Get engaged with the Royal College

Every year more than 400 committees guide, advise or create the Royal College’s products and services. Hundreds of additional volunteers guide, inform and create patient, resident, faculty and Fellow education activities. They also conduct peer reviews of award and grant submissions, products, programs and institutions. Combined, more than 4,000 Fellows fill over 6,000 volunteer roles across the Royal College.

The majority of these volunteers are Fellows, though Residents, Medical Students, patients, and representatives from health system organizations are also contributing their time and expertise in support the Royal College’s mission.

These dedicated volunteers connect with peers coast-to-coast-to-coast and around the world to share their expertise and experience in service of their specialty, medical education and patient care. Contributors often report the positive impact their experience has had on their careers and professional development; fostering leadership skills, enhancing peer networks and developing a deeper understanding of Canada’s health care system.

We’re excited that you are here to learn more about how you can get involved.

We’re recruiting!

Committees of Council recruitment takes place in late fall, though there can be vacancies throughout the year. Learn more by visiting the Committees of Council webpage or email

Royal College Contributor Taskforce – New Orientation & Leadership Supports - Application deadline October 15, 2021

Learn about volunteering with us

Fellows generally get involved with the Royal College through one of three areas: Organizational Stewardship, Fellowship Affairs, and Specialty Education. Select your area of interest for a brief overview of volunteer roles.

Organizational stewardship


An open call for Council nominations takes place in the fall. Email or review the Council elections process.

Standing Committees & Committees of Council

Council is the Royal College’s senior governing body. Eight committees directly support its work:

Committees of Council recruit in late fall, though there can be vacancies throughout the year. Visit the Committees of Council webpage to see if there are opportunities in your areas of interest, or email

Indigenous Health Committee

The Indigenous Health Committee (IHC) is an independent body that comprises Indigenous physicians, scholars and other health care professionals. The IHC guides the Royal College on matters related to the health of Indigenous Peoples.

In the spirit of Indigenous self-determination and genuine partnership, the IHC provides leadership guidance to Council and other Committees of Council, as a separate entity that is not part of the Committee of Council appointment process. Learn more on the Indigenous Health webpage or email

Royal College International (RCI)

Royal College International (RCI) volunteer opportunities are limited to the RCI Board. If interested in learning more, contact the RCI team at

RCI also offers Royal College Fellows contracting opportunities to support international projects and activities. If interested in learning more, contact the RCI team at

Fellowship Affairs: Member Value; History & Heritage; Awards and Research Grants

The Fellowship Affairs Committee (FAC) and its sub committees lead or inform activities that bring value to Members. With a focus on strengthening excellence, community, and careers, these roles are an enriching way to get to know the Royal College while collaborating with specialists of different disciplines, backgrounds and career stages.

Regional Advisory Committees (RAC)

Explore the Regional Advisory Committees (RAC) to understand about how these five committees provide insight and guidance on local and national issues that matter to Fellows. The FAC and RACs often guide management to develop relevant content, or strike project or working groups on topics that are timely and important to Fellows. Email to learn more about upcoming opportunities.

History & Heritage Advisory Committee

Fellows with interest in the history of medicine can visit the History & Heritage Advisory Committee webpage to learn how they work to preserve and promote specialty medical history.

Awards Committee

The Royal College recognizes Fellow excellence and supports professional development and medical education research to help broaden knowledge and foster scientific dialogue in specialty medicine. Learn more on the Awards & Grants webpage.

Education Research & Grants

Fellows interested in grant adjudication typically join a pool of Fellows who are called upon when their background or expertise compliments the grant’s themes. Learn more on the Awards & Grants webpage.

Specialty Education: Accreditation; Standards; Assessment; and Lifelong Learning

The Committee on Specialty Education (CSE), its sub-committees and other volunteer contributors support specialty medical education in four broad areas: Accreditation; Standards; Assessment; and, Lifelong Learning. Volunteer roles, recruitment and contact information is included in each section.


Five sub-committees of the Committee on Specialty Education (CSE) work all facets of Royal College Accreditation: Canadian & International Residency; Continuing Professional Development (CPD), Simulation; and, Area of Focused Competency (AFC). Read more on the Accreditation webpage.

