Become A McGill Method Provider

Certification vs Master Clinician
What is the difference?

McGill Method Certified Practitioner

“McGill Method Certified Practitioners” have completed the McGill Method clinical courses and passed a knowledge competency test. They are listed on the Backfitpro website to assist back-pained patients looking for practitioners practicing the McGill Method. Certified practitioners are not intended to address people with substantial back pain mechanisms. Such people are directed to the McGill Method Master Clinicians.



McGill Method Master Clinician

A McGill Method Master Clinician is an elite clinician who has demonstrated clinical competency with patients.

Becoming a “McGill Method Master Clinician” requires candidates to first become McGill Method Certified. They must also possess a clinical degree, pass the Master Clinician exam having both written and live patient components. McGill Method Master Clinicians will be actively referred patients from Professor McGill and passively referred patients from the Backfitpro website and other sources.


Become a McGill Method Certified Practitioner


You will be listed on the website and should expect patient/client referrals.

You will be invited to quarterly zoom meetings for grand rounds of client case studies, and professional issues and skill updates. Backfitpro strives to support our providers, and offers regular resource updates and guidance.

You will receive discounts on Backfitpro continuing education offerings for yourself, and discounts on Backfitpro products for yourself and your clients.


You must be a health care practitioner or fitness professional, in good standing with your professional college or association. (Ex: NASM, NSCA, RMT, Clinical Degree such as MD, PT, DC, DO).

Within the last five (5) years you have attended:

McGill 1: Foundation For A Pain-Free Back

McGill 2: Assessment

McGill 3: Enhancing Performance

Check the ‘online courses’ page for access to McGill Method courses. If you take the online courses, you must also attend the small enrollment, online interactive hands-on skills development workshop for each course (Free to those who have registered for all three online courses).

You must have an existing vibrant practice seeing patients one-on-one.


1. Study  the content in Dr. Stuart McGill’s books Back Mechanic, Low Back Disorders (3rd Ed.) and Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance (6th Ed.).

You must demonstrate competence in interpreting the 9 assessment tests in Back Mechanic together with designing and coaching an appropriate program as a minimum.

2. Review the study guide: Download study guide here

3. Apply to take the McGill Method certification exams:

See application button at the bottom of this page. This includes a short interview over video call before being invited to write the exams. You can consider this a job interview since you will be referred clients from Backfitpro and in turn, Backfitpro requires appropriate representation.

4. Take the McGill Method Certification written exam:
This written exam will be administered online and composed of a series of short answer questions. The written exam is worth 45% of your McGill Method Certification grade.

5. Take the McGill Method Certification practical exam.
This practical exam will be administered online via a video conference with a Backfitpro faculty member. You will be required to bring a model to your practical exam, as you will be requested to demonstrate and coach various McGill Method practices. The practical exam is worth 55% of your McGill Method Certification grade. Following the completion of your practical exam, you will receive your pass or fail exam result, based on both exam components.

6. Pay your member fees.
If you received a passing grade (≥ 80%), you will become McGill Method Certified. Once your McGill Method Certified member fees are paid, your contact information will be included in the McGill Method Certified database, posted on and available to the general public searching for referrals.


  • Competent in identification of red flags and appropriate referral procedures
  • Adept at thoroughly taking a client’s history, knowing what questions to ask and how to interpret the responses
  • Able to coach the corrective movement patterns that prevent/desensitize low back pain
  • Knowledgeable in how to develop an exercise program, including when and how to progress and regress the client in their program
  • Able to identify the movements, postures and loads that are (potential) pain triggers, coach the client in understanding these (potential) pain triggers and, if possible, relate them to a mechanism that will empower the client to make decisions in the future
  • Proficient in demonstrating and coaching a remedial core stabilization program (e.g., cue appropriate bracing strategies and coach progressions of the Big 3, as well as gluteal and lat activation), together with appropriate distal mobility
  • Proficient in the material in Dr. Stuart McGill’s textbooks, including, but not limited to, lumbar spine function and injury mechanisms, functional anatomy, patient assessment, corrective exercise prescription and performance training


1. A review exam is conducted every 4 years (this will require reflection on assessment skills including technique to obtain the greatest information from the client, organizing tests to be efficient without exceeding the capacity of the client, to name a few). In the exceptional case involving complaints against a practitioner by clients or colleagues, Backfitpro reserves the right to conduct a re-examination sooner than 4 years.

2. Pay your annual certification membership fees.


In addition to the course tuition costs, the exam fee is CAD$449 (approx $360 US), and the annual certification membership fee is CAD$995 (approx USD$730). The fees for the four year exam review is CAD$900.


*Any exam re-writes are provided on an as-needed basis and are at the discretion of Backfitpro. If taken within 90 calendar days of the first attempt, the fees will be waived.

**This designation is not for life and Backfitpro reserves the right to remove the McGill Method Certified individual from the website.

