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Specialty Committee Chairs’ Update

Mises à jour pour présidents des comités de spécialité

Mises à jour pour présidents

des comités de spécialité

Specialty Committee

Chairs’ Update

November - December 2018

Specialties Unit reorganization

We are pleased to announce a change to the organizational structure of the Specialties Unit that we believe will better manage changing workload and enhance effectiveness. We have developed two distinct teams within the unit: Specialty Support and Specialty Standards. While each team will have its own manager, we will remain as one unit.

Jennifer Stewart, the Specialties Unit manager, will continue as manager of Specialty Standards. Chris Farley Ratcliffe has joined the Royal College as manager of Specialty Support. Jolanta Karpinski continues as Associate Director with oversight of both portfolios.

Why make this change?

We are making this change because the unit has grown in its responsibilities and workload. The Specialties Unit now supports 91 specialty, subspecialty and AFC committees and subcommittees – as compared to 59 committees 10 years ago.

In addition, with the creation of the Specialty Standards Review Committee in 2007, the unit now has primary responsibility for creation, maintenance and dissemination of all discipline specific standards, for both training and practice eligibility routes. The introduction of AFCs and Competence by Design (CBD) has generated new types of documents and, generally, more documents per discipline. The number of documents reviewed by the SSRC is increasing and with the newness of AFCs and CBD, and the perceived need for continuing revision and improvement of those standards, this volume of work is anticipated to be ongoing rather than limited to the time span of the CBD cohort rollout plan.

In response to this changing workload, the Specialties Unit has grown from a team of 10 in 2013 to a force of 21 in 2018.

Will there still be a Specialties Unit?

The Specialties Unit supports all disciplines recognized by the Royal College, enabling the Fellows to fulfill the mandates of the committees. The Specialties Support team will continue to maintain the breadth of activities of our specialty, subspecialty and AFC committees, subcommittees and working groups. The Specialties Standards team will continue to develop, revise, approve and disseminate standards documents. The two teams will work in close proximity and in an integrated fashion to best support our volunteers.

The Specialty Support team: Experts in helping committees be stewards of their discipline by
- Maintaining membership of committees
- Organizing meetings, minutes, and logistics
- Identifying work to be done, and issues for committees
- Supporting volunteers: expenses, questions
- Linking committees to Royal College expertise and vice versa

The Specialty Standards team: Experts in and stewards of Royal College standards by
- Developing and maintaining templates, and discipline specific documents
- Supporting development and ensuring the quality of discipline specific documents
- Maintaining SSRC membership, and supporting those meetings
- Liaising with other units for translation, posting, and dissemination
- Acting as a resource for any issues/questions regarding scopes of practice/standards from internal and external stakeholders

Please continue to use the and/or the inbox for your questions and correspondence. These two group inboxes already correspond to the division of labour amongst our two teams.

CanMEDS and Faculty Development

Leadership eBook

As busy specialty committee chairs, you have a very busy workload. Do you ever wonder if clinician educators of today need different leadership competencies than their counterparts from the past? The Royal College’s new Adaptive Leadership For The New MedED: The one hour read sets out to answer this question. With contributions from experienced leaders and educators, Drs. Felix Ankel, Jonathan Sherbino and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada present a free eBook or printable PDF.

Download the leadership eBook today!

Handover Toolkit

Written by physicians for physicians, this easy to use guide supports the teaching and assessment of the CanMEDS handover competencies within the Collaborator Role. The Handover Toolkit is the latest resource to help your programs support trainees in achieving the competencies of CanMEDS 2015 and the goals of Competence by Design.

Click here to download a copy.

Save the date! Newly updated ASPIRE course

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute are pleased to offer a new ASPIRE certificate course in Ottawa from May 28-31, 2019. ASPIRE prepares faculty to teach and assess the quality improvement and patient safety competencies integrated throughout the CanMEDS 2015 framework. The ultimate goal is to ensure that every resident in Canada develops the necessary competencies to deliver high quality, safe care for patients and their families.

For more info: ASPIRE website

Implementation Booster Webinars

We’re now piloting a new support model periodically bringing together several specialty committees at a similar stage of their CBD transition. These web-based sessions are scheduled between CBD workshops and are meant to “boost” local activities that focus on CBD capacity building. Attendees discuss common experiences and local successes. There’s also opportunity for troubleshooting and resource sharing.

If your discipline is in the midst of CBD workshops, watch for an email invitation to the following Implementation Booster Webinars:

Booster for workshop 1 – December 6, 2018 1:30 pm EST

Booster for workshop 2 – January 11, 2019 10:30 am EST

Booster for workshop 3 – January 17, 2019 1:00 pm EST

Booster for workshop 1 and 2 – February 7, 2019 2:00 EST

Residency Accreditation Update

Residency Accreditation Reviews

The Dalhousie University regular accreditation review took place the week of November 25, 2018. The pre-review specialty committee input has been sought; post-review specialty committee input will be requested in spring 2019, which will inform the final accreditation decisions to be made at the May 2019 Residency Accreditation Committee (Res-AC) meeting. Dalhousie University is the first school reviewed in Canadian Excellence in Residency Accreditation (CanERA), the new system of accreditation, as part of prototype 3 (P3) of the multi-phased implementation of CanERA. P3 also includes the McGill University regular accreditation review scheduled to take place the week of March 17, 2019. The pre-review specialty committee input is scheduled for early winter 2019 while the post-review specialty committee input window will be required in summer or early fall 2019, which will inform the final accreditation decisions to be made at the October 2019 Res-AC meeting.