Specialty and Discipline Standards

The Committee on Specialties (CoS) and the Specialty Standards Review Committee (SSRC) are two sub-committees of the Committee on Specialty Education. Almost 100 discipline-specific committees advise the Royal College on specialty-specific content issues related to standard setting, credentials, assessment and accreditation.

Specialty or Area of Focused Competence (AFC) Committee

  • As a volunteer member of a Specialty or Area of Focused Competence (AFC) Committee, you will have the opportunity to work with colleagues to shape the training standards and provide guidance on accreditation and the future of your discipline.
  • Each committee has up to nine voting roles (chair, vice-chair/chair-elect, regional representatives, etc.)
  • As a volunteer member of a discipline-specific committee you will have the opportunity to work with colleagues to shape the training standards and provide guidance on accreditation and the future of your discipline.
  • There are up to nine voting roles (chair, vice-chair/chair-elect, regional representatives, etc.) on each of the specialty and AFC committees. Volunteers are appointed into voting roles for two-year terms. These terms are renewable twice, up to a maximum of six years per role for most positions.
  • Specialty and AFC committees also include non-voting members such as committee chairs of related disciplines, the National Specialty Society, and representatives from the associated Exam Board.
  • Learn more about the Specialties unit.


The Assessment, Credentials and Examinations Committees are responsible for setting the requirements and process required to verify that a physician meets and maintains all the requirements necessary for Royal College certification.

Exam Boards

The Royal College examination is of great importance in any Candidate’s career. Examination Boards support the validity and fairness of this process, and are responsible for the planning, development, administration and evaluation of the Royal College’s 68 specialty examinations. Each Examination Board is supported by the Royal College in the production and execution of the annual examination, including logistics and psychometric analysis.

Examination Boards are composed of appointed Fellows with a demonstrated or expressed interest in assessment bringing experience from both academic health science and community practice.

  • Each of the 68 Royal College accredited disciplines have an Examination Board and follow a Spring or Fall exam development cycle.
  • Board structure and roles are determined by the number of components and candidates.
  • Members are appointed by the Specialty Committee annually for a 2-year term, renewable twice.
  • Boards are representative of the demographic mix of Canada, French and English language and area of expertise i.e. Adult / Pediatric.
  • New members are typically recruited as part of succession planning or as required in response to an increase in candidates in a particular year.
  • Part of succession planning or in response to an increase in candidates.
  • Read more on the information for Chairs & Examiners webpage.

Lifelong learning

The Professional Learning and Development Committee (PLDC) is responsible for developing, monitoring, and promoting excellence in lifelong learning processes and strategies for physicians in practice. Committee members work closely with the Continuing Professional Development Accreditation Committee (CPD-AC).

Responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action

In late 2017, Royal College Council approved a recommendation from our Indigenous Health Committee (IHC) to make Indigenous health a mandatory component of postgraduate medical education (PGME).

This commitment led to the creation of the Indigenous Health Specialty Post-Graduate Medical Education Steering Committee, whose goal is to integrate cultural safety education in postgraduate medical education while also addressing the health-related recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action. Learn more on the Indigenous Health webpage or email

Learn about our Volunteer Engagement Program’s (VEP) commitment to equitable access and diverse participation

In June 2020, we issued a statement on behalf of Council and staff committing the Royal College to address systemic racism in health care. While many of you reached out to express appreciation and/or pride that the Royal College had made a public statement, many of you also expressed frustration and challenged us to learn more about members who are Black, Indigenous or people of colour. We will continue to listen, we will continue to learn. And, we are acting.

Spectrum of volunteer engagement: 1 education and awareness, 2 active participation, 3 leadership

In October 2020, the Royal College formally adopted the Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement (CCVI), a nationally recognized set of 10 Standards and best practices for volunteer involvement. We are committed to working towards these best practices and standards.

The Spectrum of Volunteer Engagement recognizes the diversity in peoples’ sources of inspiration, modes of putting their values into action, skills to contribute and capacity to donate time. The most vibrant organizations offer and welcome volunteer opportunities within the full spectrum of engagement” – Volunteer Canada, CCVI

We are committed to being clear about the many ways that Fellows engage with us, and to addressing valid concerns raised around equitable access and diverse participation in the Royal College’s volunteer activities. This space is a first small step in developing a recruitment & screening process that aligns with the CCVI. Read more on the VEP Roadmap page.