technology failure causing the whole thing to be canceled.  I received countless emails, phone calls and even hand written letters from all over the province thanking me for trying to stand up for us in 2015 and now it is starting all over again.  Physios are mad about the inconvenience, but still madder at the underlying principle that this test is not a valid or appropriate measure of our competency.  I hope the College of Physiotherapists of BC starts taking the feedback of its members more seriously…lets see what happens!

Original Article Below

I am writing this article tonight because I am mad, I am offended and I  want to help create change and I know that I am not alone.  I have been a physiotherapist in British Columbia for twelve years, a path that required me to attain two university degrees and pass a written and practical certification exam.  I have taken over twenty five post-graduate courses, run a private clinic and work closely with countless other healthcare professionals and was just recently required to write a three hour exam to prove my ‘competency’ as part of our college’s Quality Assurance Program.

Physiotherapy is a regulated profession in British Columbia, meaning that we have a regulatory body called the College of Physical Therapists of BC (CPTBC) that creates standards and provides licenses for therapists to work as certified health care professionals in the province.  Apparently in 2007 the BC government passed a law called the Health Professions Amendment Act that requires regulatory bodies to monitor our ‘continuing competency’ defined as: the ongoing ability of a practitioner to integrate and apply the knowledge, skills, judgments and interpersonal attributes required to practice safely and ethically in a designated role and setting.  The principle of it makes sense, but the practical application of it is actively falling on its face right now and making a lot of physiotherapists in BC angry…especially me, but I want to hear from everybody!

Since the bill was passed the CPTBC has systematically developed their Quality Assurance Program as a two step process.  Step one was an annual self report that required every physio to take an online quiz to familiarize themselves with some of the college bylaws and ethical standards before a new license was issued in the new year.  A completely reasonable and smart way to make sure that we all brush up on important regulations.  Step two started on Tuesday November 3rd, 2015 where a portion of us were required to write a three hour online test to ‘demonstrate our competence’ as physiotherapists.  They gave us ample warning with eight updates emails between March and November with details of all the hoops we had to jump through.  We all booked time off, each found a proctor to supervise us and irritatedly prepared to prove our worth online somehow.

The results couldn’t have gone worse.  The CPTBC’s five years of planning ended up with their servers crashing, half the people not being able to connect while the other half could about a half an hour late.  Of the people that connected and wrote the test for three hours only a portion of them were able to save and submit their answers and then found out afterwards that the test was cancelled due to technical difficulties.  I was one of the lucky few that got the pleasure of writing the insulting test to have my answers go nowhere.  Two and a half hours of staring at a screen with my double vision after a long work day….I am still bitter.

My bitterness of the unfortunate situation has grown into an anger about the principle of the test itself more than the fact that I was inconvenienced for a day.  I learn by doing and what I learned from writing the CPTBC’s competency test was that the Registrant Competence Assessment will have zero positive impact on physiotherapy as a profession and in no way provides any quality assurance for the public.  The test is appropriate as part of a licensing exam for a new graduate, but checking every six years if we remember some basics from school neither establishes competence nor provides any insight on the quality of a physiotherapist.  Instead it implies that our knowledge base deteriorates over time and we need to brush up on the basics in order to ensure public safety.

Quality, competent physiotherapists are developed over years of experience and continuing education.  We all start with the same fundamentals, but quickly start taking different specialized paths that should not be broadly categorized into four groups for the purposes of a competency test.  We should be using this Quality Assurance Program to be raising the bar for individuals in the profession not dragging them down to the bare standard every six years.  We should put more emphasis on post-graduate training as a requirement in order to improve the professional service that we provide the public and not demand a test that is built to have a 1-2% fail rate.  The current plan is expensive, time consuming, ineffective and offensive to experienced physiotherapists.  The only thing that it has accomplished is to irritate a group of busy professionals.

I understand the the CPTBC has worked hard and spent a lot of the registrants money in developing this test over the past five years, but I formally request that they go back to the drawing board and create a program that pushes the registrants that wouldn’t have otherwise taken more courses and continued to learn to do so, instead of picking on the 1-2% of physios that are probably just bad at taking online tests.  A simple system that requires continuing education credits will do more for the profession and may create an opportunity to showcase to the public just how much post-graduate training our therapists go through.

I have posted this letter in BLOG format so that all physios and occupational therapists (you have the same test coming up!) can leave their thoughts in the comments section below.  Please make your voice heard on this page and I will make sure the CPTBC sees it.  Go ahead and rant if you want, but if you have constructive ideas to improve the system please share them too.  Please indicate if you are a PT, OT or have any other background in your comment. 

***I should have done this initially but please sign up for the mailing list below and I will email everyone if I have any news on the status of the future of the RCA exam***

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Thank you for your time!

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96 Comments ↓
  • Laura

    Agreed on all fronts Brent. Well written. Bang on. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jen

    I agree. This test, and subsequent IT disaster in executing it is an embarrassment to our profession.

  • Carla

    Agreed. The College had a choice of how they wanted to assess competency, the government didn’t demand a test and many other health professions chose continuing education credits for their QA program. I strongly feel continuing education is the appropriate option and this current test does nothing to ensure the public is "safe" from incompetent therapists. We are professionals, and if we are lacking in a knowledge area we certainly would brush up before working in that area! I am not going to work in peds if I have spent my career in sports med without some serious studying and course taking… and who would hire me if I wasn’t qualified? This test is a total waste of money and time and we should demand a new QA tool.

  • Marc Rizzardo

    Brent: I have never met you in person but reading your blog makes me want to shake your hand and congratulate you on summarizing my feelings and I am sure the majority of PT’s in the province of BC.
    The College has a tough job but the exam is not how to guarantee safety for the public. Let’s encourage PT’s to take the post-graduate courses to keep them on the cutting edge of their profession.

    • Brent

      thanks Marc….our paths will cross one day! I was just at a course all weekend and spoke with many more physios all with the same sentiment. The PABC has lobbied on our behalf but it looks like this one is up to each/all of us to step up and talk to the College if we want it to change. I am happy to see the discussion take off here like it has. We will see what happens next…

  • Tamarah

    Extraordinarily well written!
    You took the words right out of my mouth. Continuing education is what will foster and progress physiotherapists in their profession. The governing body in the USA has it down… Everyone gets credits for each course, conference etc that they attend and must submit these credits yearly, that have been signed off on with a certificate of completion. This makes more sense. We are not all cut from the same cloth. A lot of us have specialties that we excel in and no standard examination will properly judge our competency. How old school is that mentality!!

