Contract for institutions

Updated July 2014

A. Background

Residency positions may be offered to students graduating from Canadian, US and international medical schools as well as physician graduates of Canadian, US and international medical schools (applicants) who are registered with the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) and meet the eligibility requirements established by the provincial medical regulatory authorities.

CaRMS is an application and matching program (matching program) that provides a system for the review and confidential ranking of applicants to one or more postgraduate medical residency programs (participating residency programs) operated by a Canadian medical school (institution). The following matches are included in the matching program:

  1. R-1 Main Residency Match (R-1 match)
  2. Family Medicine/Emergency Medicine Match (FM/EM match)
  3. Medicine Subspecialty Match (MSM)
  4. Pediatric Subspecialty Match (PSM)

This contract represents the rights and obligations of the institution and CaRMS with respect to the matching program.

In consideration of the undertaking and conditions contained in this contract, the institution and CaRMS hereby agree as follows:

B. Rights and obligations of institutions with respect to graduating students and residents

R-1 match obligations

1. The institution shall identify an individual from within the undergraduate dean’s office (undergraduate dean’s office) to serve as a liaison with CaRMS on all matters with regard to its graduating students.

2. The undergraduate dean’s office shall provide the following information to CaRMS:

  1. Name and contact information for each eligible graduating student;
  2. Each student’s school campus and years at campus, if applicable;
  3. Immigration status, if applicable;
  4. Notification if a student, scheduled to graduate, will not successfully complete his or her MD program by July 1 of the current year; and
  5. Response to inquiries by CaRMS concerning graduating students

3. The undergraduate dean’s office agrees that it:

  1. Shall obtain, prior to disclosure to CaRMS, the consent of each graduating student for the collection, use and disclosure by CaRMS of the information indicated in section 2;
  2. Will not release information in section 2 for any graduating student who has not provided consent for the collection, use, and disclosure of his/her information by CaRMS; and
  3. Will not release the identity of graduating students from its institution who are not matched by CaRMS.

R-1 (second iteration), FM/EM match, MSM and PSM obligations

4. The institution shall identify an individual from within the postgraduate dean’s office (postgraduate dean’s office) to serve as a liaison with CaRMS on all matters regarding the institutions participating residents.

C. Rights and obligations of institutions with respect to residency programs

5. Postgraduate Dean

The institution shall identify an individual from within the postgraduate dean’s office (postgraduate dean’s office) to be responsible for overseeing the matching process, and to serve as a liaison with CaRMS on all matters regarding the institution’s participating residency programs.

6. Program eligibility

To be eligible to offer positions through the matching program, as of the rank order list deadline, an institution’s participating residency programs shall be accredited by (a) the College of Family Physicians of Canada, or (b) the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

7. Program descriptions and communications

The institution agrees that accurate and timely information communicated between participating residency programs and applicants is an essential component to the residency application and matching process.

The institution shall:

  1. Clearly state all of the document and eligibility requirements in the program descriptions by the participating residency programs;
  2. Approve the program descriptions for inclusion in the CaRMS program directory on carms.ca; and
  3. Ensure the accuracy of the information provided on the CaRMS website regarding provincial criteria for applicant eligibility, if applicable.
  4. If a program has been put on a status of notification to withdraw accreditation by either the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or the College of Family Physicians of Canada that information must be included in the program description on the CaRMS website.

8. Schedules and deadlines

The institution shall ensure it provides all required information in accordance with the faculty timetable established by CaRMS.

The institution shall also ensure that its participating residency programs follow scheduling requirements and provide all required information and schedule mandatory out-of-town interviews in accordance with the faculty timetable established by CaRMS.

9. Commitment of positions

The institution shall:

  1. Establish the number of available positions within its participating residency programs (quota) through CaRMS Online for the R-1 match and the CaRMS postgraduate dean portal (PGD portal) for the FM/EM match, MSM and PSM;
  2. List with CaRMS all participating residency programs and positions which are being made available to applicants through non-directed provincial Ministry of Health funding;
  3. Have all changes in quota entered and approved by the postgraduate dean’s office as soon as possible and in accordance with the Faculty Timetable established by CaRMS; and
  4. Promptly communicate to CaRMS all changes, withdrawals, or additions of participating residency programs.

10. Reversions of unfilled positions

CaRMS gives institutions the option to revert (donate) unfilled positions in one program (a donor program) to another program (a receiver program) during the matching process. If a donor program does not fill its quota, a designated number (equal to or less than the quota) of its unfilled positions will be added automatically to the quota of a receiver program. Receiver programs may be located at the same or a different institution. The institution must request reversions in writing before the ROL deadline.

11. Rank order lists

The institution shall ensure that its participating residency programs restrict their rank order lists (ROL) to only those applicants who are registered and have applied through CaRMS.

The postgraduate dean’s office shall verify the ROLs of participating residency programs prior to the deadline date established by CaRMS in the faculty timetable.

12. Rank order list submission

To participate in the matching program, participating residency programs shall (a) register with and (b) submit ROLs through the CaRMS online system (match site).

