If you were internationally educated in family medicine in a country other than Australia, Ireland, the United States or United Kingdom, you will be required to complete the SIPPA program. Click on any one of the headings below to see answers to some commonly asked questions regarding SIPPA.
I am an IMG, should I complete the pre-screen checklist?
Physicians pursuing the SIPPA program must fill out the licensure pre-screening check list and upload it to your My saskdocs profile. A saskdocs recruiter will evaluate your pre-screen checklist and contact you by email.
The purpose of the licensure pre-screen checklist is to help you review whether or not you will meet the eligibility criteria for licensure prior to having to commit a fee for the official ruling.
Is there a deadline to complete the pre-screen checklist?
No. Pre-screen checklists are accepted throughout the year.
What do I do with my completed licensure pre-screen checklist?
Please create a profile on this website and upload it in your profile. Please do not send this directly to CPSS as they will not review it.
Is there a deadline to qualify for a SIPPA iteration?
SIPPA is offered three times per year – winter, spring and fall usually in January, May and September. While there are no official deadlines, it is recommended that you begin the pre-screen process and that you provide completed documentation throughout the process.
What happens after I submit the licensure pre-screen checklist?
Once you meet all of the pre-screen licensure requirements your completed licensure pre-screen checklist will be submitted by saskdocs to the CPSS (you will be copied on this correspondence). At that time we will advise you to complete the Application for Medical Registration (AMR) form and pay the CPSS assessment fee.
How many internationally educated physicians will be assessed through SIPPA?
The number of physicians assessed in each iteration varies. The target number for each iteration is 12.
How will candidates be selected for the SIPPA program?
A selection committee will review the professional qualifications and select candidates for an interview for selection into SIPPA and a practice opportunity.
Where can I find more information about SIPPA?
You can find more information by visiting the SIPPA/U of S website.
Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I
I have not written the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I (MCCQE1), should I write it? Where can I find out more?
Yes, all international medical graduates pursuing the SIPPA program, who would like to be considered for licensure in Saskatchewan must write and pass the MCCQE1.
Is there an expiry date on the MCCQE1?
Are any internationally educated physicians exempt from writing the MCCQE1?
No, all internationally educated physicians (IMG) pursuing SIPPA must pass the MCCQE1 before CPSS will review their eligibility review form. This includes those with USLME 1,2,3.
Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part II
EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 2017 - Candidates must pass either the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exam Part 2 (MCCQE2) or National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Objective Structures Clinical Examination (OSCE) taken after 2013 with a grade of 75 or 414 or greater. The accepted score for examinations written on or after September 2020, will be “pass with superior performance”. A “pass” standing will not meet minimum eligibility requirements.
I do not have the minimum number of weeks of post-graduate training. Will I still be considered for a medical license?
Saskatchewan licensing requirements require you have at least 8 weeks of formal post-graduate training from an approved university affiliated program in each of General Surgery, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine and Obstetrics/Gynecology as well as training in Psychiatry.
If you are deficient in some of the rotations and you can prove that you have experience practicing in the area of deficiency as an independently practicing family physician the College may accept this experience in lieu of training.
I do not have post graduate training, but I have completed an internship, does that count?
Depending on which country you come from the terminology may be different. As long as you have successfully completed post-graduate, internship or residency training and have a Certificate of Completion of your training, you may be eligible for registration.
Please note that any training under 24 months in length will require a minimum of 3 years independent family practice experience as the most responsible physician for your patients.
Will community experience or observerships count towards the post-graduate (rotation) training requirements?
No, the CPSS does not recognize community experience or observerships as post-graduate training.
What documentation do I need to confirm my postgraduate rotations?
You will be required to provide internship or postgraduate training documentation that confirms a minimum of 8 weeks of rotations in General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology and Pediatrics. Candidates are also required to have post-graduate training in psychiatry.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons will advise you on the type of documentation after they assess your information provided in the Eligibility Review Form.
English Language Proficiency
I have not taken the IELTS English language proficiency exam, should I?
