Prepare and Apply
Here you will find all of the accreditation requirements, from preparing an eligible program to completing the application package. Preparation should begin at least 3 months in advance. Plan to apply at least 6–8 weeks prior to start date. Refer to the Overview page for important information on eligibility, processing times, application fees and credit types.
- Review the UBC CPD Guidelines for Support.
Elements #1-3 on the independence of education from promotion, accountability in content development, disclosures and COI management are required of all programs regardless of financial support.
- Recognize the Mainpro+ Quality Criteria which are a custom version of educational standards developed by the CFPC.
- Check the accreditation UPDATES for the most recent changes.
- Refer to the UBC CPD Planning Guide if you want a more detailed guide.
Application Checklist and Forms
CHECKLIST for a complete application:
The requirements are identical whether submitting either online or by email. Explanations of each item in the checklist can be found further below under Planning Phases.
Note: Fillable PDFs need to be saved to your computer FIRST before completing, to work properly.
To get excel, word versions: Open PDF and use the Export function!
|Application Form (for applying by email only)|
|Application Form (PDF) Select one.||MOC application
MOC & Mainpro+ application
|Disclosure Forms||Disclosure form or link (for SPC only): https://ubc.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_d6WjDBVZfnm8lwx|
|Declaration Forms||Accountable physician declaration form
MOC declaration form
Mainpro+ declaration form
|Needs Assessment Tools||Eg. previous evaluation summary, survey results, etc.|
|Program Agenda||Detailed program agenda with start and end times and breaks so that credit hours can be calculated. Include brochure, invitation email, or links to website and/or registration.|
|Speaker Letter||A copy of the instructions to speakers regarding accreditation/certification standards for which they are responsible in their presentations.|
|Evaluation Form||Evaluation form template
Speaker evaluation template
|Sponsorship Request Letter*||Sponsorship request template|
|Sponsorship Agreement*||Sponsorship agreement sample|
*Applications with financial sponsorship
Apply once your program has been developed and before you begin advertising.
If applying via email, complete and send as attachments the appropriate PDF application form, signed documents, and program materials located under Checklist and Forms. Note: Fillable PDFs need to be saved to your computer FIRST before completing, to work properly.
Fee payment is due upon submission.
If applying online, the signed documents and program materials can be uploaded. View the online application form by clicking Apply Online. Once submitted, you will be directed to the application fee payment portal.
Submitting an application is only part of accreditation. You must ensure your program is planned according to accreditation standards.
All accredited CPD activities must adhere to the ethical, educational, and administrative standards throughout the program development process, from A to Z. These standards are embedded into each of the program planning phases, outlined below:
UBC CPD only accredits and certifies activities that have been developed by a physician organization.
The physician organization as an entity is accountable for the all aspects of the CPD activity, from the beginning of the planning process (needs assessment) to the end (evaluation), and has ultimate authority over all decisions. The physician organization's responsibilities include ensuring that the ethical, educational and administrative standards are met, and that all registration/support funds are received and expenses are paid by the organization, and is responsible for any revenue or deficit.
A physician organization is a not-for-profit group of health professionals with a formal governance structure, accountable to and serving, among others, its physician members through continuing professional development, provision of health care and/or research.
This definition includes the following:
- Faculties of medicine departments or divisions
- Hospital departments or divisions
- Medical societies
- Medical associations
- Medical academies
- Physician research organizations
- Canadian provincial medical regulatory authorities (MRAs)
This definition does NOT include:
- Health authorities in BC
- Pharmaceutical companies or their advisory groups
- Medical/surgical supply companies
- Disease-oriented patient advocacy organizations (e.g. Canadian Diabetes Association)
- Government departments or agencies (e.g. Health Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada)
- Industry (e.g. pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, etc.)
- Medical education or communications (MEC) companies (e.g. CME Inc.)