ROLs may only be submitted through the match site.

The institution agrees to follow access procedures established by CaRMS with respect to the match site, in accordance with CaRMS’ terms of use. For greater certainty, a ROL may be entered in more than one session and may be modified prior to the ROL submission deadline. The institution is encouraged to complete this process well in advance of the ROL submission deadline and prior to the peak utilization period when the match site may be less accessible.

13. Appointments

The institution shall ensure its participating residency programs follow the rules regarding appointments as described below:

Participating residency programs shall:

  1. Not make, offer, or require any residency appointments, commitments or contracts with applicants outside of the matching process, for non-directed training positions, prior to the match date established by CaRMS or the completion of all match cycles;
  2. Offer appointments to all applicants matched with the institution by the CaRMS matching process, the matched applicants being the highest ranked applicants on this participating residency program’s confidential ROL who wished to train at this participating residency program more than at any other participating residency program available to them; and
  3. Offer appointments to matched applicants or provide matched applicants with a letter of intent for appointment not more than 30 days after the receipt of the notification of the matching results.

The listing of an applicant by a participating residency program on its verified ROL or of a participating residency program by an applicant on the applicant’s submitted ROL establishes a binding commitment to offer or to accept an appointment if a match results. Each such appointment is subject to the official policies of the appointing institution in effect on the date the participating residency program submits its ROL, and is contingent upon the matching applicant meeting all eligibility requirements imposed by those policies. Failure to honor this commitment by a participating residency program or applicant shall be a breach of this contract, and may result in penalties to the breaching participating residency program or applicant, as described in section 29.

The participating residency program and institution, in their discretion, may release applicants from their binding commitment if they deem it would cause the applicant serious hardship. If applicable, CaRMS must receive a letter of support from the applicant’s undergraduate medical school or current program director, acknowledging and outlining the hardship. The participating residency program and institution should inform CaRMS of their decision to release or not release the applicant from their binding commitment.

14. Match iteration

In matches where there is more than one iteration, all participating residency programs registered with the matching program that do not fill their quota in the first iteration of the matching process shall participate in the second iteration of the matching process. All quota left unfilled in the first iteration of the matching process shall be entered into the second iteration of the matching process.

The matching process is not complete until all iterations have been run.

15. Withdrawals

An institution may withdraw a participating residency program from the matching program if there are no positions available. All such withdrawals shall be effected through the postgraduate dean’s office.

In order to avoid unnecessary costs to applicants, institutions who wish to withdraw the complete quota of a participating residency program should do so prior to holding interviews for such participating residency program, except for situations beyond the control of the institution or program.

If a participating residency program has reason to close and/or reduce the number of residents after the match has been run, the program must notify CaRMS of the method it will employ to assist each matched applicant in securing another residency position. Failure to adhere to these requirements will be a breach of this contract and subject to the penalties set out in section 29 of this contract.

16. Multiple matchings

Any institution whose participating residency program knowingly offers a position to an applicant who has been matched to a position in another participating residency program in the same year shall be in breach of this contract, and may be subject to the penalties described in section 29. Prior to offering a position to an applicant, a participating residency program shall take reasonable steps to ascertain the applicant’s match status, including contacting CaRMS to obtain that information.

17. Restrictions on persuasion

The institution shall ensure its participating residency programs follow the rules regarding restrictions on persuasion as described below:

Participating residency programs shall not exert undue or unwarranted pressure on the selection decisions of applicants. Both applicants and participating residency programs may express a high degree of interest in each other but may not make statements implying a commitment.

The following activities shall be considered as breaches of the contract by the institution, and subject to the penalties as described in section 29:

  1. An applicant or participating residency program making any verbal or written contract for appointment to a residency position prior to completion of the matching program; and
  2. An applicant or participating residency program requesting the ranking preference of the other.

The institution and participating residency programs understand and agree that only the final preferences of the participating residency programs and applicants, as reflected in their final verified rank order lists, will determine the offering of positions and the placement of applicants through the matching program.

18. Early disclosure of match results

As a form of risk mitigation to ensure all match participants receive their match results by match day, CaRMS will disclose match results to designated individuals within the institution (as further set out in section 23) prior to match day. The institution agrees to treat the match results as confidential in accordance with section 19 of this contract and also agrees not to share or discuss an individual graduate’s match results with that graduate prior to match day.

19. Confidentiality

Information about applicants is to be treated as confidential at all times. The institution shall not make publicly available or otherwise disclose to any individual or organization, any information about applicants unless required by law, permitted under this contract or with the consent of the applicant concerned. For greater certainty, confidential information in this context includes the names of applicants, application information and program ranking information. Breaches of confidentiality by the institution, including unauthorized use, access, or disclosure of an applicant’s personal information, will be subject to the penalties set out in section 29 of this contract.

20. Use of applicants’ personal information

The institution shall only use personal information of applicants disclosed to it by CaRMS for the purpose of selecting candidates for the institution’s postgraduate residency training programs.

