MOC 101: Self-assessment programs (SAPs)

December 8, 2021 | Author: Royal College Staff

In this article:

  • The purpose of SAPs for continuing professional development (CPD)
  • What five features all accredited SAPs have in common
  • Answers to your top questions about SAPs
  • How to enter or search SAPs in MAINPORT ePortfolio

The purpose of a self-assessment program (SAP) is not just to identify where your knowledge is up-to-date but also to identify areas where further learning needs to be completed.

When you complete an SAP accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, you can claim credit under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program.

Characteristics of accredited self-assessment programs

Accredited SAPs use brief, highly directed questions in structured formats (such as multiple-choice or short-answer questions) to elicit reliable, constructed responses from participants. This format helps assess aspects of participants’ knowledge in defined domains. The feedback given to participants provides them with opportunities to identify areas for improvement or future learning.

SAPs that are accredited by the Royal College share five features:

  • developed by a planning committee who are members of a physician organization;
  • address a defined need within a specific subject area, topic or problem;
  • describe or include methods that enable participants to demonstrate or apply knowledge, skills or attitudes;
  • provide detailed feedback to participants on their performance to enable the identification of any deficit in knowledge and the development of a future learning plan; and
  • independent from any commercial interests.

FAQs: Self-assessment programs (SAP)

How do I know if the SAP I completed is accredited by the Royal College?

To know whether the SAP you are participating in or considering is accredited by the Royal College, look for the Royal College accreditation statement in the activity description. Alternatively, you can directly contact the CPD Provider to confirm. Finally, you can search the activity in the Royal College’s SAP database in MAINPORT.

What if the SAP I completed is not accredited by the Royal College?

If the SAP you completed is not accredited by a Royal College CPD Accredited Provider, then you may choose to claim this activity as a personal learning project under Section 2 of the MOC Program. Learn more in MOC 101: Personal Learning Projects.

The SAP I participated in is not listed in MAINPORT ePortfolio. What should I do?

First, try searching by the activity ID# (this should be listed on your certificate of participation). Otherwise, try searching with the title as it appears on the certificate or the most uncommon word in the title. If you’re still unable to find the SAP you completed in MAINPORT ePortfolio, please contact us with details and we will look to confirm its status:

There are two dates listed with my SAP. What is the difference between an activity date and an accreditation date?

The activity date refers to the date that an event or activity was held. The accreditation date is the timeline (date range) within which you can document your participation in a SAP in MAINPORT ePortfolio for MOC credit.

Entering or searching SAPs in MAINPORT ePortfolio

Did you know that the Royal College has over 15,000 accredited SAPs listed in MAINPORT ePortfolio?

  • Document accredited SAPs under Section 3: Accredited self-assessment programs.

Pro tip: Search your SAP in the database using the ID# on your certificate of completion or the provider name. Results are listed alphabetically.

  • Search accredited SAPs by clicking “Enter a CPD Activity” in the top right-hand corner of the MAINPORT ePortfolio home screen (desktop version). Use the advanced search to select a provider and see which SAPs are available and eligible for MOC credit.

Pro tip: Don’t search by specialty. Not all CPD Providers check off a specialty for their activity. For this reason, you will have a better chance of finding activities pertinent to your interests if you search using the drop-down list of providers.

You can also search SAPs eligible for MOC Section 3 credit using CME Passport from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.

If you have more questions or desire personalized support, please contact the Royal College Services Centre: 1-800-461-9598, (613-730-6243 Ottawa region) or


Leave a comment. To reduce spam, comments are reviewed before they are visible on the post.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Edward Rawling | December 16, 2021
My Brother-law Dr Hugh Robertson died on June 1/21 with CA in the 0chsner Climic New Orleans .He was a very medically orientated gentleman ! He was a huge part of his Ottawa Medical Cless I know you & he linked in “Simulation” Best wishes to you Very sincerely Edward Rawling !
Royal College Communications | December 16, 2021
Dr. Rawling, we are very sorry for your loss.