- For-profit online educators, publishing companies or simulation companies (e.g. Medscape)
- Small number of physicians working together to develop educational programming
- Any other for-profit organizations/ventures
The physician organization is responsible for:
- Ensuring that all accreditation/certification standards are met
- Appointing the Scientific Planning Committee (SPC) to develop and plan the program
- Receiving support funds and registration
- Payment of honoraria, travel, lodging and expenses
- Submitting an application to UBC CPD
- Implementing the activity based on the plan approved by UBC CPD
- Providing attendees with certificates of participation
- Maintaining attendance records for a six-year period
Scientific Planning Committee (SPC)
All accredited/certified activities must have a scientific planning committee (SPC), appointed by and including member(s) of the accountable physician organization that are representative of the target audience.
UBC CPD requires a minimum of two physicians to sit on each SPC. If the target audience is interprofessional, the SPC should consists of representatives from each profession where possible. Meeting minutes should be kept from year to year with dates and attendees.
Formal declarations, representing the various SPC roles, are made by SPC members to confirm that they have understood and have agreed to be responsible for the CPD program which they are developing and delivering, as well as the application being submitted.
Responsibilities of SPC
The SPC must ensure that decision-making related to the following CPD program elements is under its exclusive control. Representatives of a commercial interest or any organization hired by a commercial interest cannot be members of the SPC and cannot participate in any decisions related to CPD program elements a) through f):
a. identification of the educational needs of the intended target audience;
b. development of learning objectives;
c. selection of educational methods;
d. selection and invitation of all persons involved in development, delivery and evaluation of the CPD activity (e.g. speakers, moderators, facilitators, instructors, authors);
e. development and delivery of content;
f. evaluation of outcomes.
The SPC is also responsible for reviewing disclosure forms. See Disclosures.
Roles of SPC (declarations)
In order to uphold accreditation/certification standards, a few SPC members are required to have formal roles depending on the credit type. A qualifying physician may have more than one role eg. one could serve as accountable physician and RCSPC member.
Consult CHECKLIST & Forms to access the appropriate Declaration Forms.
Required for all programs. The accountable physician is the chair or one member of the SPC representing the physician organization, and as such agrees to assume ultimate responsibility for upholding the accreditation/certification standards and for following the UBC CPD Guidelines for Support in preparing and implementing the CPD activity.
Required for MOC credits. One member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) is required to be on the SPC to represent the target audience of specialists. The declaration verifies the RCPSC member of having had substantial input into the program.
UBC FoM Member
Required for Mainpro+ credits. One physician member of the UBC Faculty of Medicine (UBC FoM) is required to be on the SPC to represent UBC FoM. The declaration verifies the UBC FoM member of having had substantial input into the program.
Required for Mainpro+ credits. One member of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), residing in the province of BC, is required to be on the SPC to represent the target audience of BC family physicians.
Disclosures by physicians about their financial relationships with industry is an international best practice. Any individual who fails to disclose their relationships is prohibited from participating as a member of the SPC, speaker, moderator, facilitator or author of an accredited CPD activity.
The ethical goal of accreditation is to separate education from promotion. Inclusion of members from industry or other for-profit companies or organizations on the SPC or in CPD development or delivery is strictly prohibited. See Conflict of Interest (COI) below.
Anyone who is in control of content is required to complete a disclosure form.
Review of disclosure forms
The SPC is responsible for collecting and reviewing all disclosure forms for conflicts of interest (COIs), including each other's. Only the disclosures of the SPC need to be submitted with your application.
It is the responsibility of the SPC to:
- Review all disclosures (SPC members, speakers, moderators, facilitators, and authors) for COIs
- Manage any COIs (ie. omit situations in which an individual stands to gain financially or influence treatment decisions for benefit)
- Ensure disclosures are available to participants for transparency
Conflict of Interest (COI)
A conflict of interest occurs when an individual or group stands to gain personally or financially by presenting at an accredited activity. Influencing treatment decisions for benefit is prohibited in accredited/certified CPD. Therefore, owners or employees of pharmaceutical or medical device companies, for-profit healthcare service companies, including smaller start-up companies producing a commercial device or offering a live or online service for the medical field (including seeking subscribers) cannot be involved in developing or delivering CPD education in any way. (Note they can fund but not be part of the planning or presenting, see the UBC CPD Support Guidelines). Review of financial disclosures for COIs serves to omit COIs before the activity goes live.
