Applying for recognition of a specialty or subspecialty

A specialty is an area of medicine with a broad-based body of knowledge that is relevant in both community and tertiary settings and serves as the basis for additional competencies, such as subspecialties. A subspecialty offers more focus or advanced scope that builds on this knowledge.

If you are interested in pursuing recognition of a specialty or subspecialty, contact the Office of Specialty Education (OSE) to discuss the proposed discipline:

Specialty or Subspecialty Application Process

Specialty or Subspecialty Application ProcessDocuments RequiredNotesImportant
  • Letter of intent
  • Completed application form
  • Letter of support from relevant sponsoring parent specialty and national specialty society
  • Processing fee
  • You and/or sponsoring organization(s) will need to include the data and information that will support the case for Royal College recognition.
  • It typically takes one to two years to refine the application before formal submission.
Estimates may be provided if definitive data are not available; they must be clearly identified and the method for estimation explained.
1. Application Fee for review by Committee on Specialties: $14,000 per application
  • The Royal College does not provide clerical support or financial assistance to complete the application.
  • The application fee is to be paid in full upfront. Fees are not reimbursed if the committee rejects the application.
It typically takes 18 to 24 months for submitted applications to move through the committee approval process.

Deadline to submit final application: Two months prior to meetings (e.g., Feb. 1 for the spring meeting; Sept. 1 for the fall meeting).
New applications are reviewed at COS meetings twice a year (fall and spring).We strongly encourage applicants to submit preliminary drafts of their applications and associated documents well before deadlines so that our office may review them for completeness and offer feedback and guidance as needed.

Applications should be submitted with all required documents in either PDF or MS Word format to All correspondence from the Office of Specialty Education will be sent to the primary contact person for the application. We will return incomplete applications to the applicant.

Criteria for Royal College Recognition of a Specialty and Subspecialty

Contact the Diplomas Administrator