Scientific Planning Committee (SPC)

All accredited/certified activities must have a group of target audience representatives responsible for identifying the educational needs of the intended target audience; developing educational objectives; selecting educational methods; selecting SPC members, speakers, moderators, facilitators and all other resource persons; developing, planning and implementing content; and evaluating (post-activity) outcomes of an accredited/certified activity.

CPD regulatory authorities strongly encourage CPD program organizers to include diversity in the selection of SPC members and of speakers, moderators, facilitators, and all other resource persons to represent the target audience. This includes considering balanced representation for gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation/identity. Also strongly encouraged is a patient voice and, if the target audience is interprofessional, include representatives of these groups on the SPC.

Responsabilities of the Scientific Planning Committee (SPC) Chair

In compliance with the National Standard for Support of Accredited CPD Activities:

  • Ensuring that the SPC structure is formed with representatives of the target audience. If the target audience is interprofessional, the SPC must include representation from each profession. The SPC may also include non-Canadian members if the results of the needs assessment indorse the need;
  • If the activity will be held in Quebec, certifying to engage two committees: Scientific Planning Committee (SPC) & Organizing Planning Committee (OPC): Composition of the SPC and OPC;
  • Ensuring the Organizing Planning Committee (OPC) has no decision making authority regarding the content, selection of resource persons or participating in any decisions related to CPD program elements;
  • Providing accurate information and complete transparency when completing the CPD Accreditation/Certification Application Form and Submitting Mandated Supporting Documentation;
  • Evaluating the outcome (post-activity): No later than eight (8) weeks following the completion of the accreditation/certification period, submit a Final Report Form and supporting documentation to finalize the accreditation/certification process.

Responsabilities of the Scientific Planning Committee (SPC) Members

Being a member of the SPC implies having had significant involvement in the development, planning and implementation of the activity. Members of the SPC will be held accountable for how content is presented and will be required to respond to any concerns regarding CPD guideline violations.

In compliance with the National Standard for Support of Accredited CPD Activities, the SPC must ensure that all decision-making related to the program development, planning and implementation elements are under its exclusive control:

  • Accountable for the developing, planning and implementing the CPD activity. It is highly recommended that the SPC/PO consult the CPD standards established by CPD regulatory authorities: National Standards - Accredited CPD Activities; CMA Guidelines - Physicians in Interactions with Industry; CFPC - Understanding Mainpro+ Certification; Royal College - Accreditation Toolkit; CQDPCM - Quebec Code of Ethics;
  • Conducting a needs assessment to determine the current standing of the target audience’s knowledge and identifying gaps necessary to implement the activity;
  • Developing learning objectives (L.O.s) insert creating LO URL that address the identified gaps/needs of the target audience. L.O.s must be developed based on the results of the needs assessment;
  • Ensuring that the selected learning format/delivery of the content is consistent with the identified learning gaps/needs and L.O.’s. Learning formats include: conferences, workshops, online modules, webinars, etc.;
  • Discussing key elements linked to the development of the activity. Discussions must include: the review and method used to review the completed CoI forms from all resource persons, including those of the SPC members; establish a process to manage potential or real conflicts of interest; arrange for an implementation timeline, determine a budget and discuss the flow of the educational grant received (funds); identification and development of the learning objectives; selection of the learning format; selection of speakers, etc.; Sample - SPC Program Planning Meeting Minutes;
  • Controlling the process by which the topics, content and speaker(s) are selected and certifying the activity topics and content are based on the data collected from the needs assessment and the gaps identified;
  • Selecting speakers based on their expertise of presenting the content and should have minimal conflict of interest. The SPC must ensure that all resource persons, including the SPC members, communicate (verbal and with slides) a statement on Conflict of Interest to the audience;
  • Safeguarding that the content presented is consistent in their use of the generic names or both generic and trade names, avoids copying images, videos, tables, cartoons, and graphs from copyrighted publications. Copyright Criteria for PowerPoints;
  • Ensuring all resource persons delivering CPD content (i.e. speakers, moderators, facilitators, etc.) are informed of CPD accreditation/certification standards. Quick Tips for Speakers;
  • Reviewing the content prior to the activity start date and ensuring that the educational content delivered is balanced, scientifically valid and evidence based;
  • Conducting evaluations for individual sessions/presentation and the overall activity;
  • Following the activity, reviewing of the final budget and evaluations/post-activity outcomes.

The SPC must include a representative of the target audience

  • Royal College MOC accreditation: As part of the target audience, specialist physicians must be represented on the SPC. It is mandatory that a member of the SPC be affiliated with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). For programs held outside of Canada, and the target audience includes specialists of locality, it is mandatory that a representative of the target audience be included in the SPC. In addition, a member of the SPC must also be affiliated with McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Representative of a commercial interest organization may attend SPC meetings but are not permitted to participate in decisions related to CPD program elements.
  • CFPC Mainpro+ provincial certification: For a provincial face-to-face/live one-credit-per-hour activity, it is mandatory that a member of the SPC be affiliated with McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. In addition, a member of the committee must reside in Quebec and be an active member of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). No commercial interest organization representative is permitted to participate in SPC meetings.
  • Mainpro+ national certification: For a national online self-study one-credit-per-hour activity, it is mandatory that a minimum of three (3) active College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) members from any region of Canada (one must be a resident of Quebec) are members of the SPC. In addition, a member of the committee must also be affiliated with McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. No commercial interest organization representative is permitted to participate in SPC meetings.

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