  • Mike

    Well articulated Brent. There are so many ways to highlight our knowledge aquisition, including courses, seminars, workshops, online quizzes, teaching, etc, similar to the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association), using a CEU reporting system, would place the emphasis on continued education, rather than trying to prove that we can recall base level knowledge that in some cases hasn’t ever been utilized in our own specific practices. As a profession we should be empowered to grow professionally rather that prove we haven’t lost our base level skills.

    • Brent

      apparently the College sees the continuing educations credits alone is not enough to fulfill the QAP mandate…..so we need something more

      • Tanya

        Why are CEs not enough? Isn’t that how it’s done for doctors and nurses too?

  • Eric

    Perfectly articulated Brent. As a fellow Physiotherapist i feel the goal of ensuring quality within the profession and having it impact the public comes from elevating the profession and continuing education would seem to be the best alternative. I hope the college takes this criticism seriously.

  • bryce

    Well done and well written Brent, I managed to log on twice having to re do questions that did not save. I did manage to complete it rushing.. thinking I had to have it done by 9 starting 40 minutes late pissed off over booking off over 400 dollars in evening treatment revenue, and coming down to the city so my proctor could supervise the exam. I’m all for continuing education and for professionalism but feel that continuing education is a much better approach then this method which tests minimal from my area of expertise. Yes I can do total hip Rhab but I chose to refer to people that enjoy and deal with them day In and day out. With the ever new research coming out has the college changed answers to keep up with the latest evidence? Case and point at least two questions likely required the answer of applying ice to injury to get the correct set of answer where the latest review of the literature by Jenn our fellow McMaster grad concludes that ice can actually impede the healing process and should only be used for pain…….so you tell me college how should have I answered with my knowledge from current literature review or dated knowledge you likely had as the right answer.

  • Carl

    Nicely written, the only way going forward is cont end credits like the US and the UK. A bit strange that this RCA was done, did they not speak to physics to see what the best plan going forward is? Excited for my weekend 😀

    • Brent

      they did speak to physios and ran a pilot exam that I believe got poor feedback, but didn’t change the end outcome for some reason

  • Timberly

    What an unfortunate mess was made of this. In these days of technology I cannot comprehend how this would have happened, especially since a trial run of it was done last year in order to work out the bugs.

    Beyond this, I do believe in evaluating continuing competency. I don’t believe that this specific exam is the best choice but I don’t think we will all ever agree on what the best way to do it is. My opinion is that CEC credits are not enough. We can all take courses, and certainly this shows a desire to learn and to improve upon ourselves, however it does not prove that we are competent or that we are following college practice standards in how we run our practice, how we chart, and how we deal with ethical issues.

    So what is the best way? Perhaps the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy regulators needs to have a standard as currently every province has a different method. If it’s the alliance who issues the National board exams upon graduation that is standardized across the country, why are they not creating a national post-graduate competency system? Based on what other provinces are currently doing, I’m in strong favour of the Ontario college of physiotherapists and their clinic/therapist auditing system. http://Www.collegept.org/physiotherapist/QM/qualitymanagement .

    Good on you Brent, for getting this dialogue going.

    • Brent

      thanks for a constructive idea….we should all look into that

  • Catherine

    Thank you for starting this – I’ve been talking with other PTs, but haven’t publicly voiced my concerns. I agree that the QAP is useful (to a point) in updating my knowledge of the college bylaws, but a multiple choice exam where I’m not allowed to look up unknown information does not help me (or the public) in anyway. If I don’t know something, I ask someone or look it up before proceeding with treatment. We all should be taking post graduate courses, and this would serve the public / profession better.

  • EricD

    Well said. While I was not among those selected for this years test, I agree with the sentiment that this method of assessing competency is simply bogus.
    I would much prefer the college invested its time, and our money, into a system that recognized a balance between ongoing education and peer reviews of clinical competency. The college could score clinical education courses based on how well the content reflects criteria and values set out by the professional body. A peer performance review of reasonable vigour would provide a genuine learning opportunity for both the evaluee and evaluator, one in which the process may be of more value than the actual outcome.
    The current circus show of a test presents little more than smoke and mirrors to an unsuspecting public an dis truly a waste of everyone’s time.

    • Brent

      i like the idea of a peer review too….i think that is the best way to improve the profession as a whole because having poor physios out there reflects on all of us

  • Christine Nykiforuk

    I agree completely.

    Here is one of two letters I’ve sent to the College since completing the RCA exam on tuesday. The other letter pertains specifically to the content of the exam so I’m not able to share it at this point in time. I have yet to receive any communication from the College indicating they received either of my emails.

    November 4, 2015

    Dear College of Physical Therapists:

    I’m writing to feedback on my experience writing the RCA exam November 3, 2015. I’m providing my feedback in written format while the experience is reasonably fresh in mind. I understand the College has plans to formally accept feedback from registrants but as I have received no details as to when and how this will happen, I wish to send you my reflections today.

    First, with respect to the technical issues in accessing the RCA, I’m curious why the College was unprepared to respond to registrant’s emails and phone messages in a planned and systematic way? In my experience, technical issues in situations such as these are the norm rather than the exception. I felt surprised and disappointed the College was unable to provide appropriate support to registrants attempting to write the exam.

    The automatic reply being generated from the College from 6:00 to 6:30pm was signed by ‘Chris’ without a surname, position held with the College, or contact information. The advice to ‘wait a few minutes’ was neither specific nor reassuring. The phone lines were busy and when I did reach a College employee, the advice provided was vague as to how I should proceed, suggesting that at some point (maybe 7pm) the exam would likely be cancelled.

    Around 6:30pm, I was able to log in and begin the exam. Shortly after, my proctor checked the College home page only to see an alert stating the exam had been cancelled. Obviously, we both felt confused as to how to proceed. Sometime later, the message was amended to say those of us ‘in’ the exam could complete it.

    With respect to the technical issues, I wish to restate that technical issues in situations such as these are to be expected. I appreciate those issue may have beyond the immediate control of the College. However, I do not understand how the College omitted to have had an appropriate and meaningful response planned for such issues.

    Finally, I wish to express concern that the process set out by the College to ensure a ‘closed’ book exam was arduous, likely ineffective if a registrant was motivated to not follow the process, and ultimately counterproductive to a profession that hopes to foster collaboration and science based practice in its membership. When faced with unfamiliar clinical scenarios, I understand competent Physical Therapists to seek out the guidance of experienced clinicians and also consult reliable and readily available reference information. How does hosting an exam mandating registrants forfeit their access to these critical resources support clinical competency within the profession?

    • Brent

      I think the College needs to receive 3000 letters…one from each of us

  • Jonathan

    Very well written Brent and I agree wholeheartedly!

    I was scheduled to write on Tuesday myself and experienced all the difficulties you described in more. Very very frustrating!

  • Sam

    Well said. I completely agree with you.

