Strengthening specialty medicine to meet society’s needs

The Royal College sets the highest standards for specialty medical education in Canada. We also support lifelong learning for specialist physicians and promote sound health policy. In carrying out our broad mandate, the following are among our core tasks.


We accredit the residency programs at 17 universities across Canada and also accredit the learning activities that physicians pursue in their continuing professional development programs.


We verify that a physician has met all the requirements necessary for Royal College certification. To become eligible for the next stage of assessment — examination — physicians must meet an array of credentialing requirements set by the Credentials Committee and a designated specialty committee of the Royal College.


With significant assistance from our volunteer Fellows, we produce the national certification exams, which we also administer. Read more about the examination process.

Maintenance of Certification

We developed and deliver the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program, a continuing professional development program, to meet the lifelong learning needs of Fellows. Individuals who are not Fellows may also participate in the MOC Program. Read more about continuing professional development.


We developed the CanMEDS Physician Competency Framework with the goal of improving patient care. CanMEDS, an educational framework, guides all of the Royal College’s core activities.

Awards and Grants

The Royal College distributes more than $1 million a year in awards, grants, fellowships and visiting professorship programs. Funds are provided by member donations, through a portion of membership dues, through the Royal College’s Education Fund and from private endowments.

Policy initiatives

We work to analyze complex and abundant information about health care and health system issues with the goal of enabling a better health system for all Canadians. Read more about our policy and advocacy roles.

Research and innovation

We continually enhance our role in scholarship, in particular our research in medical education and health policy. As an example, our Centre for Learning in Practice (CLIP) conducts theoretical and applied research into how education affects physician practise.