The Specialty Standards Review Committee (SSRC) has been delegated authority by the Committee on Specialty Education to review and approve all Royal College discipline-specific standards documents in order to maintain the highest standards of postgraduate medical education.
The SSRC conducts comprehensive peer reviews of discipline-specific standards documents with the goal of:
The SSRC is responsible for reviewing the following discipline-specific documents:
Specialty/subspecialty/special program documents
Area of Focused Competence (AFC-diploma) documents
Beginning in 2016-17, SSRC is responsible for reviewing discipline-specific documents that reflect the new national standards for disciplines implementing Competence by Design (CBD):
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 SSRC is comprised of current or former member(s) of specialty committees or the OSE standing committees (i.e., Accreditation Committee, Assessment Committee, Committee on Specialties, or Professional Learning and Development Committee) or their subcommittees who have been recommended to the role.
The SSRC will be chaired by the Director, Specialty Education, Strategy, and Standards, OSE or the Associate Director of the Specialties Unit. In the event that neither the director nor the associate director is available, an experienced SSRC member may be requested to chair a meeting on their behalf.
Representatives from all facets of OSE may participate in SSRC conference calls on an ad hoc basis.
Generally, committee members should possess the following key competencies:
Royal College Fellow in good standing
Experience in the development of discipline-specific documents
Detailed knowledge of the policies of the Royal College specifically related to accreditation, credentialing and/or evaluation
Strong attention to detail
The usual term of office is a single two-year term, which is renewable for as long as the committee member is actively contributing to the SSRC’s mandate and is committed to the role.
Four committee members, including the chair, shall constitute a quorum.
The SSRC typically meets via web conference to carry out its mandate. However, the committee may hold face-to-face meetings periodically, approximately once every 2 years, as a means of providing orientation for new members and facilitating learning and relationship building for all.
The SSRC convenes via web conference approximately twelve to fifteen times per year (every four to six weeks) as discipline-specific documents are finalized for review.
Documents will be sent to SSRC members at least one week prior to the scheduled SSRC conference call. A minimum of three SSRC members are required to attend each SSRC meeting; therefore, members are asked to make themselves available for a minimum of seven out of fifteen meetings each year. Web conferences are two hours in length and are generally scheduled between 10:00 and 16:00 hours Eastern Time.
In conducting the document review, one SSRC member will be asked (one to two weeks prior to the SSRC meeting) to undertake the role of lead reviewer, performing a detailed review of one document or suite of documents on the agenda. That reviewer will lead the discussion of that document or suite of documents during the SSRC call, summarizing the comments and recommending changes. All SSRC members attending the call are asked to provide input and respond to the lead reviewer’s comments. OSE will assign the role of lead reviewer to an SSRC member, while monitoring to ensure equal distribution of responsibility over the course of the year.
After reviewing and discussing a document (or suite of documents), SSRC members attending the call will make a decision on the approval status of the document(s) by means of a majority vote. The decision may be approval, approval in principle, or approval deferred (pending further revision). Document(s) that are approved or approved in principle will be revised per the SSRC discussion and will undergo OSE verification en route to becoming official standards documents. Documents with approval deferred will return to the specialty committee with the SSRC feedback/suggestions and, upon revision, will be reassessed by SSRC.
Last approved by the Governance Committee on May 30, 2018