2021 de Souza Chemotherapy Competency Maintenance Course – Frequently Asked Questions

July 14, 2021

An update to the Provincial Position Statements for Nursing Practice in Cancer Care has been published by Cancer Care Ontario in systemic treatment administration.  To support nurses and cancer care organizations, de Souza Institute has developed a video recording and a set of frequently asked questions below.


What are the course offerings from de Souza Institute on Systemic Cancer Treatment Administration? 

The Institute offers two online and highly interactive courses that support the provincial standards in chemotherapy and biotherapy administration and safety: 

  • the Provincial Standardized Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Course (PSCB) for initial competency development, and  
  • the Chemotherapy Competency Maintenance Course (CCMC).   

The above two courses are updated regularly to reflect the latest national and provincial standards, and are linked to the CCO Drug Formulary and monographs. 

The unique experience for students is augmented by the integration of case studies, workshops, and opportunities for clinically relevant and practice-based knowledge application. 


How does the 2021 CCO position statements affect the CCMC renewal timeline? 

In coordination with Cancer Care Ontario, de Souza Institute will use the following criteria: 

  • Nurses who are due to participate in a renewal course taking place in July, August, or September 2021, will take their courses as scheduled as per the current 18-month renewal policy. All renewals thereafter will be on a 24-month cycle. 
  • For nurses whose CCMC renewal course is due after October 1st, 2021, the start date for their courses will be extended by six months. Renewals thereafter will be on a 24-month cycle.  
  • For example, nurses who are to start the course on October 18, 2021 will have a new renewal course start date of April 2022. 
  • Due date extensions and additional details are provided in the de Souza Chemotherapy Competency Maintenance Course extension table


Do nurses get reminders for their renewal course timeline?  

Nurses get four email reminders prior to the last possible course offering to meet the Chemotherapy Competency Maintenance Course requirement timeline. 


What happens if nurses fail to complete the renewal course within the timeline? 

Nurses whose CCMC renewal lapses will need to repeat the Provincial Standardized Chemotherapy and Biotherapy (PSCB) Course.  


If a nurse goes on Maternity Leave/Sick Leave, would he/she get an extension for the renewal course? 

Please contact a de Souza Institute educator prior to the planned maternity leave for advice.  We recommend that you inform the Institute of your planned maternity leave 3-4 months in advance so that we could help you choose an option that works best for you.  A medical note or a letter from HR will be required.  Please visit de Souza Institute’s Cancellation, Incomplete or No Show Policy.   


If a nurse takes a Systemic Cancer Treatment Administration course from another organization, would it be recognized by de Souza Institute? 

Please contact de Souza Institute for course equivalency assessment.  A challenge exam, with an administrative fee, may be required to assess the applicant’s current state of knowledge.  


How are managers/educators informed whether a nurse has completed PSCB/CCMC?   

Currently, when nurses complete either PSCB or CCMC, their course outcome is sent to their email on file, copied to their respective manager. 

In addition to the above, starting October 2021, managers will receive a secure and consolidated document outlining the completion status of all the nurses on their team they approved for PSCB or CCMC.  This document will be provided after each offering to support CCO’s new reporting process. 

Since managers play a critical role in supporting their nurses’ chemotherapy and biotherapy competencies, and given CCO’s new reporting requirement, managers’ contact information and approval for their staff’s participation in PSCB and CCMC is a pre-requisite for a nurse’s registration.