Frequently Asked Questions about the CFAS ART Lab Certification Exam

About the ART Lab Certification Program:

The Certification programme for Laboratory Professionals working in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Laboratories in Canada. It was developed by the ART Laboratory Special Interest Group (ART Lab SIG) of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS). This certification programme for ART Laboratory Professionals was created after reviewing existing programmes in other countries. The models from the United Kingdom, the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) for ART Laboratory Professionals as well as the certification model for Canadian Health Leaders (formally Canadian Health Executives) were included in this evaluation. The Certification Programme for ART Laboratory Professionals in Canada involves two levels of assessment: (1) a logbook documenting competent completion of a defined range of laboratory techniques; and (2) an evaluation of academic knowledge associated with embryology and andrology assessed through a written examination. It is possible to complete the two elements in either order. This permits candidates interested in a career as an ART Laboratory Professional to take the examination prior to obtaining a position in an ART clinic or for candidates who are already employed to complete the logbook prior to sitting the examination. Obtaining a certified status is not mandatory for being employed at one of the Canadian ART centers; it is up to the employers to determine their own hiring requirements.

Q: Is the exam required in order to work in an IVF or andrology lab in Canada?
A: A passing grade on the exam as well as a successfully completed log book will result in attaining a certified status by CFAS. There is currently no mandate to employ only Certified ART professionals in Canada. Thus, each employer will set their own qualification requirements for positions within their respective labs.

Q: How was the exam developed?
A: A working group of senior lab directors developed the exam in collaboration with Touchstsone Institute. Touchstone Institute is the largest assessment centre of its kind in Canada, and the only organization in Ontario that provides assessment, evaluation and education programs for internationally educated health professionals (IEHPs). Touchstone develops and administers high‐stakes medical and competency assessments on behalf of regulatory boards and organizations including the College of Nurses of Ontario and the Medical Council of Canada. The exams are developed and tested prior to being implemented.

Q: What is my deadline to submit the completed logbook?
A: While there is not a specific deadline to submit the log book, the certificate cannot be awarded until the log book is completed. Therefore, it is in your best interest to complete the log book in a timely manner. Please send your completed logbook by email to info@cfas.ca. An online program for tracking professional development will be available soon on the Member portal of the CFAS website. This portal will be designed specifically for the ART Lab group.

Q: Is there a separate reading list for andrologists and embryologists?
A: The entire suggested reading list applies to both andrologists and embryologists

Q: Is there a test exam available?
A: No

Q: When will I know the results?
A: Exams are processed by Touchstone Institute. Results will be communicated by the CFAS office within 6 to 8 weeks after it receives results from Touchstone.

Q: What is the passing grade?
A: The passing grade will be calculated after the exam with a validated scoring methodology used by Touchstone, which takes into account the scores achieved by all the participants taking the exam.

Q: What happens if I fail the exam?
A: You may take the exam at the next available opportunity. Keep in mind that the CFAS has not yet determined how often the exam will be provided. Depending on demand, the exam may be offered annually or biannually. There is a possibility that CFAS will host an exam at the annual meeting in Montreal, 2018.

Q: I have a master degree in embryology. Must I still take the exam?
A: We do not have reciprocity with other associations or certification processes, thus the CFAS certification program for ART lab professionals will still require successful completion of the logbook and written examination. Neither CFAS nor international certification is currently required to work in a Canadian ART laboratory.

Q: Can I take both exams? (the embryology and the andrology portions)
A: If a person wants to be certified as an andrologist, they should register as such for the exam. The same applies for embryologists. Their registration will determine which exam they receive. You don’t select the exam, the exam is selected based on which certification you are aiming at.

Q: Can I obtain both the embryology and the andrology certifications?
A: Please note that the embryology Certification is inclusive of andrology. Therefor, you must select embryology when registering. As a reminder you will be asked to submit a logbook demonstrating your practice as an embryologist to support your selection. Those practicing andrology only are invited to select andrology upon registration.