The Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors (CAGC) is committed to ensuring that individuals seeking genetic counselling services in Canada are receiving these services from an individual with a high level of competency. The process of certification and recertification has been adopted by most professional organizations as a mechanism for assessing and maintaining the knowledge and skills of its practitioners.
The CAGC certification process consists of a certification exam, which is offered on a bi-annual basis. Eligible candidates must demonstrate that they have been significantly involved in the evaluation and counselling of patients seeking genetic information and that they have the experience and expertise that is attributed to genetic counsellors. The CAGC Knowledge-Based Competencies is the basis for CAGC Certification Board exam questions.
Eligible candidates may apply through one of five pathways:
1. Pathway A:
Candidates who are graduates of a Masters program in Genetic Counselling accredited by the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) or its successor organization, the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC), or candidates who will have graduated from an ABGC/ACGC accredited program by June 1st of the exam year.
2. Pathway B (Special Consideration):
Candidates who are graduates of a Masters program in Genetic Counselling that is not ABGC/ACGC accredited may request Special Consideration. This includes students who will have graduated from one of these programs by June 1st of the exam year.
3. *NEW for 2017 exam cycle* Pathway C (Pre-approved Canadian Programs):
Candidates who are graduates of a Masters program in Genetic Counselling at a Canadian university that is not ABGC/ACGC accredited may request Special Consideration. The program must have pre-approved status from the CAGC for their graduates to apply through Pathway C. This pathway includes students who will have graduated from one of these programs by June 1stof the exam year.
Candidates who were unsuccessful or deferred in the last exam cycle and are applying to re-write the exam.
5. Recertification by examination:
Certified counsellors choosing to recertify by writing the examination instead of collecting Continuing Practice Credits (CPCs) and Continuing Education Credits (CECs) will be required to pass the Certification Board examination before their certification expires. (See Recertification Protocol).
Candidates are responsible for completing the correct application forms in order to be considered. Detailed information regarding the application requirements for each pathway can be found in the Certification Handbook. Please note that there have been changes to the logbook requirements for Pathway A applicants. Please review the Certification Handbook closely to determine if you require a logbook.
The CAGC Knowledge-Based Competencies is the basis for exam questions for the certification process.
2017 Examination Details
The date of the next Certification Examination will be available in early 2017. It is typically held in the Fall, in close timing to the CAGC Annual Education Conference.
Application Deadline and Examination Fees
Application Deadline: April 1, 2017 - $550 CDN (Pathway A, B and C)*
$400 CDN (Re-write and recertification)
Late Application Deadline: May 1, 2017 - $600 CDN (Pathway A, B and C)* $450 CDN (Re-write and recertification)
*Candidates deemed ineligible to write the Certification Examination will be refunded the $400 fee required to cover the cost of the examination.
Instructions for completing the Online Application Form
Please review the Certification Handbook and ensure you have the required documents prior to starting your application. All the necessary documents should be prepared for uploading as per the instructions below:
1. Logbook: Please download and complete the Logbook Form. Scan the signed logbook forms into a single document and upload to the online application form. Retain the original forms as the Certification Board reserves the right to review the original document and signatures.
2. Pathway B and C applicants: Please save your Request for Special Consideration, List of Professional Activities, CV/Resume and Description of Course Content as individual pdf documents.
For Description of Clinical Training, please complete as many copies of the Description of Clinical Training form as necessary and scan into a single document.
3. Students: Please complete the Program Director Statement and scan the original document. Please retain the document with your program director’s original signature as the Certification Board reserves the right to review the original document and signatures.
4. Letters of Recommendation and Transcripts: Please note that original letters of reference must be provided by the referee in a sealed envelope and all letters must be mailed along with your transcript to the CAGC Certification Board (CAGC Certification Board, PO Box 52083, Oakville, ON L6J 7N5). This package must be received prior to the application deadline and your application will not be reviewed until this information is received. If you are currently a student, your letters of reference must be submitted prior to the application deadline and your transcript must be received by July 31.
5. Payment: Payment may be made by credit card or cheque. Candidates choosing to pay by cheque must submit their cheque by mail with their letters of reference and transcript. Cheques should be made payable to “CAGC Certification”. Please note that cheques will not be deposited until after the early application deadline has passed. Please consider this if you are closing accounts/changing banks. Bounced (NSF) cheques will cause the application to be considered null and void.
Candidates will be contacted by email regarding their application eligibility to sit the examination and with their examination results. Certificates will be mailed to successful candidates.
The 2015 Certification Examination Application Process is now Closed
Certification Handbook (updated July 2016)
Questions regarding the certification process and completed applications should be directed to the Certification Board Chair.