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Specialty Committee member role

Volunteers are an integral component of the Royal College’s success. More than 3,000 individuals, mainly Royal College Fellows, contribute their time and expertise each year. One of the ways to contribute is to volunteer to serve on a specialty committee. Learn more about how to join a committee.

Specialty committee members perform a wide range of duties including, helping establish specialty standards, adjudicating on disciplinary matters and reviewing the accreditation process. Committee work involves between 60 and 100 hours per year. All committee members may claim 15 Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credits per year.

Committee composition

The committee is made up of three types of members: voting members who are funded, non-voting members who are funded and non-voting members who are not funded.

Committee members serve a two-year mandate, which is renewable twice.

Member responsibilities and time commitment

Attend two specialty committee meetings per year (about 16 hours)
Web, video and teleconferencing is available for members who are unable to attend meetings in person.

Review of specialty, subspecialty and new disciplines (about six hours)
The Committee on Specialties conducts a specialty review based on a preset six-year schedule.  The committees responds to key questions posed by the Committee on Specialties to determine the health of the discipline and functioning of the committee. The committee also provides input on consultation phase for new specialty applications, Areas of Focused Competence (AFC) applications and changes to discipline names or training to related disciplines.

Establishes specialty standards (about six to 12 hours)
Standards are worked on for training, accreditation, credentialing and evaluation.

Other matters related to disciplines (about six hours)
Members help develop review and update specialty training documents to reflect changes in scopes of practice, new technologies and current practices.

Liaise with National Specialty Society
In addition to the above activities, the National Specialty Society observers ensure contact and communication is maintained between the society and the committee.

Exam format and exam committee membership voting members (about two hours)
The specialty committee chair and the exam committee chair review a copy of the current membership list and mandates of the exam committee. In consultation with the exam committee chair and specialty committee members, the specialty committee chair is responsible for sending recommendations for the appointments to the Exam Unit.

The chair may also be called upon to assist the Office of Education on any difficulties with the membership, such as examination questions not being created, breaches in confidentiality or for mediation between the exam committee and the Royal College.

Accreditation process voting members (about 20 hours)
Voting members support the accreditation process in a number of ways, including:

  • Reviewing the pre-survey questionnaire prior to a programs’ accreditation visit
  • reviewing survey comments from residency programs
  • recommending the accreditation status of residency programs
  • reviewing the Specific Standards of Accreditation (SSA) for the specialty’s residency program
  • nominating specialists to participate in the survey process

Credentials voting members (about two hours)
Voting members support the credentialing process in a number of ways, including:

  • making credentialing recommendations
  • ruling on cases where training is difficult to assess