The Committee on Specialties (COS) is a subcommittee that reports to the Committee on Specialty Education. It is responsible for providing advice and making recommendations on matters relating to the system of specialty medicine in Canada, and in particular, the disciplines recognized by the Royal College.
The major tasks of the COS are to:
The COS delegates authority to individual specialty committees (specialty, subspecialty, and Area of Focused Competence) for the following key functions, across the continuum of medical education:
In addition to reporting to the Committee on Specialty Education (CSE), the Specialty Standards Review Committee (SSRC) has a reporting relationship with the COS.
The COS has 15 voting members, including the chair and a vice-chair. The chair is a member of the Committee on Specialty Education. The specific composition of the COS will be determined as appropriate and will include:
Fellows shall be selected on the basis of ensuring a diversity of perspectives from both tertiary care teaching hospitals and rural/community-based practice, across all regions of Canada.
The COS also includes nine (9) non-voting members who may attend meetings but shall not be counted for the purposes of establishing quorum:
Generally, committee members should possess the following key competencies and attributes:
The usual term of office of the chair is two years, renewable once (maximum of four years). The term of the vice-chair is one year, renewable three times (maximum of four years). The usual term of office of the other committee members is two years, renewable twice (maximum of six years), with the exception of the voting specialty residents whose terms are one year, renewable twice (maximum of three years). The terms of office take effect as stipulated so long as the member’s total years of service on the committee do not extend beyond 10 years.
All terms shall begin and end at the time of the Annual Meeting of the Members when vacancies need to be filled.
The chair and all voting members of the committee require appointment by the Executive Committee of Council (or the CEO if it is a midterm appointment). Non-voting members do not require approval of the ECC or the CEO.
The COS usually meets two or three times per year.
Quorum consists of a majority of the voting members of the committee (i.e., 50% plus one). The chair is counted as a voting member in constituting quorum. However as the presiding official of the committee, the chair does not move motions. Furthermore, the chair shall only vote when the vote is conducted by secret ballot. Every question shall be decided by a majority of the votes cast. In the event of a tie vote, the question shall be defeated. When a committee is called to make a decision outside of a meeting by e-ballot, the same rules apply.
Appointment to a Royal College committee carries significant responsibilities, and all committee members are expected to adhere to the Volunteer Code of Conduct. In addition, committee members are required to maintain absolute discretion and not divulge, re-produce, or release any confidential information except when authorized by the Royal College. Committee members are permitted to download a copy of committee materials for use solely for the purposes of the Committee. All downloaded materials must be deleted once used for the intended purpose.
Last approved by the Governance Committee on May 30, 2018