Become A McGill Method Master Clinician

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. 

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 may apply to Backfitpro Inc. to 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 1 patient assessment. The fee will be re-evaluated in the future but the foundational principles and philosophy will remain.

Annual fees are $1800 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 as dictate.