As stated on the licensure prescreen checklist, the only candidates that are exempt from passing the IELTS English language proficiency exam are those whose medical education and patient care experience were in one of the following countries that have English as a first and native language:
Australia, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America, US Virgin Islands and the Caribbean Islands of: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Grenadines, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobego.
If you did not take your medical education in one of the above mentioned countries you must take the Academic IETLS (minimum mark of 7.0 in each component) to be considered for licensure in Saskatchewan.
Is there an expiry date on my English language proficiency test?
The English language proficiency exam expires after 2 years.
At what point in time will the English proficiency be assessed?
You must keep your IETLS current and up to date until the time that your application for license is granted by CPSS. CPSS will not issue you a license until you are selected for and are entering SIPPA.
Is any other evidence accepted as proof of English proficiency?
No, the IELTS is required by Canadian Medical Regulatory Authorities including the CPSS.
I was born and raised in Canada. I received my medical education from a country that is not granted an exemption from the English language proficiency test. Do I need to write the IETLS?
Yes, CPSS requires that all International Medical Graduates comply with the language proficiency requirements, so you must write and pass the IETLS examination.
Why do I need to submit my documentation to the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) Physician Credentials Repository?
To ensure public safety, the Canadian Medical Regulatory Authorities including the CPSS utilize the services of the MCC Physician Credentials Repository for source verification of undergraduate and postgraduate documents.
Once you set up an account on the MCC's online system, physiciansapply.ca, you can submit requests for source verification of medical credentials and share your document verification with multiple jurisdictions which means you only need to have your documents verified once.
What documents should I submit to the MCC Physician Credentials Repository?
All documents must be translated into English and you must submit:
1. your medical school transcripts;
2. the English translation of your medical school transcripts (if necessary);
3. your medical degree;
4. the English translation of your medical degree (if necessary);
5. your certificate of completion of training and/or your internship certificate to provide details of your rotations; and
6. the English translation of your internship certificate or post graduate certificate of completion of training (if necessary).
Click here for more information about the MCC Physician Credentials Repository.
Currency of Practice
I do not meet the Currency of Practice requirement. What are my options? Can I return to practice medicine where I hold a medical license to meet this requirement?
CPSS requires that all applicants demonstrate that they have been in active independent family practice during the last three years. You require independent practice as a family physician in the last three years with a minimum of three months full-time family practice.
You need to consider that you may be competing with other applicants for a limited number of seats and that a longer period of recent practice as a family physician may impact your opportunities for selection for SIPPA.
Applicants who have completed a residency/postgraduate training program less than 24 months in length require a minimum of 3 years independent family practice experience as the most responsible physician for your patients.
Active independent family physician means the physician has been practicing independently as the patient’s Most Responsible Physician. This means the physician is authorized to diagnose, plan, implement, manage and follow up with plan for treatment for a patient as well order medications and diagnostic procedures. Arrangements that do not qualify include volunteer positions if the physician is not the most responsible physician, assist work, observerships and preceptorships.
I was born and raised in Canada but completed my undergraduate medical and postgraduate training abroad. Do I need to meet the currency of practice requirement, or can I come home after finishing my studies to start practice in Saskatchewan?
At the present time, CPSS has indicated that all physicians who trained abroad must meet the currency of practice requirements.
At what point in time will my currency of practice be assessed?
You must keep all requirements including your currency of practice current and up to date until the time that your application for license is granted by CPSS and you begin SIPPA. CPSS will not issue you a license until you have started SIPPA.
Does my currency of practice have to be consecutive or is intermittent practice allowed?
CPSS will be assessing currency of practice. If you indicate that you meet currency of practice requirements on the licensure pre-screening checklist the College will verify this information when it receives your completed Eligibility Review Document and completes the eligibility review process.
Licensure and Employment
If I meet all of the pre-screen qualifications am I guaranteed a medical license in Saskatchewan?