The SPC must have procedures in place to be followed to review disclosures prior to the activity so that a determination can be made about whether or not a COI exists.
Appropriate COI management strategies include:
• The presenter is asked to present on a different subject.
• The presenter alters their financial relationship.
• The presenter relinquishes control of content of the presentation.
• Independent expert content review is obtained.
On rare occasions, a speaker or SPC member may need to be replaced.
For instructions on disclosure review and management, see the UBC CPD Guidelines for Support Element 3: Conflict of Interest.
Conduct Needs Assessment
Needs assessment is the process involved in gathering information to identify the learning needs of the target audience. The learning needs are the basis for identifying appropriate learning objectives and the content and format of the educational activity. To identify the learning gap the SPC should describe the target audience, work environment or work activities, and demonstrate a valid professional practice gap from which the educational needs are identified. Identify preferred learning style and current knowledge or skill level, then determine desired knowledge or skill level.
The most useful needs assessments are those where multiple methods are utilized to identify educational needs linked to improved patient care.
NOTE: With the new National Standard released in Jan 2018, needs assessment tools are required to be submitted with an application (examples include past evaluations, focus group questionnaires etc.).
Perceived and Unperceived Needs
Self-recognized: I know what I want and need to know:
- Focus Group Interview
- Key Informant
- Representative Planning Committee
- Meetings with Colleagues
- Evaluation of Previous CPD Activity
Unknown to the learner: I don’t know what I don’t know:
Critical Incident Reports
Duplicate Prescription/Health Care Diary
Expert Advisory Group
Direct Observation of Practice Performance
Data from Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
Provincial and national datasets
To uncover the needs of the target audience, the SPC should discuss the following questions:
How common is the need among the target audience?
How many different assessment sources indicate this need?
How significantly will the unfulfilled learning need hinder health care delivery?
How directly is the need related to actual physician performance?
How likely is it that a CPD activity will improve practice behaviour?
Are sufficient resources available to effectively address this topic?
How receptive will the target audience be to a session on this topic?
Define Target Audience
The target audience is the specific group of specialists and/or family physicians, along with other healthcare professionals for whom the CPD activity will be developed, and must be determined from the inception of the activity. Aside from governing the program design and content, identifying the target audience determines which type of credits will be most appropriate.
Target Audience List
|RCPSC Target Audience||CFPC Target Audience|
|Acute Care Point of Care Ultrasonography (POCUS)
Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology
Adult Cardiac Electrophysiology
Adult Interventional Cardiology
Adult Thrombosis Medicine
Advanced Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation
Cardiology (adult or pediatrics)
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Child Maltreatment Pediatrics
Clinical Immunology & Allergy (adult or pediatrics)
Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology
Clinician Investigator Program
Critical Care Medicine (adult or pediatrics)
Emergency Medical Services
Endocrinology & Metabolism (adult or pediatrics)
Gastroenterology (adult or pediatrics)
General Internal Medicine
General Surgical Oncology
Gynecologic Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility
Infectious Diseases (adult or pediatrics)
Maternal Fetal Medicine
Medical Genetics and Genomics
Neonatal Perinatal Medicine
Nephrology (adult or pediatrics)
Neurology (adult or pediatrics)
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Patient Safety and Quality Improvement
Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Public Health and Preventive Medicine
Respirology (adult or pediatrics)
Rheumatology (adult or pediatrics)
Sleep Disorder Medicine
Solid Organ Transplantation
Sport and Exercise Medicine
Trauma General Surgery
Other/General Practice/Health Care Professional
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Canadian Medical Protective Association
The physician organization must have overall accountability for the finances of the CPD activity.