  • Nicole Wiener

    I completely agree with all the points you made Brent. I also do feel insulted as a professional.
    I trusted the College when they notified us that the test was cancelled, and was apalled and furious when I received the last email advising the registrants who did manage to start the test to continue. Either the test was cancelled or it was not. The College cannot have it both ways.

  • Rebecca Preto

    Brent, thank you for taking the time to open this discussion. I agree that this system of ensuring our competence is not the answer. I know the college thinks it is based on their research into competency. I was affected by the exam on November 3rd as well. I felt embarrassed for our profession that such a long winded strict process (fining us for not registering by a certain date) ended with a website failing. It seemed like a joke, and this is OUR regulating body! Not sure how to move things in a different direction…lets get it moving.

  • April Campbell

    Thanks Brent. When we graduate from physio school we have an entry level degree. It is our post graduate education that makes us great physios. I believe continuing education credits is the way to go.

  • Linda B

    I totally agree with April’s comment above. I think continuing education credits (i.e. a certain number over a determined 2-3 year period) would be a great way to ensure competency.

    • Brent

      I think it is going to have to be that plus some form of assessment. The College doesn’t sound like they have been willing to negotiate on it, but hopefully we can collectively change their minds

  • Shelley cowcill

    I had the pleasure of writing it last year – and then again this year. I spent 35 min trying to log on and then did the exam only to find out later the test was cancelled. An email and a phone call did not let me know the exam was cancelled – just an email asking me to be patient and try again in a few minutes. Found the email after I had completed the exam.
    What really irritates me is that the questions are not indicative of the type of practice I do. After 19 years and lots of post grad courses I am a private practice manual therapist. I have never had a Physio assistant, I don’t do home care, I’ve not seen an amputee since I was in school – yet these were things I was tested on.
    I agree with the need to have standards, I’m even ok with writing an exam (even though I resent doing it) but the exam is not getting the info it is supposed to from the registrants.
    I really think some serious revamping needs to be done to this process.

    • Karin

      Well said, Shelley. As you, I do not work at a hospital (although a good portion of the RCA questions were acute hospital-based), I own my own completely private practice of which I am the only therapist (no physiotherapy support workers here!), I do not use electrical modalities AT ALL, and I have not seen an amputee since school! I am a manual therapist using only manual techniques and exercise to treat my clients. Although my schooling in Australia was an asset and major influence on how I practice, my competency comes from experience and ongoing education. So how is that CPTBC can convince me that the RCA tests my competence? (Just in case CPTBC is reading this…the answer is, you reasonably and legally can’t!)

    • Brent

      at the very least we have established that private practice physios and hospital physios should not be grouped into the same exam! ‘Adult musculoskeletal/ortho" is a little too broad for what we do.

  • Jan Summersides

    Thank you Brent for the well written and passionate article on the competency exam and current protocol to prove such. I am a physiotherapist with 35 years clinical experience and have prided myself on my commitment to continuing education as a means of staying current ,interested, clinically appropriate and evidenced based( which I will remind you was not a term I had heard of in my university physiotherapy degree!) My most recent post graduate course was taken Oct 3-4 of this year. I utilize state of the art laser therapy, IMS, manual therapy, peer teaching ergonomics, movement therapy, yoga, pilates and my wisdom of my 35 years in a mindful practice.In 1981 when I graduated there was no clinical competency final exam or practical and yet I continued to challenge myself through out my career as have my peers that I have worked with in numerous scenarios. We are highly educated , well respected professionals in our communities,provinces,country and globally. I think that we prove our competency daily to our patients and colleagues. The best method as most have stated above would in fact be continuing education points that can be accumulated in a variety of platforms( webcasts, courses,online leaning etc)Lets keep this dialogue alive and growing.

    • Brent

      thank you Jan…please encourage your colleagues to engage in the discussion too….we can all send them letters but we need to connect with each other to be heard

  • Jackie Kimpton

    Thank you! I agree with everything you wrote. Mandatory continuing education is the obvious way to keep ones profession vibrant. It is embarrassing that we aren’t required to do CE. I just finished the test and luckily it went smoothly for me but I can’t imagine how frustrating it must have been for the people on Tuesday night.

  • Julie

    Hi all, I just wanted to offer a different opinion regarding the RCA; as I completed the test this morning.

    I am a physiotherapist working in private practice pediatrics. I have personally taken many continuing education courses by choice to excel in my profession and to have more expertise in certain areas of my practice. I believe that this is an essential part of our practice to continue learning, and I do agree with other posts that encouragement and support from the College would be beneficial in the future regarding courses and continuing competence.

    I actually felt that the pediatric exam was very appropriate to test the competence of physiotherapists in all areas of paediatric practice.

    Although inconvenient with scheduling and preparation, I am glad that the College is testing paediatric physiotherapists on this, especially since this is somewhat of a specialty within physiotherapy practice. I understand that the situation is different with adult physiotherapy due to a wider range of specialties, however it makes me more confident in my fellow colleagues in other areas of paediatric practice that we are all being held to the same standards of competency. The test also gave some insight to critical thinking and clinical decisions that practitioners in other areas of pediatric practice have to address, which I believe was beneficial to my practice as well.

    • Brent

      that’s great Julie….I’m glad they got part of it right….have you talked with many other physios in your same position that share your stance? We have largely heard from the private ortho physios and not the hospital physios or the peds physios….it is good to have all sides considered.

  • Corine

    thank you Brent. Well said!! Just wrote the exam, the questions that were asked often had many possible answers. In real practice things are different, so I felt that I was thinking: what do they want me to answer….. It is an insult to our profession to thinking of the lowest possible standard we need to adhere to. Also if you do not know a condition or possible treatment we are intelligent enough to find out. The College thinks that we are not capable of assessing our own skill set.

    We told this to the college when they were developing their exam but they chose NOT to listen

  • steve

    Well written. I too have my reservations about the format and reasoning for this exam. I would encourage all registrants send a response to the college about this exam. Please see the letter below that I will be sending off:

    Nov. 07, 2015
    College of Physical Therapists of B.C.

    To Whom It May Concern:

    RE: RCA exam

    I recently completed the RCA exam and found it to be very confusing at times and difficult to interpret. I believe many of the questions were not very appropriate nor clear in testing for a practitioner’s competency. I challenge the College to review and revise this test and focus on basic practice questions that are not designed to trick the registrant with inappropriate wording. I found many of the questions were ambiguous and possibly redundant. While I understand practitioners must conduct themselves in a safe and professional manner, the College must work to collaborate with our professional association to implement an appropriate test that will truly be reflective of our clinical practice. This exam needs to be reflective and educational in nature to allow practitioners to learn from the experience and gain insight into their practice principles. I would like to suggest the following considerations:

    1. All necessary clinical information is readily available online. Should a practitioner have any concerns about a particular condition or test, this can be appropriately searched. We are no longer undergraduate students having to write an exam for the sake of writing. This is supposed to be educational in nature. Thus, an open book online exam would be more appropriate to test a practitioner’s ability to seek out the necessary information. Why do we have a librarian associated with the PABC to assist in researching necessary clinical information whenever it is required?

