Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo


Competency Based Medical Education

Competence Committees

The competence committee is an important element of Competence by Design (CBD). This committee uses data integrated from a variety of sources and observations to make informed and transparent decisions about a learner’s performance and progression. In CBD, promotion decisions are made by the competence committee away from the individual teacher-learner interactions. Shifting broader promotion decisions to the competence committee frees teachers up to focus on giving coaching feedback for improved resident performance. Family Medicine does not have a competence committee per se, however, many of the principles and concepts are similar.

The competence committee identifies patterns of performance revealing a broader picture of a resident’s progression to support their learning over time. Competence committees are able to identify residents who are not meeting their milestones. In these cases, the competence committee can help to arrange support and coaching for residents before they get too far off their trajectory (e.g., assigning special mentors, extra readings or modified rotations).

Royal College Resources
RCPSC:  Managing a competence committee
RCPSC:  How competence committees deliberate
RCPSC:  Status recommendations
RCPSC:  Case Scenarios

Expandable List

Expandable List

Additional Resources


Competence Committee Meeting – Tracking and EEP

Developed by the Department of Pediatrics


Competence Committee Process and Procedures Suggested Guidelines

Developed October 2017 (under revision 04/23)


Lunch and Learn: Competence Committees

Updated February 2022


Preparing for the Competence Committee Meeting – Guide for PAs

Developed by the Department of Pediatrics


RCPSC – An Introduction to Competence Committees

An Introduction to Competence Committees Webinar from the Royal College. June 9, 2020