The Match Violations Policy is intended to uphold and respect the principles of fairness, equity and professionalism in the match and related processes. It ensures that the rights and obligations of all match participants are respected through the accurate, timely, and legitimate sharing of information, while mitigating risk and maintaining confidentiality in accordance with applicable human rights and privacy legislation.

The process is designed to be safe and secure. It applies to all match participants, and is a big part of how we make sure the match is fair and safe for everyone involved.

CaRMS has had a Match Violations Policy in place since 2005, to enforce the obligations set out in match contracts. The policy has been reviewed and updated on an annual basis to make sure it keeps pace with the evolving nature of the match.

The newest iteration of the Match Violations Policy, put in place for the 2021 match cycle, is a complete refresh of the policy that was made possible through broad community collaboration. It was developed by a joint committee including representation from learner organizations (CFMS, FMEQ, RDoC and FMRQ), the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC), and CaRMS, to ensure that those most directly affected by the match violations process had a direct role in shaping it. 

The new Match Violations Policy provides enhanced clarity around the violations process, including clear examples of what actions could constitute violations, as well as a range of possible sanctions and notifications in line with the severity of the offence. It also plainly lays out the reporting, review, and appeals process. 

The Match Violations Policy will continue to be administered by the CaRMS Violations Review committee and will be reviewed annually by the Joint CaRMS Match Violations Policy Committee. See the policy itself for detailed information on roles and responsibilities.

Everyone involved in the match has an important role to play in the match violations process.

Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC)
The AFMC is the academic partnership of Canada’s Faculties of Medicine. The AFMC acts as the agent for the Faculties and will represent them for all purposes related to the services provided in the CaRMS-AFMC contract. The AFMC is responsible for ensuring faculty match participants are informed of their match obligations.

Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS)
CaRMS is an independent, arms-length provider of a client-centred, fair, transparent, and equitable application and matching service for the review and confidential ranking of applicants to one or more residency programs operated by the Canadian faculties of medicine. CaRMS maintains the Match Violations Policy and makes sure it is  available to all match participants.

CaRMS Board of Directors
CaRMS is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The CaRMS Board is responsible for the ongoing management of the Violations Review Committee. It is also responsible for nominating the independent Chair of the Joint CaRMS Match Violations Policy Review Committee and receiving reports from the Committee Chair as required.

Joint CaRMS Match Violations Policy Review Committee (Joint Committee)
The Joint Committee is responsible for developing the CaRMS Match Violations Policy. Members of the Joint Committee include representatives from learner organizations—the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS), Fédération médicale étudiante du Québec (FMEQ), Resident Doctors of Canada (RDoC), and Fédération des médecins résidents du Québec (FMRQ)— as well as AFMC, and CaRMS. The Joint Committee provides input and direction to the Violations Review Committee through their oversight of the Match Violations Policy used by the Violations Review Committee in their governance over violations reported to CaRMS.

Violations Review Committee (VRC)
CaRMS’ VRC, composed of the CaRMS Board’s Executive Committee, will investigate and adjudicate reported violations alleged to be contrary to the fair and proper operation of the Application and Matching Program in accordance with the MVP developed by the Joint Committee. The VRC includes learner and faculty representation to ensure all match participants’ points of view are represented in the adjudication process.

Match participants
All applicants and faculties participating in a CaRMS match are expected to fulfill the responsibilities and obligations outlined in their respective match contracts and conduct themselves in a professional, ethical, and responsible manner. Match participants are also expected to report violations they experience to help keep the match process safe and fair for everyone. 

Suspected violations must be reported to CaRMS in writing according to the reporting procedures outlined in the Match Violations Policy. CaRMS will acknowledge receipt within seven business days and begin the investigation process. In the course of the investigation, CaRMS will contact relevant individuals/institutions/organizations to collect information, documentation and facts pertaining to the suspected violation. Generally speaking, requests for anonymity on behalf of the individual reporting the suspected violation are only granted in exceptional circumstances.

Information collected through the investigation is used to prepare a preliminary report that is presented to the Violations Review Committee, which then reviews the report. Copies of this preliminary report may also be distributed to relevant parties on request. After reviewing all the relevant information, the Violations Review Committee issues a final report outlining their decision and, if applicable, any resulting sanctions.

Appeals of Violations Review Committee final reports can be made on the basis of discovery of new evidence and/or alleged serious misunderstandings of existing evidence. The appeals process is detailed in the Match Violations Policy.

The new Match Violations Policy provides enhanced clarity around the violations process, including clear examples of what actions could constitute violations, as well as a range of possible sanctions and notifications in line with the severity of the offence. This policy, including the list of violations, was developed by a joint committee including representation from learner organizations (CFMS, FMEQ, RDoC and FMRQ), the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC), and CaRMS, to ensure that those most directly affected by the match violations process had a direct role in shaping it. 

CaRMS’ Violations Review Committee, composed of the Executive Committee of the CaRMS Board of Directors, investigates and adjudicates reported violations in accordance with the directives outlined in the Match Violations Policy.

The Match Violations Policy only works if all match participants commit to reporting suspected violations they experience. We all want the match process to be safe and fair, and working toward this goal is a shared responsibility. Reporting violations that you experience is the most effective way of ensuring similar actions do not recur, helping to keep the match safe and fair for everyone.

All violations should be reported by those directly involved to ensure accurate representation of the incidents in question.

The process is designed to be safe and secure. CaRMS is an independent party committed to fairness and equity in the match, and these principles guide all violation investigations. Every care is taken to ensure safety of those reporting violations, including confidentiality where possible. Due to the nature of most complaints, complete anonymity is often not possible—but reporting a suspected violation will not affect your application or match status. In fact, reporting violations can make the match process safer for you and other participants.

CaRMS will investigate and take steps to resolve all alleged violations, whether committed by applicants, postgraduate faculties or residency programs, or other match participants. You will find detailed reporting procedures in the Match Violations Policy.

If you report a suspected violation, you can expect CaRMS to contact you and other relevant individuals, institutions or organizations to collect information pertaining to the suspected violation.

Information collected through the investigation is used to prepare a preliminary report that is presented to the Violations Review Committee for review. After reviewing all the relevant information, the Violations Review Committee will issue a final report outlining their decision and, if applicable, any resulting sanctions. You will receive a copy of this final report.

CaRMS investigates and takes steps to resolve all alleged violations, whether committed by applicants, postgraduate faculties or residency programs, or other match participants. If you are reported for a suspected violation, you can expect CaRMS to contact you (along with all other relevant individuals, institutions or organizations) to collect information pertaining to the suspected violation. You will receive written notification of the complaint and an invitation to provide your response, including your version of the incident in question.

Information collected through the investigation is used to prepare a preliminary report that is presented to the Violations Review Committee for review. You may also request a copy of this report. After reviewing all the relevant information, the Violations Review Committee will issue a final report outlining their decision and, if applicable, any resulting sanctions. You will receive a copy of this final report. If it is found that a violation did in fact occur, you will be expected to abide by the sanctions outlined in the report.

Appeals of Violations Review Committee final reports can be made only on the basis of discovery of new evidence and/or alleged serious misunderstandings of existing evidence. The appeals process is detailed in the Match Violations Policy.

The Violations Review Committee strives to complete the review process in a timely matter. However, as each case is unique, a specific time frame cannot be guaranteed. All parties in a reported violation will be notified once an investigation is completed, with notice of the Violations Review Committee meeting date. Parties can then expect the Violation Review Committee’s final report within 45 business days from the completed investigation notification.

Should the results of the investigation indicate that a violation has not occurred, the matter will be closed and all relevant parties will be notified.

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