Terms of Reference

University of Toronto - Neurosurgery Residency Program -Terms of Reference of the Residency Program Committee (RPC)

The overall purpose of the Residency Program Committee (RPC) for Neurosurgery is to assist the Program Director in planning, organizing and supervising the residency program.

Composition: This committee should include a representative from each participating site and each major component of the program:

  •    Residency Program Director (Chair)
  •    Chairman of Neurosurgery
  •    Residency Site Director for each of the 4 teaching sites (SickKids, Sunnybrook, St. Michael’s, and Toronto Western)
  •    Four resident representatives, elected by their peers, each serving 2-year terms in a staggered fashion (i.e., 2 new residents elected each year)
  •    Ad hoc members can be added for specific issues (e.g., CaRMS candidate interviewing)


  •    Must meet a minimum of 8 times per year with minutes recorded by the Program Coordinator and distributed to all members for approval.
  •    Standing agenda items for all meetings must include:
    • Resident progress: review of the performance of all residents on service
    • 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
  •   Quorum requires at least 2 resident members and at least 1 faculty representative from at least 2 teaching sites.
  •   Decision making: 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.


Authority and Responsibility of the Residency Program Committee:

Training Program Design & Curriculum:

  •    Scheduling of trainee rotations and electives.
  •    Consideration of resident elective requests.
  •    Evaluation of faculty teaching performance.
  •    Act as an open, collegial forum for presentation of problems from residents within the program.
  •    Annually re-evaluate the entire program, including training objectives.
  •    Annual review and approval of program policies and decisions that affect the program.
  •    Oversee the resident education curriculum, including Brain School.

Resident Evaluation

  • Review of individual resident performance, in order to ensure that each resident is advancing and gaining in experience, skills and responsibility
  • Assist in the organization of appropriate remediation or probation for residents experiencing difficulties meeting the appropriate level of competence
  • Assist Program Director with composite evaluation information for completion of the Final In Training Evaluation (FITER)


  •  Initially this is discussed with the Residency Site Director and/or Program Director
  •  Any appeal which is unresolved will be discussed at the RPC level
  •  Unresolved issues will then be brought to the Postgraduate level adhering to the University of Toronto Postgraduate Education office formal policy for evaluation and appeals


  •  Selection of candidates for entrance into the program from any available stream (e.g., CaRMS, VISA trainees, IMG trainees, transfer requests).

Resident Well-being

  •  Review and formulate program support systems for formal and informal counseling and stress-related issues
  •  Maintain specific item of “Update from Residents” on meeting agenda, whereby Resident committee members have the opportunity to discuss or raise specific items of Resident concern that may not otherwise be addressed in the meeting agenda

How the RPC functions:

The monthly RPC meetings are chaired by the Program Director. Meetings are held ten times per year, with occasional ad hoc meetings to deal with particularly urgent issues. The RPC oversees and makes decisions regarding all aspects of the residency training program. The RPC monitors individual resident progress and teaching effectiveness of the faculty. The RPC assists the Program Director in assigning residents to specific rotations. The RPC oversees the educational curriculum, including the Friday morning academic half-day (“BrainSchool”).

The resident representatives are frequently asked to survey the opinions of their resident colleagues concerning issues affecting the residents, and report back to the Committee. This has been a particularly effective strategy to keep the RPC functioning at the highest level. All members of the RPC, including the resident representatives, participate in the interviewing and selection of applicants to the training program every year in January.

The Program Director and Chairman regularly attend the weekly 3 hour academic half-day, providing regular opportunity for questions and discussion with residents.