Undergraduate Medical Education Accreditation

Accreditation Status

The Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry is pleased to announce that the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) found that the MD Program at the University of Alberta is compliant with all 132 accrediting standards, resulting in a full and unqualified eight-year approval. Learn more about this highly successful accreditation process.

We are in an excellent position to start preparations for the Associate of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) mandated interim accreditation review that will take place in March 2018!

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation of every Canadian medical school occurs every eight years according to guidelines by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS).

Accreditation ensures that the program meets established standards for function, structure and performance. The accreditation process also fosters institutional and program improvement.

"Accreditation ensures that Canadian medical faculties' MD Programs meet the quality expected when producing tomorrow's doctors"



Since our last full accreditation in March 2014, the accreditation standards and process have changed. " While preserving reciprocity for our graduates and dual accreditation status for our schools, Canada now has its own accreditation standards that allows us to be more responsive to the needs of Canadians."


Geneviere Moineau, President, CEO, AFMC


The accreditation standards address items in the following categories:

  • Standard 1: Mission, Planning, Organization, and Integrity;
  • Standard 2: Leadership and Administration;
  • Standard 3: Academic and Learning Environments;
  • Standard 4: Faculty Preparation, Productivity, Participation, and Policies;
  • Standard 5: Educational Resources and Infrastructure;
  • Standard 6: Competencies, Curricular Objectives, and Curricular Design;
  • Standard 7: Curricular Content;
  • Standard 8: Curricular Management, Evaluation, and Enhancement;
  • Standard 9: Teaching, Supervision, Assessment, and Student and Patient Safety;
  • Standard 10: Medical Student Selection, Assignment, and Progress;
  • Standard 11: Medical Student Academic Support, Career Advising, and Educational Records;
  • Standard 12: Medical Student Health Services, Personal Counseling, and Financial Aid Services

A summary report of the self-study is produced for submission to CACMS.

A Data Collection Instrument (DCI) is a detailed document describing the workings of the medical school and it is completed 18 months prior to the accreditation visit. The DCI forms the bases for the Medical School self study (MSS). An Independent Student Analysis must also be completed 18 months prior to the accreditation visit.

A survey team appointed by the CACMS Secretariat, conducts a site survey to verify and update information compiled by the school, clarifies any issues that are unclear, views the learning facilities first-hand and meets with leadership, faculty and students. The survey team prepares a report. CACMS bases its accreditation determination on the survey report as well as information from the MSS and the DCI.


Accreditation is a peer-review, quality-assurance, quality-improvement process that ensures that medical students receive the best education possible. Accreditation determines whether the quality of medical education meets the high standards set across North America.

The purpose of the Medical School Self-Study, the Data Collection Instrument (DCI) and the Independent Student Analysis that are part of the accreditation process is to promote self-evaluation and improvement. Institutional strengths can be identified, and strategies can be put in place to ensure strengths are maintained. Any problems or issues requiring action can be addressed.

A Shift in Thinking about Accreditation

During the interval between accreditations, there are frequent changes in leadership, personnel, the educational program, nature and location of health care delivery etc. Therefore, it is difficult to stay on top of all accreditation standards.

Accreditation preparations should promote a culture of continuous quality improvement. The standards accepted by CACMS and LCME are collaboratively revised and evolve with time reflecting changes in health care attitudes and delivery. Thus, it is desirable to have accreditation preparation becoming an ongoing process, rather than an exercise performed de novo every eight years.

In a shift towards ongoing assessment, Canadian medical schools now undergo an internal interim review process at the half-way mark between full accreditation events every 4 years. It is hoped that this will help enable the development of a culture of continuous quality improvement that will result in improved medical education.

Accreditation Schedule

In July 2014, after reviewing the report of the survey team, CACMS and the LCME voted to continue full accreditation of the University of Alberta MD degree program. The decision is a strong endorsement of the excellent quality of the MD program.

We are pleased to announce that CACMS and the LCME found the MD Program to be compliant with all accrediting standards, resulting in full and unqualified approval for eight years.

The interim accreditation will take place March 2018 and the next full accreditation will take place in 2021/22.

Interim Accreditation

The Interim Accreditation Review Process is described in full at: https://www.afmc.ca/accreditation/interim-accreditation-review-process-irp

The MD program welcomes the external reviewer, Ms. Kathleen Beatty, Director of Equity and Quality, NOSM to visit our medical school March 8th and 9th, 2018 as part of the Interim Accreditation Review process. The interim accreditation is an AFMC mandated part of the accreditation process and part of the continuous quality improvement process that the medical school has adopted.

Six months of effort and many hours of hard work by many faculty members, learners and staff have made possible the completion of the required documents.

Sincere thanks to everyone who stepped up and put the needs of the faculty ahead of their own. A special thanks to our medical students for their assistance and enthusiasm in completing an Independent Student Survey.

The MD Program is committed to working with the feedback from the interim accreditation review and ensuring that our medical school continues to graduate the finest doctors in the country.

Site Visit Schedule

Interim Accreditation Results

Dr. Richard Fedorak & Dr. Dennis Kunimoto would like to congratulate everyone in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry who was involved in the successful Interim Accreditation of the MD Program that concluded on March 9th, 2018. Thank you to Ms Kathleen Beatty, Director, Office of Equity and Quality, NOSM for her detailed review of the accreditation documentation and her insightful observations and recommendations on the MD Program.

After a full day of meetings with faculty and students, Ms Beatty endorsed the MD Program and commented on the many strengths that make our program unique. Her recommendations, along with the findings of the Interim Accreditation Committee, provide us with a road map for the program moving forward. Further details and plans for the future will be shared with students and faculty in the coming weeks and months.

The Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry is driven by continuous quality improvement (CQI) and the achievement of excellence within an environment of constant change and innovation. We will use this interim accreditation process and the resulting report to help us to set even higher standards of excellence for the MD Program at the University of Alberta.

Interim Accreditation Report 2018



For further information please contact:

Dr. Hollis Lai (PhD)
Assistant Dean, Education Quality and Accreditation,
Tel: 780-492-8217
Email: hollis1@ualberta.ca