MD Program

Undergraduate Medical Education Accreditation

Accreditation 2015

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.

Almost two years to the day from the visit of the CACMS accreditation team, Dr. Richard Fedorak received more good news from the CACMS secretariat.  Compliant with all of the 132 standards in 2014, the MD program was required to provide an update in December 2015 on four standards with the status of "in compliance with monitoring".  

CACMS has reviewed the data and informed the MD program that it is now fully compliant with two of these standards: standard 3.3 (Diversity, the former IS-16) and standard 9.8 (Fair and timely summative assessment, the former ED-30).  For standard 9.4 (Assessment system, formerly ED-27), the MD program implemented a dashboard for regular monitoring of students being observed by faculty or residents for history taking and physical examination.  However, further monitoring is required to demonstrate that this is happening consistently in all clerkships.  For standard 9.7 (Timely formative assessment, the former ED-31), the MD program also developed a dashboard and demonstrated generally satisfactory results with a few instances of lower levels of mid-point feedback being recorded in some clerkships.  Further monitoring is required to demonstrate complete compliance.  

Overall, the success of the clerskships in addressing these standards is commended.  We are in an excellent position to start preparations for the mandated interim accreditation review that will take place in March 2018!

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation of every Canadian and American medical school occurs every eight years - the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) in the United States.

Accreditation working with an institution or 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 Accreditation;
  • 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

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.


For further information please contact:

Susan Andrew
Director, UME Accreditation
Tel: 780-492-8217