RPC Terms of Reference

University of Toronto

Neurosurgery Residency Program

Resident Program Committee (RPC) Terms of Reference



The Neurosurgery] RPC collaborates with the program director in planning and organizing the residency program including selection of residents, educational design, policy and process development, safety, resident wellness, assessment of resident progress and continuous improvement.



  • Program Director, RPC Chair
  • Site Director, Sickkids*
  • Site Director, TWH*
  • Site Director, SMH*
  • Site Director, SHSC*
  • Research DIrector
  • Division Chair (Ex Officio member)   
  • Elected Resident 1 Term A **
  • Elected Resident 2 Term A **
  • Elected Resident 3 Term B **
  • Elected Resident 4 Term B **
  • Program Administrator (Non-voting)
  • Ad hoc members can be added for specific issues (e.g., CaRMS selection committee)

*       on occasion, the Program Director might also serve as a Site Coordinator

**     resident members are elected by their peers, each serving 2-year terms in a staggered fashion (i.e., 2 new residents elected each year). The term of the resident members begins with the September RPC meeting.



The RPC will report to the Division Chair, as well as to the Vice Dean for Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) through the RPC Chair.



  • RPC meetings are scheduled at least 8 times per year. Members can attend and vote in-person or over the phone.
  • Quorum requires at least 2 resident members and at least 1 faculty representative from at least 2 teaching sites.
  • Assessment of resident progress occurs through the Competence Committee at least 4 times per year.
  • Standing agenda items for all meetings must include:
    • Resident progress: review of the performance of all residents on service (this is in addition to the Competence Committee assessments)
    • Update from residents: resident RPC members discuss any issues or concerns from the residents
    • Brain School: update on the current and upcoming Friday morning curriculum session
  • Other annualized standing items and/or RPC events include:
    • September:
  • Welcome new resident RPC members
  • Approve PGY3 residents for Surgeon-Scientist Program
  • Competence Committee review
    • October:
    • December
  • Finalize CaRMS interview offers
  • Competence Committee review
    • January:
  • CaRMS selection process
  • 2nd follow-up meeting post-CaRMS interviews to finalize rank order list
    • February:
  • Initial preparation of rotations for next academic year
    • March:
  • CaRMS debrief
  • Competence Committee review
    • April:
  • Finalize rotations for next academic year
    • May:
  • Report by RPD and Chair on review of Teaching Effectiveness Scores
  • Residents to vote in 2 new members
    • June:
  • Review all residents on clinical service for promotion
  • Review and update all RPC policies (every other year)
  • Competence Committee review


Decision making:

Decisions will be made by consensus. It is desirable that decisions are acceptable to all members therefore discussion should continue until a consensus is reached.

A proposal may be put to vote at the request of the Program Director or an RPC member and seconded by another member. A proposal requires greater than 50% of the voting members to pass. Votes must be included from faculty representatives from all 4 teaching sites. Voting can be conducted in absentia, if necessary, and requires the physically absent member to relay his/her vote to the Program Director.



The RPC is responsible for the overall operations of the Neurosurgery residency program. This includes the overall objective of providing the environment, mentorship and uniform experience whereby each resident will have access to the educational experience sufficient to achieve the expected competencies of the residency program. 


 The RPC is responsible for the following important domains:


Planning and organizing the residency program including the following activities:

  • Develop, adopt, and disseminate RPC policies/procedures in an effective, transparent and collaborative manner.
  • Review RPC policies and processes regularly and make necessary changes.
  • Review and adopt relevant postgraduate office and learning site policies.
  • Identify, advocate and plan for resources needed by the residency program.
  • Follow processes to select, organize and review residency program learning sites based on the required educational experiences.
  • Develop policies and processes that are consistent with the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine vision/ mission, policies and processes.
  • Actively seek and respond to stakeholder input including residents’ opinions.

Training program design including the following activities:

  • Review individual rotation evaluations and assess need for change in the program design.
  • Discuss any relevant teaching or staff concerns (including faculty evaluations, if appropriate) that impact on rotations or overall program design.
  • Review any hospital re-structuring and possible impact on rotations, resource and equipment allocations.
  • Review requests for fellowship positions to ensure they do not negatively impact the residency education.
  • Ongoing assessment of faculty opportunities for a satisfactory level of research and scholarly activity.
  • Ongoing assessment of program strengths and/or areas for improvement.