21. Retention of information

The institution shall keep information provided to it by CaRMS only as long as it is required for the reasons it was collected. The institutions shall have in place procedures to destroy, delete, erase or convert personal information into an anonymous form when it is no longer required for the institution’s purposes.

22. Security of information

The institution shall have appropriate security measures to protect any information provided to it by CaRMS. “Appropriate security measures” means technical, physical and procedural controls to protect information against destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorized disclosure to third parties or unauthorized access by employees or contractors employed by the institution, whether by accident or otherwise. The institution shall protect the confidentiality of all school passwords and promptly notify CaRMS (a) if there is reason to believe that any school password has been discovered by a third party and (b) of any unauthorized use of a school password or any other breach of security and (c) in the event of unauthorized use, access or disclosure of any applicant’s personal information maintained by the institution.

D. Rights and obligations of CaRMS

23. Early disclosure of match results

CaRMS will provide to the Undergraduate Dean at each institution early disclosure of their graduates’ match results for the R-1 match, prior to match day, via our secure transfer site.

CaRMS will provide to the Postgraduate Deans at each institution early disclosure of their matched applicants for the R-1 match, prior to match day, via our secure transfer site.

CaRMS will provide to the Postgraduate Deans at each institution early disclosure of their residents match results for MSM and PSM, prior to match day, via our secure transfer site.

CaRMS will provide to the Postgraduate Deans at each institution early disclosure of their matched applicants for the FM/EM match, MSM and PSM, prior to match day, via our secure transfer site.

24. Removal from matching program

CaRMS may remove a participating residency program from the matching program if CaRMS receives credible evidence that the participating residency program has violated the terms of this contract or does not have the required accreditation.

25. Rank order list (ROL)

CaRMS will treat the ROLs as confidential information. CaRMS will not release or disclose such information in any manner that permits individual identification of either a participating residency program or an applicant.

26. Access to the match site (CaRMS online system)

CaRMS shall limit access to the match site to participating residency programs, applicants and other authorized users.

27. Faculty timetable

CaRMS shall publish an annual faculty timetable, which is incorporated in this contract by reference.

28. Availability of match site

CaRMS DOES NOT GUARANTEE THE AVAILABILITY OF THE MATCH SITE.

29. Match violations

CaRMS maintains the highest professional standards in the conduct of the matching program and in its interactions with all participants: applicants, program directors, and institutional officials, undergraduate and postgraduate deans. CaRMS expects all participants in the matching program to conduct their affairs in an ethical and professionally responsible manner and to respect the right of applicants to freely investigate program options prior to submission of a final rank order list.

CaRMS shall investigate alleged breaches of this contract, including but not limited to:

  1. Discrepancies in credentials or other supporting documents;
  2. Attempts to subvert the matching process itself;
  3. Failures to offer or accept an appointment as required by the results of a match; and
  4. Any other irregular behavior or activities that occur in connection with the submission or modification of a rank order list, and/or the participating residency program’s commitment to honor the match outcome.

CaRMS shall maintain and make available to applicants and participating residency programs the policies and procedures for reporting and investigating breaches of CaRMS contracts (match breaches policy and false document policy), incorporated by reference in this contract.

The match breaches policy shall govern CaRMS’ handling of match violations and is incorporated by reference in and forms part of this contract.

E. General

30. Fees, invoicing and payment

The institution will be invoiced for each individual match, which will be payable within 30 days of receipt.

Where payment of any invoice or any part thereof is not made within 30 days, CaRMS, without prejudice to its other rights hereunder or at law, shall be entitled to charge interest on the amount of any unpaid invoice at the rate of 5% per annum from the date of the invoice until the outstanding invoice is paid.

Further, should the institution fail to make payment when due, CaRMS shall have the right by notice in writing to suspend all further access to CaRMS Online until the outstanding payment is made.

31. Term and termination

This contract shall commence on the date of acceptance by both the institution and CaRMS and shall continue for a minimum term of three (3) years, unless earlier terminated in accordance with its terms. Either party must provide the other with written notice of its intent to not continue this contract, such notice to be provided not less than one (1) year prior to the start of a new match cycle. For greater certainty, in the event of termination of this contract by the institution, the institution will not be relieved of its obligations to pay the fees payable to CaRMS pursuant to the services provided. This section shall survive any termination of this contract.

32. No agency

CaRMS and the institution are independent entities, and no agency, partnership, joint venture or employee-employer relationship is intended or created by this contract.

33. Governing law

This contract will be interpreted and enforced in accordance with the laws of the province of Ontario and the federal laws of Canada applicable therein.

34. Entire contract

This contract, together with the other documents to be delivered pursuant to this contract, constitute the entire contract, pertaining to applicants and the matching program, between CaRMS and the institution.

35. Severability

If any provisions of this contract are found to be void, illegal or unenforceable in any jurisdiction, such a provision shall be deemed to be severed and the other provisions shall remain in full force and effect.

36. Counterparts

This contract may be executed by CaRMS and the institution in one or more counterparts, each of which when executed and delivered shall be an original and such counterparts shall together constitute one and the same instrument.