Terms of Reference
Assessment Committee


The Assessment Committee is responsible for the governance of assessment matters relevant to Royal College specialty certification and continuing professional development. The Assessment Committee reports to the Committee on Specialty Education.

Responsibility and Authority

The major responsibilities of the Assessment Committee are to:

  • Develop policies and standards governing the conduct and quality of all types of assessment;
  • To approve, integrate, and make recommendations to the policies and procedures from the Credentials Committee and Examination Committee;
  • To make recommendations to the Committee on Specialty Education regarding the approval of policies and procedures relating to assessment;
  • To inform work based assessment strategies and a program of assessment to serve for residency training and continuing professional development; and
  • Oversee an appeal mechanism for decisions made by any of its

The Assessment Committee can also delegate authority to its subcommittees, the Examination Committee and the Credentials Committee, as outlined in their respective Terms of Reference, to manage the specific requirements of examinations and credentials, respectively.


The Assessment Committee has fourteen (14) voting members, including the chair and a vice-chair. The chair is a member of the Committee on Specialty Education. The composition of the committee includes:

  • Chair, Examination Committee;
  • Chair, Credentials Committee;
  • One (1) Specialty Resident representative, as selected from two nominees from Resident Doctors of Canada (RDoC);
  • One (1) Specialty Resident representative, as selected from two nominees from the Fédération des médecins residents du Québec (FMRQ);
  • One (1) representative from Professional Learning and Development Committee (PLDC)
  • One (1) CME/CPD Dean from the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC);
  • One (1) member from the Collège des médecins du Québec (CMQ);
  • Two (2) representatives with scholarly or graduate studies expertise regarding assessment;
  • Four (4) Fellows of the Royal College, with at least one Fellow who has expertise in Work-Based Assessment and one with expertise in simulation based education;
  • One (1) patient/family of patient representative

The Assessment Committee also includes the following six (6) non-voting members who may attend meetings but shall not be counted for the purposes of establishing quorum:

  • Two (2) specialty residents, one each from RDOC and FMRQ;
  • One (1) Postgraduate Dean from the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC);
  • One (1) member from the Medical Council of Canada (MCC);
  • One (1) medical regulatory authority (MRA) representative; and
  • One (1) hospital administrative representative.

Key Competencies and Characteristics

It is essential that committee members possess knowledge of assessment practice and principles, work-based assessments, as well as possess expertise in clinical teaching and the development of formative and summative assessment tools. It is expected that committee members approach the policies and principles of assessment from the perspective of the continuum of lifelong learning. Experience serving on a Royal College examination board or as a residency program director or as an NSS CPD representative is considered beneficial.

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 term of the vice-chair is one year, renewable three times (maximum of four years). The usual term of office for members is two years, renewable twice (maximum of six years), with the exception of the voting specialty residents whose terms are one year, renewable twice (maximum of three 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 chair and all voting members of the committee require appointment by the Executive Committee of Council (or the CEO if it is a midterm appointment). Non-voting members do not require approval of the ECC or the CEO.


The Assessment Committee usually meets twice per year face-to-face, and additionally via teleconference, or web-based meetings, as needed.

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: Governance Committee
Approval Date: May 30, 2018
Approval path: CSE, GC
Effective date: May 30, 2018
Date of next review: Spring 2022
Royal College Office: OSE
Version status: Approved