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Subspecialty Examination Affiliate Program

The new examination program and Affiliate category for non-certified subspecialists


Reinforcing the Royal College as Canada’s national standard for specialist medical expertise!

The Royal College has created a new subspecialty examination program and affiliate category to ensure national standards of specialty care across Canada. The new Subspecialty Examination Affiliate Program (SEAP) provides an

  • approved mechanism for non-certified, internationally-trained subspecialists practising in Canada to challenge a Royal College subspecialty examination;
  • approved mechanism for internationally-trained physicians who are registered with a postgraduate office in an accredited Royal College subspecialty training program, but are not eligible to meet the prerequisite for subspecialty certification (Royal College certification in a primary specialty), based on the jurisdiction of their primary specialty training (i.e. primary specialty training was completed outside Canada, the United States, and the Royal College approved international jurisidictions) to challenge a Royal College subspecialty examination; and
  • invitation for successful exam candidates to join the Royal College as a Subspecialist Affiliate.

SEAP supports national standards for all subspecialists practicing in Canada

Licensed, internationally-trained physicians are currently practicing in Canada in recognized Royal College subspecialties, but without Royal College certification. SEAP enables the Royal College to deliver on their professional responsibility to enable all specialists and subspecialists practising in Canada to be assessed against the same national standards.

SEAP will

  • assist in closing the gap between no Royal College assessment for practising non-certified subspecialists and the standard traditional Royal College examination,
  • provide medical regulatory authorities with consistent national standards of assessment, and
  • enhance public confidence that their care is being provided by someone who can document successful completion of their subspecialist competence against Canada’s national standard.

SEAP does not create a new pathway to Royal College Fellowship

Successful exam candidates cannot use the Fellowship designation. Those who pass the exam will be provided Royal College attestation of its successful completion and offered the option to become a Royal College Subspecialist Affiliate.

Affiliate status provides a mechanism for maintaining engagement with the Royal College and participating in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program, but it does not confer Royal College membership or fellowship status.


Program eligibility for internationally-trained physicians

The new program impacts two main groups:

  1. Internationally-trained physicians already licensed and practising as subspecialists in Canada who do not have access to Royal College certification via a primary specialty.
  2. Internationally-trained physicians who are registered with a postgraduate office in an accredited Royal College subspecialty training program, but are not eligible to meet the prerequisite for subspecialty certification (Royal College certification in a primary specialty), based on the jurisdiction of their primary specialty training (i.e. primary specialty training was completed outside Canada or the United States.)

This program is not open to individuals who are completing training in a Canadian specialty program.


Phased implementation

To facilitate a manageable implementation for the Royal College and our medical school partners, SEAP will be deployed in phases. The initial phase will focus on internationally-trained physicians who are registered with a postgraduate office in an accredited Royal College subspecialty training program as this group is the most straightforward to identify and can be assessed against the current Royal College examination process. The next iteration will see the inclusion of subspecialties with an OSCE component.

A working group has being formed to assess the needs of non-certified internationally-trained physicians who are already licensed and practising in Canada. We will provide regular updates on their SEAP implementation process as it is developed.


Information for approved SEAP 2016 programs candidates

Eligibility to apply for SEAP

If you are an internationally-trained physician who is registered with a postgraduate office in an accredited Royal College subspecialty training program and you are interested in the SEAP program, please email the following information to the Credentials Unit of the Royal College to find out about your eligibility to apply.

  • Subspecialty discipline
  • Dates and details of training
  • Location of training
  • Where the parent discipline was completed (i.e. Internal Medicine, Pediatrics)

Please send the above information to credentials@royalcollege.ca

Apply for the Subspecialty Examination Affiliate Program: (Fillable form* | Printable form)
*(The following application form has been created as an Adobe PDF fillable form file. To view, complete, save and print this fillable form, you will need to open the form in Internet Explorer and have Adobe Reader installed on your computer. The software can be obtained free for Mac and PC users from the following site: http://get.adobe.com/reader/)

Please contact credentials@royalcollege.ca