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In perhaps the best evidence to date of what integrating the Michener Institute within UHN was meant to be, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada has granted the Michener Institute of Education at UHN status as an accredited continuing professional development (CPD) provider.
The move, which was announced last week, means that physicians will be able to earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits for any CPD courses developed by Michener (alone or in partnership) that meet the Royal College's accreditation standards.
The Royal College further showed their confidence in Michener by granting this status for five years, their longest accreditation cycle. Michener is the first hospital-based entity to be named a Royal College accredited CPD provider. Historically, this status has been reserved for university offices of CPD, or national medical speciality societies or associations.
"The fact that we were awarded the five-year cycle says a lot about the quality and rigour of our educational design and program management processes, and about the overall strength of the infrastructures we have at Michener – everything from the school of applied health sciences to the centres of excellence to our libraries and information services," says Mohammad Salhia, Michener's Director of Continuing Education and International Centre for Education.
Mohammad worked closely on the accreditation application earlier this year with a project team that included Audrey Gottlieb and Dimitra Labrakos, both education coordinators from the Collaborative and Transformative Learning (CTL) portfolio, and was supported by Maria Tassone, Senior Director of CTL.
This new status accredits courses developed at Michener, or co-developed with a partner, as long as they meet the continuing professional development accreditation standards for the Royal College's Maintenance of Certification Program – and specifically, for group learning and self-assessment or simulation-based assessment activities (Sections 1 and 3 of the RC's Maintenance of Certification Program). There are already many examples of Royal College accredited programs at UHN, including conferences and courses such as
Collaborative Change Leadership and
Fortunately, Michener's standards for course design and quality improvement already closely resemble the Royal College's expectations. While specific details of the College's course accreditation process are still to come, Michener's current practice is to assess the learning need, create an education development plan, deliver courses, and then evaluate courses and use that feedback to improve the course each time it is delivered.
"The whole process at Michener, similar to what the Royal College expects, is about continuous quality improvement and quality assurance in our education design practices," says Mohammad. "Our integrated infrastructure enables us to work toward a consistently high quality of teaching and learning in health professions continuing education."
Dr. Charlie Chan, UHN's Interim President and CEO, added: "Being a Royal College accredited CPD provider will create new opportunities for UHN educators to tap into Michener's education design expertise and program management infrastructures for continuing education and professional development."
While Michener's accreditation status is effective immediately, the process for course accreditation will be defined in the months ahead.