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FAQ: Resident Affiliate status

Who can become a Resident Affiliate?

Anyone enrolled in a Royal College accredited postgraduate specialty residency program in Canada, who has not previously been certified by the Royal College, is welcome to join as a Resident Affiliate. You may join in any year of your residency program.

What does it cost?

Resident Affiliate status is free.

What are the benefits?

Resident Affiliates who document learning activities in the MAINPORT ePortfolio during their residency program can transfer up to 75 credits (25 in each of the MAINPORT ePortfolio categories of Group Learning, Self-Learning and Assessment) into their first five-year Maintenance of Certification (MOC) cycle following certification.

In addition, Resident Affiliate status allows you to:

  • Stay up to date.Receive timely information about eligibility, fees and deadlines for assessment of credentials and training.
  • Access resident-only awards and grants. The Royal College recognizes resident leadership and research across Canada.
  • Provide vital input on the profession. Residents provide input on the strategic direction of the profession through Council, committees and e-surveys.
  • Take advantage of discounts.Save money on CanMEDS publications and learning tools.
  • Get timely medical and specialty news. Stay up to date with free access to the Royal College’s secure web portal, Dialogue e-newsletter, CEO messages and more.
  • Connect with your colleagues. You will be affiliated with more than 47,000 like-minded medical specialists.

I have a primary certification and am now doing a subspecialty (or a fellowship). Can I be a Resident Affiliate?

No, once you have been certified by the Royal College, you are no longer eligible for Resident Affiliate status. We encourage you to join as a Fellow, and we offer fee reductions based on net income for those who are on restricted incomes for reasons such as continuing studies.

While it is not necessary to join the Royal College as a Fellow while you are completing a fellowship following certification, there are some definite advantages. Fellowships count for up to 100 MOC credits per year, but can only be counted if you have an active MOC cycle while you are enrolled in the fellowship. MOC cycles start when you become a Fellow, and you cannot count activities that took place before your cycle start date.

Does Resident Affiliate status mean I’m a “member” of the Royal College?

Only those who have joined the Royal College as Fellows are members. This means they can vote, run for office, and take advantage of benefits offered only to Fellows. However, Resident Affiliate status does provide access to a number of benefits too, and helps familiarize you with the Royal College.

At what point can I change from Resident Affiliate to Fellow?

When you complete all requirements of your residency and become certified by the Royal College, you become eligible for Fellowship. The Royal College will send you information on becoming a Fellow once you qualify. There are annual dues associated with being a Royal College Fellow.

Important note: Certification does not automatically mean you are a Fellow. Fellowship involves an application process, and signing of the Fellowship Declaration, a legal document.

If I opt not to join the Royal College immediately after certification, how long can I wait to join and still carry forward my MOC credits?

Credits from a Resident Affiliate MOC cycle can be carried forward any time within two years of initial certification. This means that if you opt not to become a Fellow while completing a subspecialty or a fellowship, you will still be able to carry credits forward, as long as you join within two years of your primary certification date.

What happens if I opt not to join as a Fellow?

Only Royal College Fellows can take advantage of the Resident Affiliate credit carry-forward benefit.

Resident Affiliates and the MOC Program

What are MOC and the MAINPORT ePortfolio?

MOC is the Royal College’s Maintenance of Certification Program. The MOC Program is a continuing professional development program designed by the Royal College to support the lifelong learning needs of Fellows and other health care professionals.

Integral to the Royal College's MOC Program is a robust MAINPORT ePortfolio application. The MAINPORT ePortfolio is an integrated learning space that provides physicians with strategies to manage their learning and access a wide variety of web resources and assessment programs.

Learn more about MOC Learn more about the MAINPORT ePortfolio

What is the policy for carrying MOC credits forward?

Resident Affiliates who document learning activities in their MAINPORT ePortfolio during their residency program can transfer up to 75 credits (25 in each of the MAINPORT ePortfolio categories of Group Learning, Self-Learning and Assessment) into their first five-year Maintenance of Certification (MOC) cycle following certification.