*** Backfitpro reserves the right to adjust fees from time to time as conditions dictate.

Testimonials from our McGill Method Certified Practitioners

“Becoming McGill Method Certified has proven to be invaluable both personally and professionally. The process afforded me the confidence and reassurance I needed to impart knowledge and execute appropriate programs to clients suffering from low back pain. It has also provided me with a unique training niche supported by my listing on the Backfitpro website which continues to be a significant source of new clients.”  – Nicola Folino

“This is the education I was hoping to get when I went to chiropractic school. When I graduated, I didn’t really feel like I had the ability to empower those with back pain. The McGill Method has changed my whole outlook on my career. Really proud to be part of it. Thank you again!” 
“Since being McGill Method Certified I have seen the best results with athletes at Northwestern University. I have multiple doctorates and have over 30 different certifications, but the McGill Method is truly the most effective and researched method I have ever come across. Without question, it is my most valuable certification that I have ever accomplished.  I just want to thank you both for putting this together and making this possible. In my first two months being Certified, I have already had 4 McGill Method patients contact me from the website and are scheduled to see me.” – Thomas Solecki

How to become a McGill Method Master Clinician

Achieving the status (McGill Method Master Clinician) is rare and has a very high standard. Professor McGill’s work over the years has shown that back pain has a cause. The cause may be quite simple in terms of mechanism, or it may be very complex. There are often elements of mechanics, neurology, personality and psychology, anatomy, load exposure, age, and social forces, to name a few. Some patients have several mechanisms that may be independent of one another or they may feed into one another. Nonetheless a thorough assessment will reveal the pain mechanism. Obtaining an understanding of the pain mechanism guides the approach to wind down the pain sensitivity as the first priority, followed with a plan to build a foundation for pain-free activity.

A McGill Method Master Clinician has competence to conduct the assessment and execute the therapeutic plan. Professor McGill has confidence in their abilities demonstrated with an exam and an in-person observation of their assessment skill abilities. Backfitpro Inc, will list McGill Method Master Clinicians on the website ( and will refer patients to them.

A McGill Method Master Clinician patient:

Has failed several clinical approaches and upon leaving the assessment will:

  • Understand their pain trigger mechanism

  • Clearly understand what to do to allow pain de-sensitization

  • Clearly understand how to build a foundation for pain-free movement

  • Clearly understand some progressions and milestones

  • Have a report with a precise diagnosis (most of the time) sent to the referring clinician with a recovery plan

  • Have read Back Mechanic

  • Have a follow-up contact to quantify efficacy

A McGill Method Master Clinician:

  • Performs an assessment that reveals the pain mechanism

  • Has the skills to coach the patient to understand their pain trigger mechanism

  • Has the skills to coach the movements that allow pain de-sensitization, followed with how to build a foundation for pain-free movement

  • Prepares a report with a precise description of the pain mechanism (most of the time) sent to the referring clinician with a recovery plan

  • Is competent with the material in Low Back Disorders (3rd Edition)

  • Has a follow-up contact with the patient to quantify efficacy

  • Will be listed on the website as a McGill Method Master Clinician

  • Will be referred patients from prof McGill and Backfitpro Inc.

Qualification process

Pre-requisites: A McGill Method Master Clinician candidate will have been a delegate attending McGill 1, 2 and 3 level courses. They have a clinical qualification such as PT, MD, DC, DO. They will have obtained certification in the McGill Method and will have practiced as a certified clinician for several years. 

Candidates must spend some time with Professor McGill, Dr Ed Cambridge or Joel Proskewitz seeing patients. This will hone skill in assessment technique to converge on a precise understanding of their pain mechanism(s). Also coaching skills will be enhanced to migrate tissue loading that desensitize pain mechanisms and build a foundation for pain-free activity.

A candidate will be invited to apply to Backfitpro Inc. to begin the exam process. Copies of the last 5 consulting reports shall be submitted for review togther with patient followup results. Following this they can obtain a qualification exam time. The exam will consist of a written portion together with a member of the assessor staff observing an assessment session with a real patient(s). There is a  fee for the taking the exam to cover patient admin costs, insurance, evaluators time etc.

There will be a continual audit normally conducted every 4 years.

This designation is not for life and Backfitpro Inc. reserves the right to remove the McGill Method Master Clinician from the website for failure to uphold expectations.


Backfitpro’s assessor staff will evaluate each candidate’s effectiveness to assess a patient, converge on a precise diagnosis, create a recovery plan and teach and coach a patient on movement and exercise technique. The candidate will be evaluated via a written exam and practical hands-on session using the following three criteria/competencies:

  1. Competency with foundational material: Candidates will be quizzed on material contained in the three McGill courses and textbooks (Low Back Disorders, Back Mechanic and Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance);

  2. Assessment competency: Interpretation of the patient from the interview portion, and skill in conducting pain provocation and converging on pain reduction strategies, and building training capacity;

  3. Teaching-coaching competency: The ability to effectively communicate the essential elements of movement appropriate for pain desensitization and pain-free ability enhancement. The candidate recognizes the learning style of the patient/client and coaches appropriately.

Annual fees

Annual fees will be collected by Backfitpro Inc. (covering website maintenance, insurance, referral system, etc). This fee is considered minimal and equal to the fee collected by a McGill Method Master Clinician for 2 patient assessments. The fee will be re-evaluated in the future but the foundational principles and philosophy will remain.

Annual fees are $3600 CAN and the re-examination audit (every 4 years) has a fee of $2900 CAN. Backfitpro reserves the right to modify these requirements as conditions dictate.