As the 2021 match cycle gets underway, CaRMS is happy to share an update about some of the work our team has undertaken over what has turned out to be a very eventful spring and summer.

New Match Violations Policy

CaRMS has rolled out a new Match Violations Policy (MVP) for all matches for the 2021 match cycle. The new MVP 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. It 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 new policy will be complemented with an outreach and education campaign throughout the 2021 match year. Our goal is to help protect the integrity of the match process by ensuring both applicants and programs understand what constitutes a violation, are clear on the process for reporting a violation, and feel safe and supported in reporting one should the need arise.

Mandatory MINC

After much discussion and consultation with the AFMC and other stakeholders in the medical education community, CaRMS has moved forward with making the MINC a mandatory field in the CaRMS Online application starting in the 2021 match year. CaRMS’ use of the MINC has been, and will continue to be, limited to purposes of the Application and Matching Program. Third-party data sharing will continue to be in the hands of the applicants—the data owners—who will decide whether they wish to share their data. CaRMS respects applicants’ ownership over their data, and protection of these rights is enshrined in our clear and transparent consent processes.

COVID-19 operations and ongoing support

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a lot of changes for the medical education community—including in the 2021 match cycle. CaRMS is committed to supporting our clients and stakeholders as they adapt to these new realities. Through our participation on committees that are shaping how the year unfolds, leveraging our expertise and platform to design solutions to streamline your work processes, and adapting and expediting our own processes, we’re here for you every step of the way.

Working with the community 

We are happy to be a part of the AFMC Resident Matching Committee (ARMC) Subcommittee on Application and File Review, which is considering improvements geared toward condensing application content while ensuring quality in this year’s unique environment, as well as developing options for improving processes and efficiency in the file review process. We are also serving on the AFMC Resident Matching Committee (ARMC) Technical Subcommittee, which collaborated on the development of a compressed detailed 2021 R-1 match timeline that has recently been approved and posted on In addition, this committee is working to streamline process and information flow as well as identify opportunities for technological improvements to enable the work of our clients within a compressed timeline.

Innovation and improvement

One thing COVID-19 has not changed is CaRMS’ commitment to continually improving our online platform and services. As always, we are here to help with product enhancements that minimize our clients’ work effort and improve their experience using CaRMS Online. Some of the enhancements we’ve rolled out for the opening of the 2021 cycle include BPAS enhancements to improve program description management and clarity, program administrator management for PGME offices and program directors, a simplified applicant registration process, a streamlined translation process, and automated antivirus protection for documents uploaded to CaRMS Online. We’ve also worked with our clients to introduce new technology that makes it easier for faculties and third parties share information and documents with CaRMS. Finally, we’ve worked with provincial bodies to standardize provincial eligibility criteria posted on to make it easier for applicants to understand and compare requirements across different provinces.

More client-centric enhancements—including a program description change notification and an applicant document assignment check—will be released later in the match year.

We will continue to engage with clients and stakeholders to identify ways our products and services can improve and enhance their work.

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