Area of Focused Competence (diploma)

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1 Area of Focused Competence (diploma) The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada A guide for physicians seeking Diplomate designation (DRCPSC)

2 Contents Areas of Focused Competence (diploma)... 3 PROCESS:... 4 Completion of the Portfolio by the AFC-trainee... 5 Credentialing process... 5 Portfolio assessment process... 5 CERTIFICATION AND ONGOING DESIGNATION... 6 FEES... 6 CONTACTS... 6 DEFINITIONS... 7 Areas of Focused Competence (diploma)... 7 Diplomate of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (DRCPSC)... 7 Competency Training Requirements (CTR)... 7 Portfolio... 7 AFC Trainee... 7 AFC Director... 7 Confirmation of Competencies Acquired (CCA)... 7 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES... 8 Specialty Standards Review Committee (SSRC)... 8 AFC (Diploma) Committees... 8 Units of the Office of Education... 8 Portfolio Assessors P a g e

3 A message from the Office of Specialty Education Welcome to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada s Area of Focused Competence (AFC) diploma route. AFC (diploma) programs create national standards in areas of supplemental competency and expertise, to enhance, rather than replace, specialists existing scope of practice; they are different than residency programs and, in many cases, are akin to current clinical fellowship or post-residency training, with the added benefit of national standard and an internationally recognized credential, the DRCPSC. The Areas of Focused Competence (AFC) Diploma route is intended for physicians in Royal College approved AFC training programs seeking Diplomate of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (DRCPSC) designation. Areas of Focused Competence (diploma) Is a focused discipline of specialty medicine that addresses a legitimate societal need, but does not meet the Royal College criteria for a fundamentals program, primary specialty, or subspecialty. Normally, AFCs (diplomas) represent either: a) supplemental competencies that enhance the practice of physicians in an existing discipline, or b) a highly specific and narrow scope of practice that does not meet the criteria of a subspecialty. AFCs (diplomas) do not prepare a physician for practice, but rather recognize areas of supplemental or advanced training. 3 P a g e

4 AFC (diploma) Process Process: Physician (AFC trainee) enrolls in to an accredited AFC (diploma) training program. The AFC trainee receives a copy of the disciplines Competency Portfolio for Candidates (portfolio). Requirements of the program are stated in the discipline s Competency Training Requirements (CTR). As the AFC trainee completes each component, details on how the competency has been achieved are recorded in the portfolio. Upon completion of the portfolio, both the AFC trainee and the AFC director review and if appropriate, approve the trainee's portfolio. On the second page of the portfolio, the AFC director attests that the trainee has acquired all of the competencies of the diploma program by checking Yes. The director indicates which assessment tools were used. The trainee submits the portfolio (including, exhibits/markers) to the Credentials Unit for an initial review. Yes The credentials agent sends the Confirmation of Competencies Acquired (CCA) form to the AFC program director. The AFC director and the postgraduate dean review and if appropriate attest that all of the required competencies have been satisfactorily completed. The CCA is signed by the trainee, AFC director, and the postgraduate dean and returned to Credentials by the AFC director. After the initial review, is the portfolio complete? No The credentials agent submits portfolio to the AFC assessors for review and approval Portfolio is returned to the trainee for revision After review by the assessors, does the portfolio meet the criteria? No Yes Physician is granted DRCPSC designation and Diploma certificate is sent. 4 P a g e

5 Process cont d Completion of the Portfolio by the AFC-trainee 1.1 At the program level, each trainee is responsible for completing the candidate version of the portfolio template. 1.2 The AFC (diploma) director, AFC (diploma) faculty, and the trainee are also directed by the educator version of the portfolio template. 1.3 Once completed, the trainee submits the portfolio, which must be signed off by both the trainee and the AFC (diploma) director. 1.4 Upon submission of the portfolio and supporting documentation, the confirmation of competencies acquired (CCA) to indicate satisfactory completion of all the required competencies outlined in the discipline-specific CTR must also be signed by the trainee and attested to by the AFC (diploma) director and the postgraduate (PG) dean. Credentialing process 1.5 The completed portfolio, supporting documentation, and the confirmation of competencies acquired are received by the Credentials Unit of the Office of Specialty Education. 1.6 The Credentials Unit processes the non-refundable credentials and assessment fee. 1.7 A credentials agent reviews the submitted portfolio and its supporting documentation to ensure its completion prior to its assignment to the independent portfolio assessors for detailed assessment. Portfolio assessment process 1.8 A portfolio and supporting documentation that the credentials standard has been met are forwarded to the assessment panel, consisting of two independent portfolio assessors appointed by the AFC (diploma) committee, to determine if it meets the standard of content and quality as set out by the CTR and the AFC (diploma) committee. 1.9 Each assessor will be asked to review the portfolio with the view of making a dichotomous decision that the trainee has satisfied (or has not yet satisfied) all of the requirements of the portfolio If the two assessors agree, the decision will stand. If the two assessors do not agree, a third assessor will be appointed to individually review the portfolio. In the latter case, the decision supported by two of the three assessors will be the official decision of the Royal College The trainee will be informed of the ruling, via a decision letter issued by the Royal College, indicating whether or not the assessment has been successful. Appeals to the decision of the Royal College may be made only on the grounds that there is evidence of a procedural error, e.g. evidence that one of the portfolio assessors had first-hand knowledge of the trainee which led to a biased assessment of the portfolio A trainee with an incomplete portfolio will be able to resubmit their portfolio for an additional review via the Credentials Unit. The second assessment will be associated with no additional cost. The third and subsequent assessments will be associated with an additional fee. 5 P a g e