    2. Memorizing a variety of clinical tests and determining the appropriateness of when to implement this test is at the discretion of the clinician at the time of a physical exam. Active SLR, passive SLR, myotomal testing, etc. is often determined at the time of examination. If the question is not clearly stated, the clinician may choose more than one test to ensure the completeness of the exam. Asking a practitioner to choose two or three when there might be a fourth choice lacks clarity. How is this a test of either competency or patient safety?

    3. Clinical practice guidelines are available on the CPTBC website for all practitioners to review and understand. We are all licensed practitioners and must adhere to the college guidelines. This is no different than obtaining a driver’s license. Driving regulations are all available online to review when necessary. Drivers are not tested every 5 years for their competency. While I understand patient safety is of primary concern to the college, this test does not reflect a practitioner’s understanding of the college guideline to ensure patient safety but rather it is a test to see if the practitioner can be tricked into getting it wrong.

    While I understand the need for the College to examine its’ registrants, I strongly believe that this form of testing is archaic, redundant and does not reflect the wide ranging practices of its’ registrants. This exam has proven to be divisive and adversarial in nature. The College is clearly causing many registrants to be angry and upset over how this exam has been implemented and what this exam is really testing. Are we being tested on how to write an exam or for the knowledge we possess and learn?
    These exams must be constructive and collaborative in nature. We are all in this profession for the same reasons so I strongly suggest the College work with the profession together to create a more collegial atmosphere. Traditional multiple choice exams do not truly represent the clinical competency of any professional. They only test a students’ ability to write a test not the knowledge they possess or their ability to seek out the necessary information. The College may wish to take a page out of the Alberta College of Physiotherapy. I recently wrote their online exam as part of my licensing and the College encourages registrants to go online and search out the relevant information if necessary. The exam was only 2 hours long so you had to be efficient if you choose to search for any answers to questions and they even let you write it a second time if you so choose right away! Results were provided to registrants immediately so that they can learn from the experience. This is a truly positive method for registrants to gain some knowledge and ensure some level of standardization.

    Thank you for your consideration,

    • Brent

      sounds like a better option too!

  • Johnny

    Thanks Brent for taking the time to write out what a lot of us have been thinking. I totally agree that continuing education credits like the doctors do would be way more productive.
    Thanks

  • Trish

    Thank you for starting this discussion, Brent, and very well written I might add. I, like Corine above, also just completed the exam and felt that there were many possible answers to several questions, especially those testing knowledge related to acute care / post-op /hospital multidisciplinary team scenarios. I have not worked in a hospital setting for 14 years (and only did for 1 year before moving to work in busy private practice settings). Fast forward 14 years later and I am a manual therapist who focuses on identifying compensatory muscular strategies and treating mainly postural movement dysfunctions, as well as chronic back and neck pain that may result given my client’s choice of careers, involvement in tasks of a repetitive nature, former or current choices of recreational activities; all of which may have contributed to poor alignment, poor posture and resultant wear and tear of joints etc…. I do not use electrical modalities, never have a physiotherapy support worker and also have not treated an amputee client since having a 5 week clinical placement while in physio school. I have never stopped taking new courses since graduating and have elevated my practice to a level where I have become very successful as a stand-alone practitioner. My post-grad training has included manual therapy, acupuncture, IMS and a full rehabilitation certification in Clinical Pilates. The additional short courses I have taken through the years to further my knowledge are countless. Most recently, I am registered in an upcoming course in visceral therapy, which I know my clients will find very valuable when I continue to further my knowledge and hone my skills while always ensuring an integrated systems approach to my treatments. I do have to laugh, however, when I think that perhaps my potential failings on this exam in determining the exact order of steps or who to resort to first when working in a hospital setting could actually deem me as "incompetent" and alter the perception of my broad skill set and excellent capabilities as a physiotherapist. I, like many therapists who have commented before me, would strongly urge the college to re-evaluate their choice of methods of their quality assurance program. The college, and we as a united group of professionals, should be so proud to to represent such a dynamic group of highly talented and motivated practitioners. Our ongoing quest for knowledge and self-betterment makes us a unique group of professionals; highly regarded as a first line provider of superior health care to the general public.

  • Cathy Rogers

    Thank you Brent for starting this much needed discussion. I agree with so many of the posts above and am happy that you have given us another platform to voice our opinions about this exam. I have almost 15 years of experience working solely in private practice and am lucky to work in a clinic that fosters and encourages post-graduate courses, mentorship, and ongoing clinical discussion. I feel there definitely needs to be something in place to ensure ongoing competency and post-graduate training in our field but this was not the way to achieve this. A written exam with questions about the ethics of dating patients and how to properly drape patients does not test the competency of working physiotherapists. The adult orthopaedic exam I took today does not take into consideration all the amazing areas of specialty that our colleagues work in – how was the competency of the the hand therapists, pelvic floor therapists etc. tested with this exam? The system of CEU seems to be the only valid way to guarantee competency in one’s CHOSEN area of practice. I am angry with the whole process and I hope that the College is transparent with the costs of running this exam once everything is said and done. Thanks Brent!

  • Delia Fung

    Well written, Brent. Undoubtedly everyone had to make special arrangements to sit the exam. The test was not valid or specific enough to therapists’ chosen area of practice, nor was it reflective of how therapists are able to refer to other practitioners who "specialize" in certain practices. A total waste of time, and increased membership fees to "prepare" for this.

    At the end of the day, passing the test does not equal a "competent" physiotherapist.

    The administration of this test was egregious and infuriating.

