Accumulating MOC credits in Section 3: Assessment – many ways to earn and a vital component of learning in practice

One of the most common questions raised by physicians is “Why is assessment of performance so important to learning in practice?” Here are three reasons:

  1. The first reason is based on the numerous studies establishing the critical role of feedback in identifying areas where our competence or performance can be improved. Basing future learning activities on an assessment of “how we are doing in practice” identifies needs that are directly relevant to our roles and responsibilities.
  2. The second reason relates to the continuing professional development (CPD) research literature on self-assessment. The work of Eva and Regehr (2005) has identified numerous concerns or flaws to how self-assessment has been conceptualized and operationalized within CPD and the systematic review by Davis et al. (2006) concluded that the accuracy of physicians’ self-evaluation in comparison to external measures of performance across multiple domains was poorly performed. Physicians who were performing well, underestimated their performance and the greatest inaccuracy was among physicians who were the least skilled and most confident.
  3. The third reason is that assessment is an increasing expectation of the profession for the privilege of professional self-regulation. Since 2007, the implementation of Physician Revalidation programs across multiple Canadian provinces required licensed physicians to “participate in a recognized [CPD process] in which they demonstrate their commitment to continued competence performance” in their practice.

Integrate assessment into your learning plan
Various examples of Section 3 activities

  • Do you live in Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia or another province that has the Physician Achievement Review (PAR) program? Doing a PAR assessment counts for three credits per hour in Section 3 for the time you spend reviewing and reflecting on your data.
  • Have you participated in a peer review of your practice? Many provincial peer review programs (such as the Physician Evaluation Program in Saskatchewan and the Peer Assessment program in Ontario) qualify you for credits under Section 3.
  • Do you teach? Reviewing your annual teaching evaluations counts for the time you spend reviewing and reflecting on your data and getting peer feedback (this includes assessments you receive over the year for teaching medical students, residents or practising physicians in formal CME settings).
  • Do you participate in a performance appraisal, 360° assessment or any other types of workplace assessment related to practice domains including communication, leadership or managerial ability? The time you spend reviewing and reflecting on your data counts for Section 3 credits.
  • Do you write peer-reviewed journal articles? The time spent reviewing the feedback you receive from your peers counts in Section 3 for three credits per hour.
  • Do you conduct chart audits or other practice performance-based assessments? That can also be claimed under Section 3.
  • The Royal College has several accredited self-assessment programs that are free. The Bioethics modules are available on the Royal College website and since they address ethics in medicine, they are applicable to anyone.
  • The Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) also has accredited medico-legal self-assessment programs available on their website.



- last updated December 2014 -