The SPC should aim to be financially self-sustaining. Accredited activities should not be profit-generating. Surplus funds generated from an activity should be earmarked for the planning, development, or delivery of subsequent activities of a recurring nature. Surplus funds from a single, non-recurring event should be returned to the physician organization and be used to support continuing education activities in the organization. Surplus funds cannot go to an individual.
The responsibility for payments may be delegated to a third party only if it is non-profit. The physician organization must retain overall accountability for all payments.
Create a Budget
Identify all sources of funding/revenue and expenses directly on the budget, even if internally funded. Indicate how any surplus or deficit will be handled. A budget with all projected revenues/funding from all sources, and general expenses, is to be submitted with the application package.
See the CHECKLIST & Forms for a sample budget.
If you are planning to obtain sponsorship, please read the UBC CPD Guidelines for Support. Remember that commercial sponsorship requires that registration fees be charged.
Only the UBC CPD-approved sponsorship opportunities may be offered in the prospectus, which outlines exactly the opportunities that sponsors would have for supporting an event.
See the CHECKLIST & Forms for: Sponsorship Request Letter template.
The terms, conditions and purposes by which commercial sponsorship is provided must be documented in a written agreement that is signed by the CPD provider organization and for-profit sponsors. The sponsorship agreement reflects the sponsorship request/prospectus.
See CHECKLIST & Forms for: Sponsorship Agreement template.
All sponsors must be acknowledged in a standardized way using the following acknowledgment statement:
"Funds in support of [Name of CPD activity] were provided as an educational grant to [Name of physician organization]. The funds were independently allocated and disbursed in accordance with the UBC CPD Support Guidelines, adherent to the National Standard."
Choose Learning Format
The SPC must ensure that the selected educational methods and delivery are consistent with the identified need(s) and stated learning objectives as well.
Group Learning Credits
For Group Learning activities, at least 25% of the total education time must be allocated for interactive learning. Promoting interactive learning using question and answer periods, case discussions, skills training, etc., helps participants to understand, translate and apply content to their specific practice contexts. Ensure that the moderator has been informed to allow time for interactivity.
- Audience-based data collection tools
- Case studies
- Small-group discussion
- Simulation-based activities
- Immersive learning
- Activities that can be applied to participants’ practices
For those participating in Group Learning activities asynchronously online and/or remotely, there must be a system that allows participants to interact with the group, participate in discussions, and provide evaluation feedback.
Assessment activities require additional educational strategies to assess the learners' knowledge or performance, and exclude the requirement for group interactivity.
Validate the number of credits by having a few physicians complete the activity and take an average time.
MOC Section 3 Knowledge Assessment (eg. online modules)
The learning can take place online or in person, but interactivity is not a focus as it is for group learning. The following additional elements are required that will assess the learners' knowledge, and allow the learner to learn from that assessment. This can take many forms as long as the program provides:
- Correct and incorrect answers, plus explanations of why they are correct/incorrect
- A scored assessment
- Suggested further resources for more information
MOC Section 3 Performance Assessment (eg. Simulation)
In recent years, simulation has expanded beyond strictly surgical skills or emergency simulations to include many soft skills such as communication. When designed to assess the learner's performance, learning formats such as simulation or coaching/mentoring may be eligible.
In a Performance Assessment program, participants practice skills while being observed and receive immediate feedback. A self-reflection tool is provided to them which allows them to design an action plan for ongoing practice, things they missed or that still need work.
The program must include a plan for instructors to provide individualized feedback to the learners. The instructors need to know what to evaluate as they observe the learners, and be able to provide appropriate, constructive and timely feedback regarding competencies, skills and attitudes. Submit the tool or describe the process that facilitators will use to assess the participants’ skills.
