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Rules of Conduct and Examination Security

physiotherapist in black scrubs making notes on a clipboard while answers questions from his seat on exam table

The contents of the Written Component of the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE) are confidential and proprietary. The PCE and its contents are the exclusive property of the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR) and is made available to candidates for the sole purpose of assessing readiness for safe, effective, and independent physiotherapy practice.

CAPR maintains strict security over PCE content before, during, and after the exam to eliminate unfair advantages among candidates and to avoid costs related to security breaches.

Candidates must agree to the ‘Rules of Conduct and Examination Security’ by signing the Declaration in the Written Component Application Form (at the time of application) and by agreeing to the Non-Disclosure Agreement and General Terms of Use (prior to taking the computer-based examination) in order to be permitted to participate in the PCE. 

Candidates are expected to be aware of the legal, ethical, and professional implications of their participation in the PCE. It is assumed that candidates are participating in the PCE in a good faith attempt to pass, and for the sole purpose of fulfilling requirements for registration with a Canadian physiotherapy regulator. (See the Code of Ethical Conduct for physiotherapists in Canada. Candidates are expected to maintain the same strict confidentiality with PCE content that they would with patient information.)

Candidates must always maintain professional behaviour and must not engage in any activity that would be considered illegal, such as assault, harassment, or theft. In this regard, candidates are expected to:

  1. Be respectful towards other candidates, CAPR, and exam administrators at all times.
  2. Refrain from making malicious or disparaging comments about the PCE or CAPR.
  3. Cooperate and comply with instructions from CAPR and exam administrators.
  4. Report any breaches of exam integrity and/or security to CAPR.

Cheating in the PCE includes any breach or attempted breach of examination integrity and security that could affect a candidate’s own results, the results of another candidate, or the results of a potential future candidate. Any action or behaviour in contravention of the ‘Rules of Conduct and Examination Security’ will be considered as cheating.

To protect the confidentiality, reliability, and validity of the PCE, candidates must NOT:

  1. Engage in any behaviour(s) before, during or after the PCE that may disturb other candidates, affect their chances of passing, or cause them anxiety. 
  2. Impersonate another candidate to take the exam on their behalf, or engage any other candidate to take the PCE in their stead. 
  3. Solicit or accept examination content from candidates who have previously attempted the exam.
  4. Memorize, record, copy, recreate, reproduce, disclose, publish, or transmit contents of the PCE, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, verbal or written, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose.
  5. Commence or restart their exam before being instructed to do so and/or continue the exam after being told to cease. 
  6. Bring reference materials to the testing environment, in an apparent or concealed manner, or any other prohibited item that has not been expressly permitted, including electronic devices.
  7. Access or attempt to access reference materials during the exam, when permitted to temporarily leave the testing environment or at any time that the candidate is not in view of exam proctors (i.e., during a break or in the event of an exam interruption).
  8. Interact with other candidates, or any other individual, to give or receive help, or for any other purpose for the duration of the exam.
  9. Remove or attempt to remove any item or material used in the PCE from the testing environment.
  10. Modify or fabricate exam results letters or any other CAPR documentation to give a false impression of having passed the exam or to misrepresent exam status.

Potential Outcomes

Candidates who are found to be in violation of the ‘Rules of Conduct and Examination Security’ may:

During the Examination

  • Have their examination interrupted
  • Receive a warning or be asked to explain suspicious or disruptive behaviour
  • Be asked to surrender any objects or materials that could be used for cheating
  • Have their behaviour reported to CAPR
  • Have their examination session terminated

After the Examination

  • Not receive the result of their exam
  • Have their original responses be considered as the official responses (should suspicious activity patterns be identified
  • Have legal action taken against them
  • Have their behaviour reported to the relevant regulatory college(s) 
  • Be temporarily or permanently banned from taking the PCE

Procedure

During the Examination

  • Candidates will be closely monitored for any disruptive or suspicious behaviours by exam staff in the test centre and via remote proctoring for the duration of the exam. Suspicious behaviour may include, but is not limited to, making any sounds such as whispering, speaking, or reading the exam out loud, excessive eye or body movements, not sitting upright, looking away from the computer screen, and fidgeting with items present in the testing environment, including pieces of clothing.
  • Candidates will not be allowed to interact with individuals other than those involved in the administration of the exam for the duration of their exam. Candidates will not be allowed to ask exam proctors questions related to PCE content. If a candidate finds an item unclear or ambiguous, they must determine the most reasonable answer to the question based on the given information.
  • Candidates will be allowed to take breaks at any point during the exam for a maximum duration of 10 minutes away from the testing environment, after properly notifying exam proctors. 
  • Candidates must complete the same security check-in and check-out process for any temporary departure from their testing environment. 
  • For in-person exams, candidates will only be permitted to leave the test centre after submitting their exam or after the allocated test time.

After the Examination

  • Candidates will comply with all standard security check-out procedures prior to being allowed to leave the testing environment. 
  • Candidates will remove any items that they were permitted to bring from the testing environment. 
  • Candidates will leave any item or material used in the PCE in the testing environment.
  • CAPR will review candidate responses following all breaks, exam interruptions, and other exam incidents, to identify potential suspicious activity patterns. Suspicious activity patterns may include, but are not limited to, changing responses to previously seen questions or entering responses to flagged questions after taking multiple breaks, an extended break, or resuming the exam after an interruption or incident.
  • CAPR will review candidate responses following all exam proctor reports related to potential misconduct or suspicious behaviours.

Actions of CAPR in the event of suspected cheating:

All incidents of suspected cheating are appropriately investigated by CAPR Examinations Program staff. Where, following a review of all available evidence, CAPR alleges that a candidate has engaged in cheating, the candidate will have the opportunity to submit a written response to the suspicion of cheating. 

The results of the investigation, and the candidate’s response, will be reviewed by the Evaluation Services Committee. If a determination that cheating did occur is reached, one or more of the following consequences will occur:

  1. The candidate’s exam result will be recorded as “undetermined.”
  2. If the candidate is allowed to take the exam again, CAPR will take special measures, at the candidate’s expense, to prevent the candidate from cheating again.
  3. CAPR will report the findings to the physiotherapy regulators.

Where necessary, the results of the investigation, and the candidate’s response, and the position of the Evaluation Services Committee will be reviewed by CAPR’s Board of Directors. The following sanctions may also apply:

  1. CAPR may permanently ban the candidate from testing. This means the candidate would not be eligible to participate in the PCE again.
  2. CAPR may take legal action against the candidate.

CAPR will remove from the PCE item bank all items that are identified as exposed in an examination breach.