  • Melanie

    As a physiotherapist who has been practicing for over 20 years, I am very impressed with Brent’s original post and many of the comments. I realize that many of my PT colleagues are sharing the same concerns and frustrations about the RCA exam that I have been feeling.
    I have read the information that the CPTBC has posted on their website about the background of the RCA and why they have chosen to use this exam format to meet the requirements of the Health Professionals Act. I simply believe there is a much better way!!
    I hope that the CPTBC will explore the following option in the future. I believe that they should consider a quality assurance program similar to that of the College of Social Workers of BC. It is a program that requires continuing education hours to be logged over a year. There are specific guidelines which can be found here: http://www.bccollegeofsocialworkers.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/CPD-Manual-Jan-2015.pdf
    Using this model would allow PT’s to chose relevant continuing education courses, self directed learning, research, group projects or a number of other opportunities which will allow physios to stay current in their chosen areas, and ultimately, BENEFIT PATIENTS!!
    I believe that the CPTBC’s RCA exam has done exactly the opposite; it has created an unhealthy stressful environment within the physio community – not to mention the personal stress on individuals and families. It has forced competent physios (many who are highly specialized) to disregard much of their current practice knowledge and revert back to simplistic and unrealistic scenarios to answer both irrelevant and impractical question.
    I cannot understand how answering questions that range from post surgical to private practice scenarios, from special tests to stair climbing, can be more RELEVANT to our practice than logging in hours for a course offered by a guru in our field of interest…
    I hope, as Brent suggests, we can truly rally together to have a voice against the RCA and for CONTINUING EDUCATION…

  • Gulzar Hallman

    I am one of the many British trained physiotherapists who were recruited by the Canadian government in the late 60’s and early 70’s because of the shortage of physiotherapists in Canada. The government paid our airfare. We’re all retiring age now but some of us continue to work part time because we enjoy it and there is a need for it.
    I only work 16 hours a week and only in Summer because I winter in Arizona. I’ve been a physiotherapist for 46 years and have worked in 6 different countries. I have my own sole charge private practice and have been running it for the past 31 years. I actually did retire 5 years ago and shut the clinic down. But when I came back from Arizona, a lot of my former patients asked if I would treat them. So I came back part time. I don’t have any doctor referral because I don’t take Work Safe or ICBC patients. Mine is strictly a private patients clinic only. And most of my patients are my former patients who know me.
    I was picked to do this exam in 2015. I didn’t feel that at this stage of my career, I needed to take an exam to prove my competency. However, I had planned on retiring completely in 2 year’s time so I asked the College if I could be deferred till 2018 by which time I would be retired. Chris, at the College, said that was not a good enough reason. So I refused to take the exam. (Thank goodness, after what I hear happened). I know that I don’t have to be registered with the College in order to continue treating patients. I just can’t call myself a "registered physiotherapist" but I am a Chartered Physiotherapist. I asked all my patients what they thought about it and they said they didn’t care. So I’m going to be one of the "charlatans" but at least I have the education and experience so the public won’t be at risk.
    I had spoken to the President of the BCMA about what the College was doing. He said that there was a discussion about exams a few years ago. But they decided against it. There are so many retired doctors who continue to do part time locums. And there are many female doctors who work part time while they raise their families. And BCMA felt that an exam would drive these doctors away and create even a bigger shortage. What makes our College think that they have better judgement than BCMA?
    I belonged to MPAA and we had to earn points every year by either teaching, research or continuing education. I think that is a much better system than an exam.
    My only question is we’re regulated by the College. Who is the College regulated by?

    • Brent

      i am sorry it has come to this for you! Good for you for standing up for yourself though….we will work to keep you part of the team!

  • Siobhan O’Connell

    Heartfelt thanks to Brent for opening up this conversation and all positive energy that will emerge.Its so exhilarating to connect with colleagues,albeit around such a stressful and frustrating issue.I wont waste your collective time reiiterating the excellent points already made here.I fall into the category of the 35 + year clinician totally affronted by this process.If the College wants to assess my competency ,they are welcome to send a rep any day to my clinic and see the evidence of my consistent effective treatment with thousands of satisfied patients.
    When this issue is cleaned up, I intend to bring to their attention a matter which I feel represents a much larger " threat " to the public and to our credibility and professionalism : I am referring to the increasing number of new graduates apprearing in and opening up private practices, without even minimal skills to effectively treat patients.In addition they have the audacity to charge rates that those of us with decades of training and experience have hard won the right to charge.I notice on several websites recently that many of them dont even state the year of their graduation. If the College wants to service its mandate to protect the public, time should be spent in ensuring quality control at this level of front end patient care.
    I look forward to our ongoing dialogues and creative solutions so those needing our care receive the very best from our profession.

  • Brent

    Not sure what is next, but please keep the conversation going….when is the next group to write? Next year?

  • Dara

    Thanks Brent!
    I appreciate that a lot of people have put in extensive time and effort developing the exam, BUT, I agree that this is not the way to determine whether a physio is competent in practice; including patient care, charting and all ethical standards, etc.
    I believe a combination of continuing education credits along with something else (ie. peer reviews, random chart audits) might be a better way of doing things.
    I don’t think we will ever get everyone on the same page, but if we could have something consistent nationally that would satisfy most people, that would be great.
    At least we are all on the same page now: NO ONE likes the current approach!
    Thanks for initiating this important discussion!

  • Jami

    Continuing education is valuable for so many reasons- competency, current knowledge, motivation, inspiration, generation of novel ideas, networking. This is the area I would support most for keeping our profession sharp, and honoring the diverse expertise we all bring in to the physio umbrella. (I work in public practice & research). I recently attended the ACRM (American College of Rehab Medicine) conference and it is truly one of the highlights of my post-graduate training- I returned with fresh knowledge of cutting edge research, evidence informed practice recommendations, new connections, a few potential projects in my area of interest, and very practical benefit for acute & rehab patients. It is clear that the education content and practice approaches in BC are at the "front of the curve" in many areas, which made me proud to be working here. One could argue that this experience was much more effective, motivating, and beneficial to patients than what others just had with the RCA.

  • Karly

    Great letter Brent. I agree whole-heartedly with your statement
    regarding the continuing education credits. I am all for the college establishing a program to ensure the integrity of our profession and the safety of the public but I feel that this can be better accomplished through the implementation of continuing education credits.

  • Todd

    Assessing professional competence across a career span is difficult to be sure. I largely agree with many of your thoughts, however don’t believe continuing ed credits are the answer. There are many continuing ed courses that are not based on evidence, or are based on a manipulated version of evidence that is designed to make the course developers money. You can have "certified college courses", but then there’s a cost associated with the college vetting these courses.
    I do agree with your assertion that an exam isn’t the answer. Many of us lose ETP skills during the course of our career in certain areas while we gain advanced knowledge in smaller domains of practice. This isn’t bad, in fact it is a natural evolution of professional across their career span. The development of an exam that would be able to assess the competencies of many mid-career professionals adequately would be difficult to design, to say the least.
    To be sure – the question of how a college should assess competence of it’s members to ensure the public’s trust in our profession is a difficult one, and we are not the only profession who has this challenge. While I certainly empathize with your experience, I’d also respectively suggest the answers aren’t as simple as continuing ed credits.

    • Brent

      I agree with you that continuing ed is not the only answer, I just think it is better and more proactive than a test. I like Peter’s suggestion below based on the UK model of having to create a learning portfolio that can be audited by the college randomly.

