As a program, what are my contractual obligations within the match?

As a program, the obligations within your role will vary by phase of the match. While we discuss your obligations within faculty presentations and communiques, the following list includes most, but not all, of your contractual obligations per phase of the match.

Program description updates

When a match or iteration opens, you will have a set amount of time to update your program description prior to sending it to your postgraduate medical education office (PGME) for approval. During this phase, you must:

  • Determine program description updates in accordance with provincial criteria and PGME office guidelines
  • Provide complete and accurate application requirements within program descriptions by the deadline
  • Ensure your program is not requesting any documentation that is not sanctioned by the faculty (for example, formative evaluations), nor is it requesting any documents outside of the online application (for example, reference letters)
  • Make the updates to your program description within CaRMS Online and submit your program description for approval to your PGME office by the deadline

Your program must be diligent in abiding by the AFMC approved timeline, as programs cannot alter program descriptions once the approval deadline has passed, and CaRMS Online has opened for applicants. Any updates that must be done to the description, for example any corrections to spelling or the addition of missing words, must be made by the PGME Office.

Program requirements added after the deadline can adversely affect an applicant's application and may lead to a match violation claim.

File reviewer access

Prior to file review beginning, you must ensure anyone reviewing files has access to your program within CaRMS Online. Once this phase of the match opens, you must:

File review

Once file review begins, you must:

  • Establish clear requirements for reviewing applications and distribute these requirements to your file reviewers. This includes:
    • Instructions on whom to review
    • How to evaluate the applications to your program
    • Internal deadlines for review. These deadlines are set by your faculty
  • Review applications and identify the applicants you wish to interview
  • Limit the use of applicant information disclosed to your program for the purpose of selecting applicants within the match process
  • Keep applicant information only for the purpose of applicant selection
  • Have procedures to destroy, delete, erase or convert applicant information into an anonymous form when it is no longer required.


Once your program has reviewed the applications to your programs, you will have selected the applicants you wish to interview. During this phase of the match, you must:

Programs must assign one of the four interview statuses to all applicants that have applied to their program by the deadline. An applicants status must have an interview status assigned to them prior to interview invitations are sent.


When your interviews are completed, your program will have an idea of which applicants they wish to train. At this point, you will be ready to complete your rank order list(s). During the ranking phase, you must:

  • Confirm the list of applicants to rank
  • Enter your rank order list in CaRMS Online
  • Verify the rank order list that was entered is accurate
  • Submit your rank order list on time
    • Ensuring your rank order list is submitted on time is incredibly important as no changes can be made once the Rank Order List deadline is passed.
  • Not make, offer or require any residency appointments, commitments or contracts with applicants outside of the application and matching process, prior to the Match Day or the completion of all match iterations
  • Agree that the listing of an applicant on a program's Rank Order List establishes a binding commitment by the faculty to offer an appointment, if a match results in it

Match results

Once your Rank Order Lists are submitted and the deadline has passed, the algorithm begins running and creating the matches. Once match results are released, you must:

  • Access your match results in CaRMS Online
  • Download reports and matched applicant files from your CaRMS Online account
  • Contact matched applicants withing 30 days
  • Discard all unmatched application packages, both paper and electronic

It is important to note that personal information retention now falls under your faculty/hospital policies.

The failure to abide by your contractual obligations may result in a match violation claim. You can find further information on the Match Violations Policy here.




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