Training program curriculum including the following activities:

  • Use a comprehensive curriculum plan that is specific to the discipline and addresses all of the CanMEDS roles to guide curriculum design and review.
  • Regularly review program curriculum to ensure it is written in outcome-based terms using the CanMEDS framework relating to knowledge, skills and attitudes. 
  • Regularly review program competencies and/or objectives to ensure they meet all required standards for the discipline (including required training experiences) and address societal needs.
  • Review and modify other aspects of the curriculum as needed including:
    • Educational experiences to ensure they facilitate residents’ ability to achieve all competencies specific to the discipline.
    • Teaching to ensure that resident learning needs and stage or level of training are used to guide all teaching.
    • System of resident assessment for effectiveness and organization.
  • Annual review and ongoing update of formal half-day topics and presentations.
  • Maintain mechanisms by which residents receive ongoing career counseling and support for development of skills in teaching, research and scientific inquiry.
  • Ongoing review of individual rotation goals and objectives.

Selection of residents including the following activities:

  • Develop, maintain and adopt effective, clearly defined, formal processes for the selection of residents, including eligibility criteria and allocation of positions to hospitals.
  • Participate in application reviews, interviewing and ranking candidates.
  • Review applicants through various streams of entry into program (CaRMS, IMG, re-entry, transfer from one residency training program to another, etc.).


Resident Assessment and Promotion:

  • Provide oversight for the review of residents’ readiness for increasing professional responsibility, progression, promotion and transition to independent practice.
  • Ensure there is an effective, organized system of resident assessment tools and processes tailored to the educational experiences to measure that each resident is attaining experience-specific competencies and objectives in all CanMEDS roles and/or the CFPC evaluation objectives.
  • Assist in the organization of appropriate remediation or probation for residents experiencing difficulties meeting the appropriate level of competence.
  • Assist the PD with composite evaluation information for completion of the Final In-Training Evaluation (FITER).


  • Initially an appeal is discussed with the rotation supervisor and/or PD
  • Unresolved appeals are discussed at the RPC or subcommittee.
  • An unresolved issue is referred to the University of Toronto Postgraduate Education office as per the formal policy for evaluation and appeals.

Resource Management:

  • Identify, plan and advocate for necessary resources.
  • Review requests for fellowship positions to ensure they do not negatively impact the residency education.
  • Ensure appropriate level of opportunities for faculty to maintain research and scholarly activity.

Resident Well-being:

  • Develop and regularly review program specific wellness policy for strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Review and formulate program support systems for formal and informal counseling and stress-related issues.

Continuous Improvement of the Residency Program:

  • Develop and adopt a process to continuously improve the residency program based on the review of multiple sources of information including feedback from residents, teachers, administrative personnel, and others as appropriate.
  • Evaluate each of the residency program’s educational experiences and learning environment.
  • Review residents’ achievement of competencies, assessment data and feedback provided to teachers in the residency program.
  • Use identified areas of improvement to develop and implement relevant and timely actions plans.
  • Share identified strengths and action plans with residents, teachers, administrative personnel and others as appropriate.
  • Follow a formal process to evaluate the effectiveness of actions taken
  • Review residency program’s policies, available resources and assess the residency program’s leadership at the learning sites.


RPC Member Roles & Responsibilities:


Program Director (PD):

  • The PD collaborates with the RPC to oversee key residency program functions while fostering an environment that empowers RPC members, residents and teachers to identify needs and implement change.
  • The PD effectively communicates RPC actions and decisions with the Department and/or the Division, administrative personnel and the Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) office and ensures that residents, teachers and administrative personnel have appropriate access to key documents, policies and procedures developed and adopted by the RPC.
  • The PD communicates as appropriate with other program stakeholders, health professions, the undergraduate medical education program, continuing professional development and faculty development.

RPC Members:

  • RPC members attend meetings regularly (may be by phone) and actively contribute to the productivity of the RPC.
  • Members contribute to a robust decision-making process ensuring full analysis of options and collaborative planning about how work will be done.
  • Members take a leadership role in their area of expertise; in the site or component they represent or the role agreed to on a subcommittee.

Resident Members:

  • The selected resident representative(s) seeks input from residents prior to each meeting and communicate major discussion points, actions and decisions post meeting.

Site Directors:

  • Site Directors are responsible for sharing key information from their site/specialty and raising issues or concerns for discussion when necessary to the RPC and communicating RPC actions and decisions to program stakeholders at their site.

Program Administrative Support:

  • The Program Administrator is a non-voting member responsible for record keeping.


  • Subcommittees include but are not limited to:
    • CaRMS Selection Committee (see CaRMS Selection Process policy)
    • Competence Committee (see separate terms of reference);
    • Teaching Evaluation Subcommittee (see Teaching Evaluation Policy)


  • Agendas and relevant documentation is pre-circulated to RPC members at least 48 hours before the meeting.
  • “Resident Report” is a standing item on the meeting agenda, to provide the resident representative an opportunity to discuss or raise specific items of resident concern that may not otherwise be addressed.
  • Minutes are taken by the Program Administrative Support or delegate.
  • Minutes are distributed to all stakeholders including Faculty and Residents by email.