  • Warren

    Thank you Brent for doing this! I totally agree with all of the things you said. CPTBC answered, in one of the forums when they were asked why not require registrants to take continuing education courses, this online test is the most cost-effective way to demonstrate competence in practice. But in what sense has this become as cost-effective? Isn’t it that they should have conducted a public consultation with PT’s in BC prior to implementing this? I also work in the States and there, the state licensing boards have been requiring for many years continuing education credit hours for renewal of licenses and this practice has been very effective in building, and maintaining competence!

  • Tera

    I agree with your comments. I also agree that continuing education is an area that benefits everyone and keeps us all up to date and passionate about what we do.
    Some therapists have commented that attending courses and achieving educational credits is not a way to test competency as those attending may leave early or not engage in the content… That may be true. However, a colleague of mine suggested this idea: Learning modules that are up to date and evidence based for therapists to chose from regarding the areas they work in or the areas they don’t feel they are practicing best practice. Then a certain number of learning modules would need to be completed every 3 years and there would be a small quiz at the end of the module to ensure that the therapist has gone through the material.
    I love this idea as we all want to continue to learn and be up to date regarding best practice. However, I do not live in the lower mainland which is where most courses are so it is more difficult to attend. Courses could be condensed into learning modules that are accessible to everyone. I think this would be a much better way for the College to spend our money and to test competency.

  • Peter

    Thanks Brent for starting this and your helpful comments.

    Some very interesting comments from others as well. What we have to realize is we do need some form of ‘policing’ of the work we do as physiotherapists. Yes you are right, an online test goes nowhere to establish competency.

    BUT, neither do education credits. Anyone can sit through a weekends course but that still does not establish what you learnt, nor assesses you ability to apply this knowledge into your day to day clinical practice. This is the key. All the education credits in the world doesn’t mean you are a better physio!

    In the UK, all therapists are required to keep a continuing professional development portfolio. Within this are documented courses you went on, but more than this, you document papers you have read, conversations with surgeons (if you learnt something of course) and any other health professional. You then have to state how you have applied this in to your clinical practice in order to ‘make a difference’. A percentage of these portfolios are checked every year to establish whether you are still ‘on top of your game’!

    This makes far more sense personally, as my specialty for the past 20 years is hand therapy. I can therefore prove I am competent within my field of practice, and not have to justify my existence by answering a question on how to rehab an ACL!

    Anyway, you get my point. Good luck to all of us!

    • Brent

      I agree with you! Thanks for sharing

  • Raj

    Thanks Brent for starting such a lively discussion. You may have heard from the college lately that the CPTBC has made everyone of the physios as competent who have registered for the RCA exam this year and will not need to appear for any make up exam. This include who were not even able to log in and attempt the exam. What kind of message this gives about the validity of the exam process. I think the CPTBC should scrap the whole exam process and find a different way of testing the competency in futre.

    • Brent

      yes I saw that…hopefully we have it changed within the next six years before I have to do it again! Send the college a letter with how you feel!

      • Gulzar Hallman

        That’s strange. I got a letter from the College informing me that everyone who was registered to take the exam, but couldn’t because of technical problems, were to take them again and given 2 dates in November. I was given a choice of taking them if I wished. I said no thank you.
        If they are going to give automatic registration, maybe they should give it to me too.

  • MArilyn

    Thank you for this. I was one of the lucky ones that doesn’t have to write it until 2018 but I echo your sentiments! I think as professionals if there is something we don’t know or can’t remember we would generally look things up or ask a more senior therapist! I do feel this compentancy exam is a slap in the face and like you said does nothing to prove my ability to work in a safe, knowledgeable and appropriate level with my patients. I hope this post goes "viral" and causes a change. Thank you !

  • Craig

    Thanks for starting the discussion. I successfully completed the RCA and felt much the same way as many of the others who have commented – how does this demonstrate competency? If I don’t know something in my practice I look it up or seek advice of my peers. I certainly don’t rely on my memory from university 21 years ago. I work in public health in Occupational Health and Safety. It was very much fitting a square peg into a round hole in having to select Adult Musckuloskeletal as my practice area.

    I also think the Board’s response to the issue is totally mystifying. By giving everyone who registered for the exam a pass for the next 6 years it totally devalues the RCA. If the goal was to "demonstrate" competency how has the act of registering for it alone done this? As much as the RCA itself it questionable, if they had any belief it it then those who were unable to complete should of been offered retest dates.

  • barb

    Thank you for starting this discussion. I agree that the RCA is not the most effective way to show competency. I used to live and practice physio in NZ recently and their system required everyone to keep a professional practice portfolio that included various CME, professional growth, and career development aspects. This system was also brought out to satisfy the requirements of a new law/act. I thought a very good system to do so.

  • lesley schwab

    Well done Brent! Bravo! With an email like mine,well that tells you I’ve been a physiotherapist for sometime. In fact so long that I have watched the college go through this process of developing a Quality Assurance program over and over again. In fact, a lot of the suggestions people are giving I remember the college trialling. My favourite was the self reporting binder, which still sits in the corner of my office collecting dusk (a huge binder awaiting to be filled with documents yet to be sent). Can I throw it out now?
    I’m afraid I am about to retire and I have been watching this fiasco for far too long. For more than 25 years I have had to answer to my colleagues when asked about my professions QA program ," well,they are working on it". I guess I will leave the profession saying exactly the same thing. An exam is NOT the answer. The college has a job to protect the public so its role is to make sure we provide safe practises not to monitor our level of knowledge. As we specialize this is an impossible task. How do we examine our administrators, our very specialized therapists( eg. hands only). For our professions sake Brent, I hope something is in place before you retire! Maybe we don’t need to re- invent the wheel but follow what has worked for other comparable professions in the past.

  • Mark

    This blog and subsequent comments is quite a relief to see. For a while I wondered if I was the only physio who had these views. I feel a weight slightly lifted from my frustrated shoulders. It is great to know that other physiotherapists think that that exam is ridiculous and serves no purpose. An exam of this type does nothing to measure whether we are keeping up with current evidence. It devalues our services and will lead to a culture in physiotherapy that does not value continuous professional develop. When I graduated I had been prepared for and looked forward to life committed to life long learning. It was drummed into me to keep up to date with the latest research, to at least attempt to be evidence based. In fact I love doing so. Physios generally love doing so! We love learning, and we love putting all the new things we learn into immediate practice. It is our passion and as a profession we are amazing at it. So why not record our courses with points that prove our commitment. The exam will just negate the accountability to participate in courses and I fear pretty quickly we will be a profession synonymous with quackery. I find this upsetting. We have to separate ourselves from the rest!