To take advantage of this, residents must register as a Resident Affiliate, track their CPD activities in their MAINPORT ePortfolio, then join the Royal College as a Fellow following certification. You may earn credits for any learning activity that you complete during residency training that falls within the MOC Program’s Framework of CPD Activities (for example, attending conferences and learning rounds).

By becoming a Royal College Resident Affiliate and documenting your CPD activities in your MAINPORT ePortfolio, you’ll get a head start on accumulating the MOC credits that will become crucial once you enter professional practice. Most provincial medical regulatory authorities in Canada now require their registrants to participate in a recognized continuing professional development program, such as the Royal College’s MOC Program, as a condition of licensure.

***Please note that you can only report learning activities that occur within your MOC cycle dates, which will not necessarily match your residency years.***

What components of my residency training count as approved CPD activities within the MOC Program?

You can earn credits for any learning activity that you complete during residency training that falls within the MOC Program’s Framework of CPD Activities. For example, attending accredited specialty conferences and grand rounds can earn you one credit per hour.

In addition, your residency program is likely presenting you with many opportunities for self-learning. You can count self-learning activities in the MOC Program provided they improved your knowledge or competence. For example, have you ever reflected on what you learned after searching for evidence to answer a clinical question or prepare for a presentation? These are known as “personal learning projects” in the language of the MOC Program. They can earn you two credits per hour provided you reflected on what you learned following the activity and recorded it in your MAINPORT ePortfolio.

If you participated in an assessment during your residency training, such as a practice oral examination or a simulation, and reflected on the data and feedback that you received, then the MOC Program will recognize this as an assessment activity, and you can earn three credits per hour.

Is it activity by activity that will be transferred, or a lump sum?

It will be a lump sum. If you have 25 or more credits in a section, 25 credits will appear as a transfer. You will not see individual activities from your Resident Affiliate cycle. If you have less than 25 credits in a section, you will see a transfer of the exact number of credits you accumulated, but you will not see any of the details of your activities.

I used to be a Resident Affiliate, but was certified before July 1, 2013. Can I carry credits forward?

No, the new policy applies only to those who were Resident Affiliates on or after July 1, 2013.

I became a Resident Affiliate before July 1, 2013 and had already entered credits for CPD activities completed before July 4.1. Can I carry these forward?

Yes, activities entered before July 1, 2013 for individuals who were active Resident Affiliates as of July 1, 2013 can count toward the maximum 75 credits that can be carried forward into your first MOC cycle following certification.

I became a Resident Affiliate before July 1, 2013, but did NOT enter credits for my CPD activities completed before that date. Can I enter them retroactively?

Yes, you may enter credits for activities that took place at any point during your current resident MOC cycle. So, for example, if you joined as a Resident Affiliate on September 1, 2011, you would be able to enter activities that took place any time on or after September 1, 2011.

I became a Resident Affiliate after July 1, 2013. Can I enter credits for activities I completed before I joined?

No. MOC cycles start when you become a Resident Affiliate and activities before your join date cannot be entered. You can only enter credits for activities that occur within your cycle dates, which will not necessarily match your residency years.

What happens if my five-year Resident Affiliate MOC cycle ends before I complete my residency?

While MOC cycles are normally five years, the Royal College can extend the end date of your cycle for an additional period (in yearly increments) if you are still in your residency.

What happens to the activities in my Resident Affiliate MOC cycle once I become certified?

Once you are certified, you can no longer enter credits into your Resident Affiliate MOC cycle. You will be given a new five-year MOC cycle when you join the Royal College as a Fellow. You will still be able to see your Resident Affiliate cycle in the MAINPORT ePortfolio, and create reports based on your Resident MOC cycle, however you will not be able to make any changes to it.

Become a Resident Affiliate

Contact us
Royal College Services Centre
Email: membership@royalcollege.ca
Telephone: 613-730-6243; toll-free 1-800-461-9598

Questions?
The Royal College Services Centre is here to help.