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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 2020

Table of Contents


  1. Specialty Committee Chairs’ Workshop 2020
  2. Continuing Professional Development
  3. Simulation Summit 2021
  4. Recognizing our Fellows
  5. Committee on Specialties
  6. Area of Focused Competence Program Evaluation and Reform of the Discipline Category
  7. CanMEDs and Faculty Development

Specialty Committee Chairs’ Workshop 2020


On behalf of the Specialties Unit and the Office of Specialty Education, we would like to thank all of the chairs and chair-elects that attended the 2020 Specialty Committee Chairs’ Workshop.  This was the first virtual workshop we have hosted outside of a Competence by Design or Area of Focused Competence workshop.  While we hope to be together in-person in 2021, we are taking the lessons learned so we can prepare for either a virtual or in-person workshop (or combination of both).  The slide decks from all of the presentations and resource materials prepared for you are all available on the Alfresco site.  Please note that only chairs and chair-elects have access to the site.  Please reach out to your specialty committee administrator if do not have access, or if you are a member of a specialty committee and are interested in learning more about what was discussed at the Specialty Committee Chairs’ Workshop.

Continuing Professional Development


Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is advancing…and we hope you’ll help us find the way forward!


The Royal College’s 2018 to 2020 Strategic Plan and Strategic Plan Metric for fiscal year 2020 and 2021 set out several objectives for CPD, including to develop a strategy for advancing CPD, informed by the work of the Council Task Force on Periodic Reaffirmation of Professional Competence (TFoR).  The TFoR was formed in October 2018 to formulate and provide recommendations to guide the Royal College’s commitment to developing education and assessment strategies that ensure competence post-certification.  Based on analysis of TFoR’s recommendations as well as internal and external trends and risks, the best role for the Royal College is to focus on advancing CPD.  This will require supportive educational products and content. The Office of Professional Practice and Membership (OPPM) developed an integrated, education strategy to fulfill its professional practice mission to support and add value to the specialist’s professional development journey from RC certification to retirement.


Through this strategy, we want to create relevant CPD enabling physicians to provide better care for their patients by:


Advancing CPD will be an iterative process, spanning several years and phases. A business case and roadmap for Phase One (September 2020 to August 2021) were approved by the Executive Directors’ Committee (EDC) in September 2020. Planning is now underway to carry out the following Phase 1 activities:


We hope to benefit from your expertise as stewards of your disciplines to help us advance CPD over the coming years! We look forward to an opportunity to meet with you later in Phase 1 and hear your thoughts on these and other topics:


Should you wish to share any ideas in the meantime, please feel free to contact us via Coordinator Jill Garner at


Simulation Summit 2021


We are thrilled to announce that the 2021 Simulation Summit will be offered as a series of four webinars from February 17 to 19, 2021.  Webinar topics include:


Each webinar will be 90 minutes and registration is complimentary for all.


Visit the Simulation Summit website for more information.

Recognizing our Fellows


The Specialties Unit would like to share our congratulations and appreciation for Kim St. John, MD, FRCPC, chair of the Specialty Committee in Psychiatry and winner of the 2020 Dr. James H. Graham Award of Merit!


Do you have a Fellow that you would like to see profiled in the Specialty Committee Chairs’ Update?  Please contact us at

Committee on Specialties


At the fall 2020 COS meeting, which took place virtually on November 3, 2020, the following outcomes were determined:


Recognition of disciplines: Areas of Focused Competence (AFCs)


The Committee on Specialties (COS) considered and approved the following applications for recognition as an AFC discipline:


The next deadline for interested AFC applicants to apply for Part I review is February 1, 2021, for consideration during the spring 2021 meeting. We strongly encourage applicants to submit draft documents well in advance to, so that our office and senior clinician staff can review them and provide guidance, as needed.


Discipline reviews

Nine discipline reviews were conducted during the spring 2020 meeting, consisting of eight regular reviews and one in-depth review:



The next COS meeting will be held virtually on April 15 and 16, 2021.


The following discipline reviews will take place:


Applications coming forward for the recognition of new disciplines have yet to be confirmed.


