January 25, 2020
NAC Examination Eligibility Changes as of the March 2018 Session
The MCC is making changes to its examination program in 2018 and 2019 to reflect the reality of medical practice and the current health-care needs of Canadians. As part of this transition, the NAC Examination eligibility criteria are changing to provide candidates with more flexibility and enhanced access to the examination. The following changes will be introduced with the March 2018 session:
- MCCEE will no longer be an eligibility requirement to apply to the NAC exam
- International medical students and graduates will no longer be required to pass the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE) before they can apply to the NAC exam. Eligible candidates will be able to challenge the NAC exam first – or the MCCEE – in the order that they prefer or even in the same month.
- Candidates will be able to retake the NAC Examination if they have a pass (or fail) result, for up to three attempts in all.
- Previously, only candidates who had failed the exam could retake it. Now, candidates with a pass will also be able to retake it. The candidate’s latest result will be the only valid result and will not expire.
- Candidates retaking the exam will have to skip a session before reapplying. For example, a candidate taking the September 2018 NAC exam will be able to retake the exam, at the earliest, in September 2019, skipping the March 2019 session.
This change will be applied moving forward starting with those taking the March 2018 session. As the criteria come into effect, candidates taking the September 2017 exam will be able to retake it, if they so choose, in March 2018.
International medical students may take the NAC exam within 12 months of their anticipated date of graduation
Previously, students could challenge the NAC exam in September of their final medical school year, further to passing the MCCEE.
The NAC exam may now be the first assessment that international medical students challenge, instead of the MCCEE. As such, the requirement of taking the NAC exam at the earliest within 12 months of the anticipated date of graduation was made explicit in the exam’s regulations.
This requirement does not apply to medical graduates (i.e., those who have already obtained their medical diploma), who may apply for the exam at any time as they have already completed their medical degree.
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