Procedures and Guidelines

Resident Transfer

Categories: transfer PGME

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There are occasions when a resident or a residency program concludes that a transfer to another residency training program is in their best interests.  Flexibility in postgraduate medical training is desirable and represents the cornerstone to a resident transfer policy. 
It creates a positive learning atmosphere and dynamic educational system. It also reduces the anxiety that for some, is associated with making a specialty choice early in their career.

This document outlines principles and process for transfers, balancing flexibility for residents and sustainability for programs.


Programs should be flexible and be open to changes that facilitate resident’s future careers.

Overall, transfers should not significantly alter the current distribution of residency positions among programs.

Scope of this Policy

This policy applies only to residents in positions matched through Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS). However, the principles are applicable to residents in other (externally funded) positions. Such residents should consult directly with the Associate Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME).

This transfer policy applies only to transfer within training programs in Saskatchewan.


Whenever possible, transfers should not subvert the CaRMS match. Transfers should not represent another ‘unofficial’ round of the CaRMS match.

It is recognized that informal discussion regarding career changes will occur. These discussions are not considered official until the resident initiates a formal transfer request as described in the procedures. Although all requests for transfers will be considered, it must be recognized that not all requests will be granted.

Residents must be acceptable to the program to which they are seeking transfer and must complete all components of the application process established by the program and the PGME office. Residents must familiarize themselves with any internal transfer or credit of training requirements within the residency training program to which they are applying to.

If residents have a return of service commitment with the Province of Saskatchewan (Saskdocs), the PGME office will contact Saskdocs to confirm if approval will be granted for the resident to apply for internal transfer. If Saskdocs does not approve an internal transfer, this decision cannot be appealed by the resident.

Programs that do not have sufficient resources to appropriately train additional residents should not be forced to accept transfer candidates. If additional funding is required to support the transfer, funding must be secured before the transfer can be approved. Negative impacts on programs resulting from transfers should be minimized.

Both faculty and residents involved in a resident transfer are expected to behave in a mature, professional and confidential manner. Residents involved in transfers should be treated with respect and dignity.

Requests for transfers from Family Medicine or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) programs’ residents in their PGY1 year will be considered after six months of training have been completed in the resident’s home program. Residents should have sufficient exposure to the receiving program to which they are requesting transfer either in the last year of medical school or during their residency. An elective period in the receiving program may be required.

Residents may request credit for training done prior to the transfer. 

Program transfers must follow the current Collective Agreement regarding resignation.

If a resident is successful in transferring to a University of Saskatchewan training program, they are not eligible to apply for an internal transfer via CARMS 2nd iteration or the post CaRMS process after they commence training in their new program. The resident may be eligible to apply for an external transfer via CaRMS 2nd iteration or the post CaRMS process dependent on PGME transfer policies at other schools.

Final decisions regarding transfer are made by the Associate Dean, PGME.

Residents should be given appropriate credit for training done in their original training with the following considerations:

  1. Applicability of prior training to meeting the objectives of training of the new program
  2. A standard of performance by the resident that indicates the resident will have no difficulty in meeting the objectives of training within the training period

It may not be possible to determine a priori what amount of credit should be applied to the resident’s new program. In such cases, unless there are extenuating circumstances, this should be determined within 1 year of entry into the program.

Assessment of Training (Family Medicine Training Programs):

Credit of training is a resident driven process.  The resident is responsible to apply for credit of previous training to the Program Director.  The Program Director will review resident credit for training applications with the Site Director, Faculty Advisor, Progress Committee, and any other person or organization with relevant expertise. This review will include a review of the resident’s progress within the program. The Family Medicine Program Director is responsible for approving the credit for previous training.

For RCPSC residents transferring into a CFPC training program, credit will be given based on demonstrated competencies and determination by the Program Director in consultation with the Progress Committee of the Family Medicine residency program.  Credit for training must be approved by CFPC.  A maximum of 6-months credit may be applied.

For CFPC residents transferring nationally into another CFPC training program, credit will be given based on demonstrated competencies and determination by the Program Director in consultation with the Progress Committee.  Credit for training does not need to be approved by CFPC.  The overall amount will be determined at the program level.

The Program Director will inform the resident of the decision no sooner than six months into training. This will allow adequate time for the resident’s overall performance to be assessed.

Assessment of Training (Specialty Training Programs):

When a resident transfers to a different program at the same institution, or into a program in the same or different discipline at another institution, the receiving program is responsible for:

a)     conducting a comprehensive assessment of the resident’s training and achievements to determine if credit will be granted for previous training

b)     confirming the stage of training that is most appropriate for the resident to enter and providing the PGME office with revised training dates, and

c)      developing a tailored learning plan for the resident

The Program Director of the outgoing program in coordination with the PGME Office are responsible for providing the receiving program with a summary of the resident’s learning experiences, progress and performance. The resident must be aware that this information is being transferred.

This applies to transfers between programs with competency-based requirements and to/from programs with time-based requirements.

The decision regarding credit of training should be made within the first six months of transfer into a new program. If credit will be granted for previous training, it is the responsibility of the program to send a letter to the PGME Associate Dean with the following information:

  • the decision about credit has been approved by the RPC and the date of the RPC meeting
  • how much credit will be granted in weeks
  • the revised training dates

Commencement of training in the new program:

  1. The Program Director (or delegate) communicates the decision about the stage of training and information about the learning plan to the resident. The resident should confirm their understanding of the decision and associated rationale.
  2. The Royal College does not need to be immediately informed of the transfer.

The receiving program and postgraduate dean have discretion to place the resident in the stage of training they believe is appropriate. The Royal College does not need to validate this decision.


Instances or concerns of non-compliance with this policy should be brought to the attention of the Associate Dean, PGME.



Coordinator, Admissions and Resident Administration, PGME Office 
Phone: 306-966-1941