AFC Program Evaluation and Reform of the Discipline Category


Since the last edition of the SCC Update in October, our on-going work to implement the four recommendations approved by the Committee on Specialty Education (CSE) has continued. The four recommendations arising from the program evaluation in 2018 are as follows:

  1. Prioritize reforms of the assessment strategy
  2. Re-launch ongoing efforts to reform the accreditation policy and process
  3. Formulate a plan to increase the visibility of the value of the category
  4. Consider how to continue to provide support, and improve upon the support already provided


We are now one year into the reform of the category and have made significant progress on the enabling actions, with many of them already complete. We will continue to work through year two of the reform to ensure the recommendations are fully implemented as soon as is feasibly possible. A comprehensive update on the four recommendations and each enabling action was included in the September-October edition of the SCC Update.


The number of Diplomates has tripled, partly owing to the implementation of the new model of assessment for the in-training route as well as the trend that 100% of candidates for the practice eligibility route (PER-AFC) become Diplomates. Similar growth has occurred for accreditation activities. The number of accredited programs has increased by 38% for a total of 47 programs. These programs represent 16 of the 23 AFC disciplines with approved national standards. We couldn’t have done it without you! Thank you.


Need more information? Have questions?


CanMEDS and Faculty Development


Coaching to Competence:  All activities now live!


As CBD rolls out across Canada, residents and faculty tell us there is still a significant need for knowledge and skill development around the concept of coaching.  To this end, a small group of educators and physicians have developed a new resource to help fill the gap: “Coaching to Competence” consists of five short interactive online activities that allow you to practice applying the RX-OCR coaching process.  All activities are now available!


As part of our suite of virtual teaching resources, these quick activities are meant to help you develop coaching skills and knowledge through practice, reflection and other learning opportunities. BONUS: Earn Section 3 MOC credits for each of the five activities!


Access the RX-OCR activities here:  


Please feel free to share the information widely within your program.


Run your own Competence Committee Workshops

Does your program have a new Competence Committee?  Do your committee members still have lots of questions?  Would you find it helpful to have resources that you could use to answer their questions?  If so, you’ll be glad to hear that a group of medical educators have designed 2 customizable workshops on competence committees to save you time! Visit our website to access the documents.


The introductory workshop covers the basics, including best practices for setting up a competence committee. The second, more advanced, workshop is all about running a competence committee, including best practices for decision-making and how to address common pitfalls. These 1 to 2-hour workshops can be delivered virtually and they come complete with a lesson plan, speakers’ notes and activities for you to use as-is or you can always add your own local content and context.


For more information, please contact us at


New CBD Webinar:  Leading Change / Engaging Faculty


Rhonda St. Croix and Sarah McIsaac will be hosting our next CBD Webinar on January 15, from 1100 to 1200 EST on Leading Change/Engaging Faculty. As program directors and CBME leads guide their programs through the transition to competency-based training, this CBD webinar on change will help engage your faculty and residents in CBD.


For more information, please contact us at or visit our website


New Growth Mindset Workshop for CBD Residents!


Do your residents understand the link between mindset and success in a CBD residency training program?


Growth mindset aligns with coaching as a teaching and learning method to promote resident development and is essential to a CBD program. Our new ready-to-teach introductory workshop on growth mindset explores the link between mindset and learning and outlines strategies to develop a growth mindset in self and others. This 60- to 90-minute interactive workshop comes complete with a slide deck, speaking notes, and lesson plan; and can be delivered virtually.


Download the Growth Mindset workshop in the CBD Resource Directory today!


Virtual New Program Director Workshop


The Office of Specialty Education sponsors an annual invitational workshop for new program directors.  Designed and run by current and past program directors, the various sessions assist new PDs in understanding and preparing for their role as a program director.  Topics in the workshop include: Standards of Accreditation, Create a Curriculum map, Residents in Academic Difficulty and more.


On October 26, 116 attendees participated in the virtual new Program Director Workshop.  The second virtual event will be held on Thursday, January 14, 2021 (starting at 1130 EST).  It’s not too late to sign up!


For more information, contact