Terms of Reference
Examination Committee


The Examination Committee is a subcommittee that reports to the Assessment Committee. The Examination Committee oversees the specialty-specific examination committees and advises on all matters relevant to Royal College specialty examinations, including timing, content, and evaluation of exams.

Responsibility and Authority

The major responsibilities of the Examination Committee are to:

  • Advise the Assessment Committee and report on all matters;
  • Set principles and guidelines for exam policy;
  • Review examinations as developed by the individual disciplines;
  • Review psychometric evaluations and advise individual disciplines on the results;
  • Ensure alignment of proposed examinations with the competencies required by discipline; and
  • Participate on Formal Review panels (appeals) for examinations when required.


The Examination Committee has nineteen (19) voting members, including the chair. The composition of the committee includes:

  • Chair; also a member of the Assessment Committee;
  • Vice-Chair;
  • Fifteen (15) Fellows of the Royal College representing the medical, surgical and laboratory disciplines;
  • One (1) member representative from theCollège des médecins du Québec (CMQ); and
  • One (1) non-fellow member representative with expertise in assessment/ examinations.

The Examination Committee also includes the following one (1) non-voting member who may attend meetings as an observer but shall not be counted for the purposes of establishing quorum:

  • One (1) ex-officio non-voting Postgraduate Dean from the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC)

Key Competencies and Characteristics

It is essential that committee members possess knowledge of examinations, assessment practice, and principles of evaluation. Experience serving on a Royal College examination board or as a residency program director is 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). 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 Examination Committee usually meets twice per year face-to-face, and additionally via teleconference, or web-based meetings, as needed. 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: May 3, 2018
Approval path: Accreditation Committee, CSE
Effective date: May 3, 2019
Date of next review: Spring 2022
Royal College Office: OSE
Version status: Approved