  • Angela R.

    Thank you Brent,
    you have solidarity in the responses now its time for the college to openly respond to its membership who are outraged and insulted by this seriously flawed process.
    I was profiled as a high risk member due to age and country of education as well as living in a remote community.This was the same year as my professional portfolio, after being screened by UBC faculty of medicine, was deemed suitable for the dept of Physical Therapy clinical faculty associate membership!
    I gave feed back to CPTBC after taking the pilot exam with no response they were only interested in the IT access which clearly didnt stand the test!. I had concerns with the quality of the the questions both in relevance and syntax over and above the academic evidence supporting the answers.They were clearly written by a naive front line group of people wanting to prove their own novel and outdated knowledge. I took adult neurology/paediatrics covering 2 areas which invalidated their analysis and got no personal feed back on my exam results. I I heard that UBC offered to assist in developing a better process but were ignored. No more to be said it is time for you younger smarter and skilfull therapists as well as those of us near retirement demand that the college review this non productive process and take an open and professional approach to developing a robust and respected method of competence and accountability.This requires a subcommittee dedicated to the task and nominated by the membership not appointed by the board. Our professional standing in this province requires action and we will pull together to attain this.

  • Idowu

    I am so surprised that at this age, the only way the COLLEGE OF PHYSICAL THERAPIST OF BC think she can continue to ensure the quality of physiotherapist in BC is through an exam when some third world/developing countries have even moved away from that. I strongly believed that by encouraging therapist to engage and participate in CME, update courses, credit courses, and career development will not only ensure the quality of services and care provided I think it would open the door for research opportunities, encourage employers to sponsor more physiotherapist for CME and update courses which is what is happening in some third world/developing countries. I think the college can do better than asking people to write exams. Don`t make it seems as if we really don`t have men and women who are passionate about the growth and development of this profession

  • carly

    I completely agree with this well put piece. I was one of the unlucky ones that wasted an entire night doing the exam late and all for nothing. Something needs to change here this is not right!

  • Dieter Beisel

    Finally !
    After many months of frustration about the RCA I am so happy that finally we speak as one voice:
    During the College’s info session in our region I stood up and openly challenged them on the many flaws of the RCA .(You all have named them repeatedly ). It was clear they did not want to hear any criticism at all -constructive as it was,but instead just flew up to congratulate each other on how brilliant this exam would be to test physiotherapist’s competency .I left the event extremely frustrated and angry.To be fair I will also say that I have spoken with Chris Smerden on several occasions and found her to be helpful and courteous.Nonetheless writing this exam only confirmed that it is NOT a tool to gauge -or establish continuing competency.It is offensive and flawed.It is time to stand together as a group of skilled health professionals and send the College a strongly worded message.Let’s make sure they hear us loud and clear !
    Dieter

  • Gulzar Hallman

    Did all the physios, registered to take the RCA on 3rd November, had to take it again on 7th November? Only I’m getting 2 messages here. I understood that due to the technical glitch, the College has accepted all of them and given them automatic registration, without having to take them again.
    Yet I got a letter from the College asking me to take it on the 7th November, together with all those who missed it.
    Could somebody please explain to me what really happened.

    • Brent

      as far as I understand, if you were registered to take it this sitting they have given everyone an automatic pass…..so you shouldn’t have to worry about the test for a number of years and hopefully we will have gotten rid of it by then!

  • Brent

    I just sent this to Brenda Hudson at the College:

    Hi Brenda

    I just wanted to touch base with you about this RCA exam issue. I have filled out all the feedback forms and emailed with Chris, but I would like to hear from you. A few nights after I wrote the exam and had it not work I wrote the following article on my website http://whythingshurt.com/blog/post/99/BC-Physiotherapists-Rally-Together-to-Have-a-Voice/

    I was frustrated by the whole thing and so was every other physio I talked to whether they had to write the test or not….everyone seems to feel offended by this test….especially the more experienced physios. It has really created a bitterness in our community towards you guys. There have been about 70 lengthy heartfelt comments on my article and I have received phone calls from physios around the province thanking me for speaking up. I run a private clinic and work in the Diamond building beside VGH so I am exposed to hospital physios as well….the sentiment against this test seems to be shared by us all.

    I/we would like to hear from you about our concerns before the end of the year. Please do not just ignore the fact that most of your registrants disagree with what you are currently having us do. I will wait for your response before we arrange an official petition against the test. There are some good suggestions in the comments of my blog on other options. Please speak out to the registrants and engage us in fixing this because there are a lot of angry people out there.

    Thank you

  • Dieter Beisel

    Brent, letting the College know how we feel about the RCA is especially timely since PABC’s latest email.
    I will personally call them on their position re. RCA –or should I say lack thereof as soon as the new C.E.O takes over.
    Speaking up for our profession and representing membership is not only PABC"s obligation,but the very reason for having a professional association.An association that does not do that fails their membership.I will closely monitor their next moves prior to renewing my membership.
    Keep up the good work. Thanks !
    Dieter

    • Brent

      The association has tried and got no where on this issue so it’s time we try. I have a meeting with Brenda and the chair of the board at the end of January if you would like to come down and attend with me!

      • Dieter Beisel

        Hi Brent,
        I am in Quesnel,but will consider it.You should not have to do this by Yourself,so if I cannot make it perhaps someone else can.
        Dieter

        • Brent

          don’t worry about it….I am not alone….there are plenty of physios here that can come….you just seemed particularly passionate about it so I thought I would put it out there

          • Dieter Beisel

            Brent,
            indeed I am,so let me know the date of the meeting.How many of us should attend ?
            Dieter

          • Brent

            Jan 27th at 4pm….I think 2-4 physios would be good. We planned for just me, but I will bring a few with me.

  • Chris Smerdon

    A few people have asked me if the College is aware of this blog, and yes, we are. Thank you, Brent, for creating a place where physical therapists can provide their opinions. If you have questions or comments about the RCA, or any other aspect of the Quality Assurance Program, I encourage you to consult the College website for information and to contact the College directly at qap@cptbc.org.

  • Gulzar Hallman

    To Chris Smerdon and Brenda Hudson. Within the College, the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. I refused to take the RCA and you all know why. When you grandfathered everyone due to technical glitches, I asked if I could be included. I was told no by someone and then I received an e mail for renewal of my registration for 2016. I suggest you need better communications within the College itself.
    Maybe this very unpopular RCA was pushed through because of lack of communications as well. Did you really really vamp this out before pushing it on to us?

    • T

      you should not get a free pass that would infuriate many of us that did it and did not refuse to do it because you did not study and you did not invest the time we did.

