Skip to Main Content
Follow us

Specialty committees

Specialty committees are established for every specialty, subspecialty and special program recognized by the Royal College. The role of a specialty committee is to advise the Royal College on specialty-specific content issues related to standard setting, credentials, assessment and accreditation.

Specialty committee responsibilities

  • Advising the Committee on Specialties on matters including reviewing specialty and subspecialty status and applications for recognition of a new discipline.
  • Advising the Accreditation Committee on matters including basic accreditation requirements, applications for accreditation of new programs, assessment of pre-survey questionnaires and recommendation of accreditation status.
  • Advising the Credentials Committee on matters including the Objectives of Training and minimum training requirements for the specialty, subspecialty and special program and assessment of individual credentials.
  • Advising the Assessment Committee on matters including the format of the examination and examination committee appointments.
  • Advising other committees of the Royal College such as the Executive Committee, Regional Advisory Committees and the Biomedical Ethics Committee on matters relevant to the discipline.
  • Revising specialty-specific documents as needed.
  • Liaising with the national specialty society on educational issues and collaborating to ensure the sustained health of the discipline.
  • Overseeing an area of focused competence (AFC) diploma, if applicable, including oversight of the AFC document development and revision process; and providing consultation on decisions brought forward by the AFC working group or subcommittee.

Specialty committee members

Voting members consist of up to nine members: chair, vice-chair(s), one member representing each of the five geographical regions in Canada (Bylaw No. 19, Article 11.1.2), and a community-based representative (if applicable).

Non-voting members consist of: the chairs of the English and French examination committees for the specialty or subspecialty; the chair of a parent specialty (for subspecialties), subspecialty (for parent specialties) or other related disciplines; residency program directors; observers representing a national specialty society, a professor’s group, or any outside organization; and other representatives (as required).

Subcommittees and ad-hoc meetings

Specialty committees must seek formal approval from the Specialties Unit when they wish to create a subcommittee or if they wish to hold an additional ad-hoc meeting. Any subcommittees created or ad-hoc meeting must include a formal reporting relationship to the specialty committee.

Subcommittee and ad-hoc meetings support policy

Working groups

The first step following the approval of recognition of a new discipline is to create a working group.  The mandate of this working group is to develop discipline-specific documents. The working group should consist of six to eight members who are Fellows of the Royal College and experts in their field.  Working groups may be granted a certain amount of flexibility in their membership if they are unable to meet the membership policies fully.  Any request for exception to the policy will be reviewed by the manager of the Specialties Unit, fully explaining the reason for their request.

Working group terms of reference

Procedures for the creation of a new discipline

Advisory committees

Advisory committees advise the Accreditation Committee on matters including the basic accreditation requirements, applications for accreditation of new programs, assessment of pre-survey questionnaires and recommendation of accreditation status. It advises the Credentials Committee on assessment of individual credentials. It also advises other committees of the Royal College such as the Executive Committee, Regional Advisory Committees and the Biomedical Ethics Committee on matters relevant to the discipline.

Committee members should be Royal College Fellows and have certification and clinical and educational expertise relevant to the specific discipline.

  • The Clinician Investigator Program Advisory Committee advises the Royal College on discipline-specific content issues (e.g., standards, credentials, and accreditation).

Clinician Investigator Program Advisory Committee terms of reference

  • The Palliative Medicine Advisory Committee advises the Royal College and the College of Family Physicians of Canada specialty-specific content issues (e.g., standards, credentials, evaluation and accreditation).

Palliative Medicine Advisory Committee terms of reference

  • The Surgical Foundations Advisory Committee advises the Royal College on Standards for Surgical Foundations and helps update the Specialty Training Requirements.