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AFC and specialties application processes

Applicants for discipline recognition are leaders in their field who want to ensure national standards for an area of expertise not currently recognized by the Royal College. Applications are considered first by the Committee on Specialties (COS), the body responsible for making decisions regarding the recognition of new disciplines and the health of disciplines within the system of specialty medicine in Canada.

New applications are reviewed at COS meetings twice a year (fall and spring). There are two opportunities to submit a finalized application:

  • September 1, for consideration at the fall COS meeting
  • February 1, for consideration at the spring COS meeting

See an overview of the governance structure at the Royal College.

AFC Recognition Process

The Committee on Specialty Education (CSE) has the authority to make a final decision on the recognition of new AFC disciplines.

It typically takes one to two years for a successful application to move from Step 1 to Step 5.

Step 1

Application Development

Applicants prepare the application, with guidance and advice from the Office of Specialty Education.

Apply for recognition of an AFC diploma.

Step 2

Committee on Specialties
Part I

The Committee on Specialties (COS) considers the application, in principal, based on its educational merits and relationship with existing disciplines within the system of specialty medicine.

Step 3

National Consultation

If approved by the COS at Part I, the application proceeds to a national consultation of stakeholders.

Find out more about the national consultation process and open consultations.

Step 4

Committee on Specialties
Part II

The COS considers the application and results of the national consultation. If the COS endorses the application, it will proceed to the Committee on Specialty Education (CSE).

Step 5

Committee on Specialty Education

The CSE considers the application and has the authority to make final decisions on the recognition of new AFC disciplines.

After a discipline is recognized by the Royal College, a Working Group is formed to develop the new discipline standards. Support will be provided by the Specialties Unit.

Specialty, Subspecialty, and Fundamentals Program Recognition Process

Royal College Council has the authority to make a final decision on the recognition of new primary specialty and subspecialty disciplines, as well as fundamentals programs.

It typically takes two years or more for a successful application to move from Step 1 to Step 7.

Step 1

Application Development

Applicants prepare the application, with guidance and advice from the Office of Specialty Education.

Apply for recognition of an AFC diploma.

Step 2

Committee on Specialties
Part I

The Committee on Specialties (COS) considers the application, in principal, based on its educational merits.

Step 3

National Consultation

If approved by the COS at Part I, the application proceeds to a national consultation of stakeholders.

Step 4

Committee on Specialties
Part II

The COS considers the entire application and the results of the national consultation. If the COS endorses the application, it will proceed to the Committee on Specialty Education (CSE).

Step 5

Committee on Specialty Education

The application is considered by CSE. If the CSE endorses the application, it will proceed to the Executive Committee on Council (ECC).

Step 6

Executive Committee of Council

The application is considered by ECC. If the ECC endorses the application, it will proceed to Council.

Step 7

Council

Council considers the application and has the authority to make final decisions on the recognition of new primary and subspecialty disciplines, and fundamentals programs.

After a discipline or fundamentals program is recognized by the Royal College, a Working Group is formed to develop its document suit. Support will be provided by the Specialties Unit.