      • Gulzar Hallman

        Don’t worry T. The registration is not that important to me. I couldn’t care less about it. I’m 69 years old and planned on retiring at 70. I wouldn’t take it if it was presented to me on a silver platter. I fully intend on working next summer without registration. As long as I don’t call myself a "registered physiotherapist" there is nothing illegal about it.

  • Yvette

    Thank you Brent for having a place to hear ideas and concerns about the RCA from physiotherapists from all sectors. I just came across this blog by accident while visiting the PABC website. I have been working as PT in the public- community sector – pediatrics for over 25 years. I was very disappointed with the RCA as the questions did only minimally reflect the type of practice I dedicated my carrier to. I agree with what has been already numerously repeated by others in your blog. I am happy that one of the private PTs in pediatric found the assessment helpful but not all pediatric therapists share the experience. If you would like to have a pediatric representation at your meeting with the college I will be happy to join you. Thank you again!

    • Brent

      thanks Yvette…yes if you are able to come, you would be a good addition to our group. I believe I posted my email on the PABC forum….please email me about it and I can give you the details.

      thanks

      • Mari-Anne

        Thank you Yvette, for representing our group!

  • Shannon

    I will add my thank you’s Brent for your work in dealing with the College with regards to the RCA. I too, was extremely disappointed with the tool they developed and the whole experience of writing this exam. This disappointment was highlighted by the College’s decision to give all that merely registered, a pass. No further requirements for 6 years!!! Incredible! It is clear from this decision that even the College doesn’t put any strength in the test they developed! If it’s enough to simply register for the exam, what about the people taking the 2018 exam? Shouldn’t simply registering for this exam be enough for them as well?! Either have faith in the tool you have developed and make everyone write the exam (regardless of the unfortunate technical glitch) or fall on your sword, tell us the RCA was a failure and develop a new way of ensuring competency. At the very least….be consistent and make sense!!!

  • Sharon

    I totally agree that CE should be the way to go. This would enable us to chart our own career path regarding specializing if so wished. Many of us are specialized, and a general exam would not accurately rate our competency. As well, not fair for the ones who have to take it in 2018. Perhaps they should be allowed to just register and be granted a "pass" as well, as Shannon suggested.

  • Brent

    Well things are still happening….

    I have arranged for Dieter and Yvette (see comments above) to come with me on January 27th to meet Brenda Hudson, the chair of the board and the vice chair of the board.

    I am also meeting today with Kevin and Jason from the PABC to get their perspective on the RCA situation. I will update everyone in early February with the results of our meetings….please sign up above form the email list if you haven’t.

    thanks

  • Tracy Barber

    I’m late to the party but concur with pretty much all the sentiments expressed above. Some of the questions were confusing, repetitive and in no way proved competency.
    Brent, thank you for starting the process. If you still need another body for the 27th let me know and I will block of my patient schedule that afternoon.

    • Brent

      thanks Tracy but I have two people coming with me. What I need now is to get all 3000 physio’s in the province email address. If you haven’t please add your name to the email list in the post. I will be sending an email out with some new info tonight so please read it and pass it on to other physios if you can.

      thanks!

  • Lou

    I was one of the pilot test writers and at the end of writing was left shocked at how much it didn’t test my competence. As a practising physiotherapist in the area of neuromotor paediatric rehabilitation for the past 25 years, answering questions about treatment of acute sports injury and acute respiratory conditions do not test my ability to perform safely in my specialty area. I have spoken to the college at repeatedly about the blatant discrimination against paediatric physiotherapists who are tested on all three subspecialty areas compared to physiotherapists who treat adults and are able to choose one area,(although after reading this blog I see the exam was problematic for those physiotherapists as well) and I was told because there are so few of us, an exam broken down into the subspecialties would not be valid. So, instead of creating a tool that assesses our competency they insist on using a tool they recognize as being unfair. Of interest, a well respected lawyer I hired agreed the college is standing on thin ice with respect to this issue. It is my hope that your conversation with the college will help them to realize the test as it now stands is not doing what it was meant to do. And hopefully they will not use it 2018, as it still has not been proven to be valid, ( after pilot test it was not validated due to too few candidates tested, and because of the technical difficulties of the 2015 test it continues to remain unvalidated! )

  • Lynn

    Brent, again Thankyou for spearheading this. I am really appalled to read your blog again
    Mtoday and learn that merely registering to write the RCA, qualifies a registrant to pass. Ridiculous. Wish you and Yvette and colleagues well in your upcoming meeting with the College.

  • Kim

    I’m chiming in at the last minute – but wanted to say thank you for representing the BC physios who have concern with the RCA and it’s validity for proving competency. I echo how you feel in your well articulated article. I also wrote the exam on Nov. 3. in the area of Pediatrics. So many of the above comments capture my deep frustration with the content of the exam. I believe some questions were difficult to interpret and unclear, other case examples I simply don’t have experience seeing in my practice as a rural community pediatric physiotherapist (e.g. acute respiratory cases, earthquake protocols for students in school). This is not a determination of my competency in my area of practice. While I think there is great learning opportunity in seeing these case studies and scenarios, a closed book exam is not determinant of competency. I think a competent physio would actively seek out information on an ongoing basis through our practice: researching, continuing ed, liasing with colleagues etc. An open book exam may be more telling of our competency; are we resourceful enough to find the answers we need if we don’t have experience in an area? As others have mentioned above, I feel the Annual Self Report, Continuing Ed. credits, peer reviews, chart audits are better ways of attempting to prove our competency.

  • Phil Sweeney

    As Chair of the Board of CPTBC, I would like to thank Brent, Yvette and Dieter for taking time out of their busy schedules to meet with us last night. We had a lively conversation where many good points were raised. The College has welcomed the opportunity to discuss the Quality Assurance Program (QAP) first hand with Brent, Yvette and Dieter, and hear the concerns of our colleagues. We thank all those who have contributed in the form of comments and communications with Brent.

    As we continue to review and develop the program, more information will be available regarding the QAP’s origins, rationale, future directions and evolution. This information will be available online at http://cptbc.org/quality-assurance-program/, in newsletters and via email communications.

    Like any program in development, changes do occur and your constructive input is valuable and welcome. I encourage any registrant who is interested to get involved and participate in the ongoing evolution of the QAP. To volunteer, please contact Brenda_Hudson@cptbc.org for more information on available opportunities and nomination procedures.

  • Taryn Silver

    And here we are in 2018 with a repeat performance.

    • I know! We had four physios at my clinic all lined up to write it. I’m starting to get the emails rolling in! Lots of grumpy physios out there again, hopefully something can come from it this time!

  • Jane Waite

    RCA is an artificial assessment of competency.
    Contined medical education points is a better way. Allows for physio growth in the field of their choice.

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