Professional Practice Examination (PPE)

The 2022 examination has been postponed due to the uncertainties of the current situation with in person attendance.

The examination may be written by undergraduate students in their 4th year, or by graduate students. They will then need to submit evidence of experience when it has been completed. It is recommended that working physicists submit evidence of background and experience prior to writing the examination. Try the sample version of the Professional Practice Examination.

The examination is given only once a year, normally during the third week of January, by the physics departments at Canadian universities. For applicants outside the designated examination sites, it may be possible to establish alternate locations provided the proposed arrangements are suitable to, and approved by, the Professional Certification Committee. Further details can be obtained from the CAP’s Executive Director. For more information regarding the PPE and the requirements for P.Phys. certification, please click on “Requirements” on the left.

The CAP recognizes that some very good resources exist which may assist an applicant in preparing for the PPE. One very useful on-line resource is entitled “On Being a Scientist”, prepared by the American National Academy of Sciences. The on-line version of the booklet is available at Paper copies may be obtained directly from the NAS for a small fee.

Students are expected to know the CAP and P.Phys. Code of Ethics. In addition it is strongly advised that applicants review the TCPS-2 policy and complete the tutorial that can be found at The interactive video found at and the book by Francis L Macrina on “Scientific Integrity: Text & Cases in Responsible Conduct of Research”. American Society Microbiology, 2005. ISBN-10: 1555813186 (or similar texts) may also be of value.