No, successfully completing the licensure pre-screen checklist does not guarantee you will be eligible for a medical license in Saskatchewan. Completion of the licensure pre-screen checklist means you can now make a formal application to the CPSS for assessment of your Eligibility for Licensure. You will be required to pay an assessment fee to have your credentials reviewed.
Why do I need to complete SIPPA if the CPSS has indicated I am eligible for licensure?
In order to ensure all physicians practicing in Saskatchewan meet the same standard of care, most international medical graduates seeking to practice in Saskatchewan are required to complete SIPPA.
Feedback from past SIPPA has been very positive and has helped those physicians better adapt to their new practice environment.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan (CPSS) along with other Canadian Medical Regulatory Authorities is moving to align with the national registration standards that are currently under development. National Registration requirements require a pre-licensure assessment.
Am I guaranteed a seat in SIPPA if CPSS gives me a ruling that I am eligible for licensure?
No, entry into SIPPA is a competitive process.
What can I do to expedite the process of the eligibility review with CPSS?
Once you have received confirmation to complete the CPSS eligibility review form, some tips when filling out the eligibility review are:
- Ensure when opening up your PCRC account that you provide access to CPSS to review your documents.
- Provide that your IELTS examination copies are sent to CPSS directly from the testing center.
- Make sure that you account for any gaps in your medical training/practice. All gaps in your information must be accounted for from the time you enter medical school until the date you submit your eligibility review to the College. Typical gaps in education or practice may include maternity leave, relocating to Canada, etc.
The CPSS declines to accept incomplete documents.
I am working with a third party/private recruitment agency. Does the process charge for me?
The third party agencies may provide you with assistance while you work to meet the requirements. Once you meet all of the requirements the third party agency will then work directly with employers (clinic/regional health authority) who may be interested in hiring you and paying the placement fee.
The employer will then assess your prescreen and support your application to CPSS.
saskdocs is not able to support candidates that are working with third party agencies – as we are unable to confirm your employment prior to submission of the eligibility review application to CPSS.
What does it mean to be a Permanent Resident Card holder?
Canadian citizens, Canadian permanent residents and those with authorization (i.e. work permit) issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada are legally entitled to work in Canada.
How will saskdocs know the status of my application to CPSS?
When you send your eligibility review form to the CPSS we ask that you copy your recruiter on this correspondence. The CPSS will copy saskdocs on the provisional/final letter(s) of ruling that they send to you. CPSS will inform saskdocs when they determine that you may be eligible for license. saskdocs will then contact you to help you find the perfect job for you.
What kind of license will I have while in SIPPA?
Once you enter into SIPPA you are given an educational license. If you are successful and complete the Centralized Assessment and the Clinical Field Assessment in SIPPA, you will be given a provisional license. The provisional license permits you to practice under supervision while completing the requirements for a more enduring form of licensure. IMGs have 2 pathways to obtain an enduring form of licensure:
1. Complete exams of the Medical Council of Canada (MCCQE1 & MCCQE2) and CFPC. The College will then issue a full license;
2. Successfully complete a summative assessment. Success in the summative assessment will result in an enduring form of licensure. The College of Physicians and Surgeons will provide additional information at the time that the educational license is issued for participation in SIPPA.
All processes and requirements are subject to change during the transition to national registration standards.
When and how do I start looking for a position in Saskatchewan?
As the vacancies in the province change frequently we encourage SIPPA candidates not to apply for positions as the licensing process and selection for SIPPA can take some time. saskdocs will work with you throughout the licensing process and will work with you to find a position in Saskatchewan that suits your professional and personal goals based on the opportunities available at the time you are selected for SIPPA.
Candidates interested in the SIPPA program and practicing in Saskatchewan should be aware that at this time physicians are placed in positions in rural Saskatchewan communities as this is where the critical need exists. Typically physicians are not placed in positions in the cities of Saskatoon or Regina to complete the SIPPA Return of Service.
Information about physician vacancies in Saskatchewan can be found at http://www.saskdocs.ca/work