The reflective tool is used onsite by the learners to reflect and create an action plan to help them keep up or improve their skills, or to address barriers they might encounter in applying their new knowledge after the program. Instructors may assist or provide guidance in co-creating individuals’ action plans if required. The self-reflection tool is for the learners to use and does not need to be handed in to the instructors.
Create Learning Objectives
Learning objectives that address identified needs must be created for the overall event and for individual sessions, and be available to participants on the program brochure and/or handout materials. A learner-centered objective is specific, short-range, and relatively concrete. It describes what a learner will be able to do differently (what learner behaviour will change) if they attend the presentation.
Learner Centered Objectives
The change in behaviour is characterized by the use of an action verb. Crystalize the intent of your sessions by reviewing the list of action verbs.
“What will the learner be able to DO once learning has occurred?”
Identify the inflammatory markers in AMD.
Recognize the predictors of diabetic retinopathy.
Describe the process of fluid detection by OCT.
Appraise difficult cases presented by members.
Avoid the use of vague verbs such as understand, know, appreciate, familiarize, gain knowledge of, grasp, be aware of, comprehend, appreciate, study, become acquainted with or learn about.
The CanMEDS and CanMEDS-FM competencies are frameworks that identify and describe the abilities physicians require to effectively meet the health care needs of the people they serve. These abilities are grouped thematically under seven roles. A competent physician seamlessly integrates the competencies of all seven CanMEDS Roles.
CPD activities usually address one or two roles for the learner by tying them to the learning objectives.
|Medical/ Family Medicine Expert||Medical Expertise|
|Communicator||Communicating with Patients|
|Collaborator||Collaborating with Colleagues|
|Leader||Coordinating Team Care|
|Health Advocate||Advocating for Improved Care|
|Scholar||Contributing to Medical Academic
|Professional||Accountability and Ethical Practice|
Design your CPD learning activity to address the professional practice gaps identified by the needs assessment. The identified learning needs of the target audience should be utilized in the creation of the learning objectives. Effective learning objectives clearly define how a program will improve physician competence, physician performance, and/or improve patient outcomes.
Use the objectives as the foundation for developing educational content and activities that enable learners to incorporate their new knowledge, skills, and competence into their practices in a meaningful way. Build content by addressing the diverse roles of physicians beyond medical expert (See CanMEDS/CanMEDS-FM).
Create a detailed program of the learning activity including learner-centered objectives for each session, speakers, topics, start and end times, question and answer/discussion periods, breaks, etc.
Prepare the program agenda and include learner-centred objectives.
Count credit hours by totaling the educational hours and subtracting the breaks.
The accreditation standards must be relayed to those developing content:
Informing of standards (speaker letter)
The scientific planning committee (SPC) is accountable for all content delivered and must ensure that all persons involved are formally informed of the accreditation/certification standards. As stated in the UBC CPD Guidelines for Support, Element 2.2, a process must be in place - most often conveyed in a speaker letter - to ensure that those responsible for developing or delivering content (speakers, moderators, facilitators, authors) are informed about the following, most often conveyed in a speaker letter:
- the identified needs of the target audience;
- learning objectives must be based on identified needs, and be learner-centred;
- content and materials provide a balanced view across all relevant options related to the content area and reflect the current scientific literature;
- description of therapeutic options must utilize generic (or both generic and trade) names and not reflect exclusivity and branding;
- presenters must declare any off-label use when making therapeutic recommendations for medications that have not received regulatory approval;
- every effort must be made to avoid bias, whether commercial or other;
- disclosure of all relationships with for-profit and not-for-profit organizations is required; presenters must disclosure to participants, both both written (slide) and verbally. NOTE: this includes completing and submitting a disclosure form prior to the CPD activity for the SPC for review
- references to evidence used to create content must be included in presentations;
- time allotment must be adhered to, including include time for interactivity such as Q & A; and
- content and materials must meet professional standards and legal requirements, including the protection of privacy, confidentiality and copyright.