Canadian Excellence in Residency Accreditation (CanERA)

Recent and upcoming CanERA-related activities

Canadian Residency Accreditation Consortium (CanRAC) continues the development and iterative testing of CanERA. Most recently, the regular accreditation review of Dalhousie University was conducted in November 2018 and McGill University, the second P3 university, will be reviewed in March 2019. P3 is the final phase of testing prior to full implementation of CanERA on July 1, 2019, after which all accreditation reviews will be conducted based on CanERA.

What CanERA transition support is available to specialty committee members?

To support the ongoing transition to CanERA, a phased approach to training has been developed, covering the various aspects of a specialty committee member’s role in the accreditation process. Initial training, delivered via webinar and an interactive online training module in September 2018, focused on familiarization with the new standards and how to provide pre-accreditation review input (e.g. how to navigate CanAMS). While all voting members of specialty committees were invited to attend, this training was developed specifically for P3, based on the CanAMS functionality available at the time. As CanAMS functionality evolves, so will the associated training. The link to the webinar and online training has been provided to all voting members via email and these links will be resent in advance of the pre-accreditation review activities for McGill University. The training will also be updated to support post-accreditation review input with additional instructions. Specialty committee members are encouraged to regularly visit the CanERA website (, as it is up to date with the latest CanERA news and information. The website includes the new general standards, frequently asked questions (e.g., that relate to Competence by Design in the context of accreditation), and other CanERA-specific information that may be of interest.

Areas of Focused Competence (AFC-diploma) accreditation

To date, 31 Areas of Focused Competence (AFC-diploma) applications for accreditation have been approved by the Areas of Focused Competence – Accreditation Committee (AFC-AC). These applications are in the following disciplines: Adult Interventional Cardiology (8), Adult Cardiac Electrophysiology (5), Adult Echocardiography (4), Adult Hepatology (2), Adult Thrombosis Medicine (3), Brachytherapy (1), Clinician Educator (1), Cytopathology (4), Solid Organ Transplantation (2) and Trauma General Surgery (1). In addition, four accredited AFC (diploma) programs in Transfusion Medicine transitioned from an Accreditation without Certification (AWC) program in 2012. In total, there are 35 AFC-diploma accredited programs.

International residency program accreditation

There are currently eight international accredited Institutions in five countries. Residency programs under the jurisdiction of these institutions are now eligible to apply for Royal College accreditation, and, to date, eight international program applications in five disciplines have been submitted. Of the seven applications that have been reviewed, five are proceeding to the next step of the international program application process which is an onsite review; two have been deferred pending further information/clarification from the program; and one is pending initial (i.e., first step) consideration by the International (residency) Program Review and Accreditation Committee (IPR-AC) in December.

The international residency program accreditation application process involves the submission of an application form and an onsite review to verify and validate information before a final decision is made on accreditation status. Specialty committees are asked to review both the application form and the onsite review report to inform the decision of the IPR-AC. The process is comparable to a specialty committee review of a pre-survey questionnaire (PSQ) and accreditation review report in the Canadian accreditation system. As applications in additional disciplines are expected, the Educational Standards Unit will work with those specialty committees to provide a tailored briefing on the international program accreditation process, and provide support as needed throughout the process.

2018 Discipline Status Reports

A draft Annual Discipline Status Report covering committee activities from January to December 2018 will be sent to all chairs for validation mid-February. Chairs will have two weeks to review this information and advise their Specialties Unit administrator of corrections. The final status reports will be disseminated to chairs by email in mid-March 2019.

Be a part of the 2019 Royal College Conferences

International Conference on Residency Education (ICRE)

Planning is well underway for the 2019 ICRE in Ottawa, Canada, September 26-28, 2019.

The theme for the 2019 conference, “Diversity in Residency Education: Training in a World of Differences” will inspire forward-looking programming that explores issues, innovations and research related to diversity in residency education.

ICRE 2019 will feature six plenary sessions, 21 learning tracks, more than 60 workshops and 200 poster/paper presentations.

In order to continue to offer a collaborative program that represents the diverse perspectives of the international medical education community, several open calls for submissions are now available:

The following will be issued in the new year:

Watch our conference website for more exciting announcements around the ICRE 2019 program.

Simulation Summit

We are thrilled to announce that the 2019 Simulation Summit will be held at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg, Canada, November 7-8, 2019.

For simulation enthusiasts looking to make their mark on the upcoming conference, we encourage you to submit your workshop proposals and mark your calendars for abstract submission deadlines:

Watch our conference website for more exciting announcements around the 2019 Simulation Summit program.

Upcoming Meetings and Deadlines

Chair and specialty committee members’ resource

Did we lose you in our new website look?

With changes to the Royal College website to reflect our new brand, you may not be able to easily locate some of the resources you depend on as a volunteer.

The Specialties Unit home page has the same address and we encourage you to bookmark the appropriate Member Resource site for your committee:

Specialty Committee Member Resources
AFC Subcommittee Member Resources
AFC Committee Member Resources

The 2019-2021 appointment term is approaching quickly and chairs of committees in the odd-year cycle can review the terms of reference, policies and role descriptions to assist with succession planning and identifying nominees for vacancies. Please share the above links with people you are encouraging to volunteer on your committee or welcoming a new appointee.

The resources compiled on the Specialties Unit home page will help members navigate their volunteer role on AFC-diploma or specialty committees. You’ll find everything you need to know about the functioning of the committee and its ongoing work to maintain its discipline standards. Additionally, information on the activities relating to the Committee on Specialties, accreditation, AFC application process, credentialing, and exams and assessment is housed here.

If you didn’t find something you were looking for on the site, please let us know. (