Managing a competence committee

The Royal College and the Postgraduate Deans’ Assessment Advisory Working Group have developed a set of guidelines, which can be used to support local development of competence committees. The guidelines are not mandatory, they were developed in recognition of the fact that some people prefer to have a model upon which to base their efforts. Those who choose to use the guidelines are welcome to do so, but it’s important to emphasize that competence committees must be further defined and implemented at a local scale.

cbd-competence-committee-1, general use image


The frequency of competence committee meetings must be sufficient for the committee to fulfil its mandate (at least twice per year), though more frequent meetings may be required in many programs, particularly those with larger programs and where residents are ready to transition between stages. Every trainee in the program must be discussed a minimum of twice per year. However, greater frequency of monitoring is desirable.


The competence committee reports outcomes of discussions and decisions to the residency training committee.

Term of office

The selection of members of the competence committee is based on policies established by the university.

Committee members

The competence committee is ordinarily chaired by a member of the clinical teaching faculty and someone other than the Program Director. As a member (not chair) of the competence committee, the Program Director can fully participate in the discussions and not be hampered by the need to wear multiple hats during the discussion. The size of the committee should reflect the number of residents in the program with a minimum size of three members for smaller programs.

Agenda development

Trainees are selected for a planned competence committee meeting by the chair of the committee, the program director or their delegate. This scheduling occurs in advance of the committee meeting so that assigned reviewers (see below) have sufficient time to review the resident file prior to the meeting.


There should be at least 50% attendance from the members of the competence committee to achieve quorum, with an absolute minimum of three clinical supervisors for smaller committees. The program director (or delegate in large programs) is present for all discussions.

Trainee selection

Trainees may be selected for review based on:

  • A regularly timed review.
  • A concern has been flagged.
  • Completion of stage requirements and eligible for promotion or completion of training.
  • Readiness for the Royal College exam.
  • A significant delay or acceleration in the trainee's progress or academic performance.

For more details on how to manage a competency committee:

How they deliberate

Status recommendations


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