The SPC must have a process in place to identify and address instances where CPD activities are not in compliance with the UBC CPD Guidelines for Support, and UBC CPD should be consulted should any instances arise. If no process currently exists, the UBC CPD Non-Compliance Procedures (released November 2018) may be used.
By now your program is ready to be reviewed for CPD credit approval.
Consult the CHECKLIST & Forms to ensure you have all of the required documentation, and apply.
Once your program has been approved, you will receive an approval email with your official accreditation/certification statement to be used on certificates, as well as the "Accredited by UBC CPD" logo. This information may also be used for advertising the CPD credits for your learning activity. UBC CPD forwards notification of approval to the appropriate medical college(s) so that physician may claim credits after attending.
All participants must be able to register for the CPD activity in some way and receive a record of registration (eg. registration system, email, etc.).
Registration fees can be waived only when there is no commercial sponsorship. When a CPD activity has commercial sponsorship, the UBC CPD Support Guidelines require a reasonable registration fee to be paid by participants in order to offset the perception of industry bias. Trainees may in either case be offered reduced or waived registration fees.
Attendance records must be kept by the physician organization for 5 years for MOC Credits, and 6 years for Mainpro+ credits.
A certificate of participation or written confirmation signed by the chair of the SPC is to be issued to participants for all accredited/certified activities. Physicians must login to their member portal with the Royal College to claim the MOC credits, or the CFPC to claim the Mainpro+ credits.
Who can receive certificates?
All participants. Anyone may use certificates as proof of participation if they are not physicians. Health professionals such as nurses and midwives especially use these certificates to track their own CPD.
See the CHECKLIST & Forms for: Certificate template.
The certificate must specify the following elements:
- The title of the activity as it appears on the application
- The name/logo of the physician organization responsible for the activity (and co-developer if applicable)
- The date(s) the activity took place
- The location of the activity (i.e. city, prov or web-based)
- Accreditation/certification statement issued upon approval.
This will contain the maximum number of credit for which the activity has been approved and a reminder to physicians to only claim for what they attend.
- Signature of the Accountable Physician/Chair of planning committee
- CERT+ session identification number issued upon approval (Mainpro+ only)
- Participant name
Participants must be provided with an opportunity to evaluate individual sessions and overall CPD activity. The evaluation system must provide participants with the opportunity to i) Identify whether the individual session and overall CPD activity learning objectives were met, ii) Identify whether the content was balanced and free of commercial or other inappropriate bias, and iii) Identify the potential impact of the CPD activity for their practice (reflection).
See the CHECKLIST & Forms for: Evaluation Form and Speaker Evaluation templates.
Questions required to be included on the evaluation:
- Did the program meet the stated learning objectives:
□ Yes □ No □ N/A | If no, please explain: (text box)
- Did you perceive any degree of bias in any part of the program?
□ Yes □ No | If yes, please describe: (text box)
- Reflecting on the program content, I am motivated to change my practice in the following ways:
- Did the program content offer balanced views across all relevant options related to the content area?
It is a requirement of the National Standard that program be evaluated for balance when therapeutic options are being discussed.
Can be omitted if no therapeutic options are discussed in the program (ie. faculty development, quality improvement, etc.)
- Can you identify any barriers to incorporating what you learned into your practice?
Develop a strategy to identify barriers to practice change. Using a question on the evaluation form to explore individuals’ knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviour is one way to achieve this.
Can be omitted if another strategy has been developed.
Note: As of June 2018, these two questions are no longer required on evaluations:
- This CPD activity content enhanced my knowledge
- Indicate which CanMEDS/CanMEDS-FM roles you felt were addressed
The evaluation must include the question: “Did you perceive any degree of bias in any part of the program? Yes/No”. The responses to this question (ie. the number of yes, no and total responses) are to be forwarded to UBC CPD within 3 months of the event, via a brief email.