Terms of Reference
Area of Focused Competence (AFC Diploma) Accreditation Committee


The Area of Focused Competence (AFC) Accreditation Committee (AFC-AC) is a subcommittee that reports to the Accreditation Committee. The Accreditation Committee has delegated responsibility to the AFC-AC to ensure that AFC programs accredited by the Royal College meet the requirements and guidelines for accreditation of the Areas of Focused Competence disciplines. In addition, the AFC-AC will develop the accreditation system (including standards, policies, and processes) for the AFC programs that is consistent with that of, and approved by, the Accreditation Committee.

Responsibility and Authority

The AFC-AC, in consultation with the Accreditation Committee and various specialty committees:

  • Develops, maintains, and recommends to the Accreditation Committee policies, standards, and criteria for the accreditation of AFC programs;
  • Develops and maintains documents for accreditation of AFC programs;
  • Assesses applications for accreditation of new AFC programs;
  • Reviews the reports of periodic evaluations of AFC programs through program reviews; and
  • Determines the level of accreditation to be granted to each program.


The AFC-AC has 13 voting members, including the chair and vice chair. The chair of the AFC-AC is a member of the Accreditation Committee. The composition of the committee includes one AFC trainee, as selected from nominations from AFC directors of accredited AFC programs. The AFC-AC’s composition is determined as appropriate and includes Fellows, AFC trainees, and others.

Key Competencies and Characteristics

Generally, committee members should possess the following key competencies and characteristics: demonstrated knowledge of Royal College accreditation standards; knowledge of policies and processes relating to accreditation of postgraduate training (including AFC) programs; an ability to integrate strategic thinking and risk management in the formulation of accreditation policies and standards; and ability to strategize on new directions and processes for accreditation of AFC programs. At least two committee members should have an approved AFC program in their university.

Committee members should also possess the ability and willingness to meet the strategic directions of the Royal College and the willingness to participate effectively in committee meetings.

Term of Office

The usual term of office of the chair is two years, renewable once (maximum of four years). The usual term of office for all members other than the AFC trainee member, is two years, renewable twice (maximum of six years). The usual term of office for the AFC trainee member is one year renewable once (maximum of two years). The terms of office take effect as stipulated so long as the member’s total years of service on the committee do not extend beyond 10 years. All terms shall begin and end at the time of the Annual Meeting of the Members when vacancies need to be filled.


The AFC-AC meetings will be conducted face-to-face or via teleconference, two to four times per year. Business may be conducted electronically at the discretion of the committee coordinator.

Quorum consists of a majority of the voting members of the committee (i.e., 50% plus one). The chair is counted as a voting member in constituting quorum. However as the presiding official of the committee, the chair does not move motions. Furthermore, the chair shall only vote when the vote is conducted by secret ballot. Every question shall be decided by a majority of the votes cast. In the event of a tie vote, the question shall be defeated. When a committee is called to make a decision outside of a meeting by e-ballot, the same rules apply.

Appointment to a Royal College committee carries significant responsibilities, and all committee members are expected to adhere to the Volunteer Code of Conduct. In addition, committee members are required to maintain absolute discretion and not divulge, re-produce, or release any confidential information except when authorized by the Royal College. Committee members may download a copy of committee materials for the sole purpose of participating in committee work. All downloaded materials must be deleted once the related committee work is completed. The Royal College retains copies of committee materials should committee members wish to access them at a later time for related work.

Committee work product

In the course of performing their committee duties, committee members may produce or contribute to materials, content or other work products. These work products and the related intellectual property will be owned by the Royal College. The Royal College is open to discussing other ownership arrangements for specific projects. Alternative arrangements must be confirmed in writing by the project contributors and the Royal College.

TOR record

Approved by: CSE
Approval Date: June 12, 2023
Approval path: Accreditation Committee, CSE
Effective date: June 12, 2023
Date of next review: Spring 2025
Royal College Office: OSA
Version status: Approved