Dr. Shelley Ross

Associate Professor, Education Researcher, Director of the CBAS Program
Department of Family Medicine

About Me

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta, where I am a Medical Education researcher and Education Strategic Planning Team Lead. I obtained my doctorate from the Department of Educational Psychology & Leadership Studies at the University of Victoria, where I studied the effects of varying levels of motivation on academic achievement. My dissertation, Motivation correlates of academic achievement: Exploring the relationship between motivation and academic achievement in the PISA 2003 dataset, is available as a book from Verlag publishers. My current research examines procedures, outcomes, and policy recommendations related to how physicians are trained and assessed. My main research program is in the area of competency-based education and assessment. I am one of the developers of the Competency-Based Achievement System (CBAS). In all of my research, I use mixed methods approaches to evaluate and improve educational and assessment practices in health professions education at the undergraduate, postgraduate, and continuing professional education levels.


While my research spans multiple areas of health professions education, my main program of research focuses on competency-based assessment, from the perspective of assessment for learning. The work I have contributed to in developing and evaluating the Competency-Based Achievement System (CBAS) has been recognized across North America and the United Kingdom. In Canada, the Medical Council of Canada recommends CBAS as a tool for practice-readiness assessments of foreign-trained physicians. Further, the competency framework of Sentinel Habits (also developed by the CBAS team) is included in the Medical Council of Canada competency assessment recommendations. This far-reaching application of CBAS across disciplines within medical education in Canada has been significant. In addition, CBAS tools have been included in the Residency Assessment Toolkit of the Society for Teachers of Family Medicine in the United States.