6 Certification and ongoing designation 1.13 Upon receiving notification of a successful portfolio via the decision letter, the trainee will be awarded a certificate, indicating they have achieved the required competencies of the AFC (diploma) discipline To maintain the use of the DRCPSC credential, the individual must adhere to maintenance of certification (MOC) requirements and must pay the diplomate annual dues. Fees (2013) One time credentials and assessment fee: $850 If additional portfolio assessment(s) are required: The second assessment will be associated with no additional cost. The third and subsequent assessments will be associated with an additional fee of $450 Diplomate annual dues: $425 (Diplomate annual dues are in addition to the Fellowship dues) Contact the Credentials Unit for any questions Tel: ext. 458 / ext. 458 Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Office of Education, Credentials Unit Ottawa, ON 6 P a g e

7 DEFINITIONS Areas of Focused Competence (diploma) A focused discipline of specialty medicine that addresses a legitimate societal need, but does not meet the Royal College criteria for a fundamentals program, primary specialty, or subspecialty. Normally, AFCs (diplomas) represent either a) supplemental competencies that enhance the practice of physicians in an existing discipline, or b) a highly specific and narrow scope of practice that does not meet the criteria of a subspecialty. AFCs (diplomas) do not prepare a physician for practice, but rather recognize areas of supplemental or advanced training. Diplomate of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (DRCPSC) A distinct Royal College credential granted to those physicians who successfully complete a portfolio for an Area of Focused Competence (AFC) program. Competency Training Requirements (CTR) The Competency Training Requirements (CTR) is a new AFC discipline-specific document to replace both the Objectives of Training (OTR) and the Specialty Training Requirements (STR) used to outline training for specialties and subspecialties leading to Royal College certification. Portfolio The structured summative portfolio is a tool of summative assessment, based on the discipline s CTR. AFC (diploma) disciplines and their respective portfolios are not organized around time-based rotations. Successful completion depends on demonstrably meeting a performance standard for all competencies outlined in the AFC (diploma) discipline s CTR. AFC Trainee AFC trainee is the name given to physicians training in accredited Royal College AFC (Diploma) programs. This new nomenclature distinguishes them from residents who are training in accredited specialties and subspecialties leading to eligibility for Royal College certification. AFC Director AFC Director is the name given to the physician responsible for the administration and educational quality of AFC (Diploma) programs. This new nomenclature distinguishes them from program directors who are responsible for residency training in accredited specialties and subspecialties leading to eligibility for Royal College certification. Confirmation of Competencies Acquired (CCA) A credentials document that must be signed by the AFC Director and the postgraduate dean attesting that all the required competencies as outlined in the portfolio have been satisfactorily completed. 7 P a g e

8 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES Specialty Standards Review Committee (SSRC) The review and approval of AFC (diploma) specific documents, including the CTR and portfolio, will be delegated to the Specialty Standards Review Committee. Only substantive changes to the templates, policies or procedures would be brought to the Credentials or Evaluation Committee, for the CTR and portfolio, respectively. AFC (Diploma) Committees AFC (Diploma) Committees are responsible for developing, reviewing and updating the CTR and portfolio documents for the AFC (diploma) disciplines. They are also responsible for reviewing the accreditation of AFC (diploma) programs and for appointing the independent portfolio assessors for the portfolio assessment process. Depending on the structure of the AFC (Diploma) discipline, the AFC (Diploma) Committee may be a working group of an existing Specialty Committee, or a standalone committee. Units of the Office of Education The Credentials Unit of the Office of Specialty Education is responsible for the AFC-trainee credentialing process, which includes the review of the summative portfolio for completion prior to its assignment to the portfolio assessors. It will also issue the Royal College decision letter following the assessment of the summative portfolio. Portfolio Assessors The independent portfolio assessors are expert physicians appointed by the AFC (Diploma) Committee to conduct a thorough review of the candidate s completed summative portfolio. The portfolio assessors provide an assessment of the candidate s achievement of the competencies included in the AFC (diploma) discipline s CTR, based on the evidence provided in the portfolio. 8 P a g e

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