Building Pathways
To Excellence

Strengthening Healthcare Provider Confidence and Competencies: Learning and Assessment Programs


About The Programs

In facilitating licensure and transition to practice for internationally educated health professionals, Touchstone Institute aims to ensure they are supported to succeed, and that public safety is protected.

In 2023/24, Touchstone Institute continued to adapt to the changing landscape of the health sector in Canada and the wider world with expanded and enhanced programs and delivery. Our learning and assessment programs highlight the confidence of valued partners as we work in close collaboration toward improving system capacity and access to care for clients.


Impact By The Numbers

exams delivered

participants in Pre-Residency Program and Canadian Medicine Primer, up from 280 a year earlier


of program applicants are Canadian foreign-trained medical graduates


of Pre-Residency Program participants matched to Family Medicine

countries of study represented by participants

medical specialties represented by participants

Ontario medical schools referring visa trainees to the Canadian Medicine Primer program

new modules – Trauma Informed Care and Anesthesiology


of participants surveyed reported greater confidence to enter postgraduate training


of participants rated the PRP/CMP programming as excellent

Equipping International Medical Graduates for Residency in Ontario: Touchstone Institute’s Flagship Programs

Offered since 2007, the Pre-Residency Program / Pre-Residency Program in Family Medicine supports international medical graduates to prepare for residency in Ontario.

The program is required for all international medical graduates who match to a residency program in Ontario and the majority of participants are Canadians who studied outside the country. The curriculum includes facilitated in-class sessions and simulated client encounters. Large- and small-group simulations give participants the opportunity to practice and receive feedback on communication, professionalism, client management skills and medical expertise.

The Canadian Medicine Primer is designed to facilitate transition to residency training and postgraduate education in Ontario for visa trainees (residents and clinical fellows). Launched in 2014, the program was developed in collaboration with Ontario medical schools and learners are referred to the program at the discretion of their schools and programs.


“International medical graduates face very distinct challenges when undertaking residency in Ontario – from cultural adjustment and isolation to financial and family responsibilities and more. The orientation offered through Touchstone’s Pre-Residency Program is crucial to supporting these physicians so they can succeed alongside their peers.”

Dr. Inge Schabort, MB ChB CCFP FCFP
Associate Professor and Postgraduate International Medical Graduate Director
Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University



Nurse Ready: An innovative communication self-assessment tool for nurses

downloads worldwide of Nurse Ready

Touchstone launched Nurse Ready in 2023, an interactive app to support internationally educated nurses (IENs) to practice and work in Canada.

Nurse Ready is the first tool of its kind, using artificial intelligence to identify issues and generate customized feedback on communication competencies required for nursing certification and practice. It presents an aspirational benchmark for internationally educated nurses challenging language proficiency tests for entry-to-practice.

Touchstone partnered with language competency experts, RNs and IENs to develop the app, with financial support from the Foreign Credential Recognition Program of Employment and Social Development Canada.

Nurse Ready is available free of charge and can be used at any point on the path to licensure.


Assessment Programs and Partners

Partnerships are at the core of Touchstone Institute’s assessment programs, which span key sectors and specialties, including physicians, dietitians, reproductive specialists, nurses, and optometrists. Touchstone Institute’s expertise and experience cover all aspects of competency assessment – from development, field testing and validation, to implementation and administration. More information for each assessment is available on Touchstone Institute's website.


© 2024 Touchstone Institute

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