All of the University of Ottawa’s residency programs are accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) or the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC).


The accreditation process ensures that residency programs meet the standards as set out by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), the accrediting bodies of Canadian postgraduate medical education and training.   Accreditation ensures that residents will be trained in an appropriate learning environment, be prepared to take their RCPSC and CFPC examinations and will have the knowledge, skills and behaviours necessary for excellence in practice.

The University of Ottawa office of Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) currently supports 26 Royal College (RC) direct entry, 37 RC subspecialty, 8 areas of focused competence (AFC), Family Medicine and 10 Family Medicine Enhanced Skills programs.  The last institutional and full program external review by the accrediting bodies occurred in November 2016.  The next accreditation will take place in spring 2024.

Monitoring of accreditation standards of all programs is conducted by the PGME Accreditation Subcommittee, led by the Director of Accreditation and supported by the Vice and Assistant Deans (PGME).  Committee membership includes a representative from each of the Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Lab Medicine and Family Medicine departments, and a rotating membership from other departments to ensure a diversity of perspectives.  In addition, local resident PARO representatives sit on this committee to include the resident voice to all program reviews.


Resources for Departments and Divisions

The Canadian Residency Accreditation Consortium (CanRAC) is comprised of the three Canadian residency education accrediting colleges:  RCPSC, CFPC and the Collège des médecins du Quebec (CMQ).  This partnership developed CanERA (Canadian Excellence in Residency Accreditation).  The CanERA conjoint accreditation process is built on robust standards that set high and uniform expectations of the objective evaluation and continuous improvement of Canadian institutions, residency and fellowship programs.


Standards Organization Framework
Domain Domains, defined by the Future of Medical Education in Canada-Postgraduate (FMEC-PG) Accreditation Implementation Committee, introduce common organizational terminology to facilitate alignment of accreditation standards across the medical education continuum. 
Standard The overarching outcome to be achieved through the fulfillment of the associated requirements .
Element A category of the requirements associated with the overarching standard.

A measurable component of a standard. 

A specific expectation used to evaluate compliance with a requirement (i.e. to demonstrate that the requirement is in place).

Mandatory & Exemplary Indicators

Mandatory indicators must be met to achieve full compliance with a requirement. Exemplary indicators provide objectives beyond the mandatory expectations and ma be used to introduce indicators that will become mandatory over time. 

indicators may have one or more sources of evidence, not all of which will be collected through the onsite portion of the accreditation visit (e.g., evidence may be collected via the institutions/program profile in CanAMS.)

The CanERA suite of general standards, rolled out in 2019, consists of 

Each accredited program must meet the CanERA general standards as well as additional accreditation expectations specific to the discipline, including required educational experiences and content, assessment and resources.

Documentation of how a program meets the required standards is found on CanAMS (Canadian Accreditation Monitoring System), the platform constructed and maintained by the Colleges, including updates of any changes of accreditation standards.  Every program director and program administrator has access to maintain their program’s profile on this digital platform.  

Discipline-specific standards for Royal College residency programs incorporates the General Standards as well as discipline-specific expectations.  Access to accreditation standards for each discipline can be found on the Royal College website

The CFPC accredits residency training programs in Family Medicine and Enhanced Skills at all 17 medical schools in Canada.  Discipline-specific standards for Family Medicine and Enhanced Skills programs are set out in the Standards of Accreditation for Residency Programs in Family Medicine (Red Book). This document comprehensively includes expectations specific to Family Medicine residency programs as well as those set out in the General Standards applicable to all residency programs.

Accredited AFC programs sponsored by a university follow a separate set of CanERA Standards that are modified to meet the Royal College AFC accreditation requirements.  These standards were revised and rolled out in 2021.  General AFC Standards and discipline specific standards can be found on the Royal College website 

The Colleges determine a category of accreditation for each program at the time of a full review and with each mandated report submitted to the College.:

  • Accredited program, Follow up next Regular Survey
  • Accredited program, Follow up with Action Plan Outcomes Report (APOR) in 18-24 months
    • Written program APOR submitted on CanAMS
    • Mandated Internal Review with APOR submitted on CanAMS
  • Accredited program, Follow up with External Review in 18-24 months
  • Accredited program on Notice of Intent to Withdraw, Follow up by External Review in 18-24 months


To ensure that PGME programs always strive for excellence and make progress towards addressing weaknesses identified at the most recent accreditation visit.  

The following reviews are conducted periodically during the eight-year cycle:

This review is considered a quality assurance survey, conducted by the PGME Accreditation office by a team of two faculty members and one resident over a full day.  Reviews are conducted in the same manner as would be expected in a full accreditation survey visit, with review team members granted temporary access to the program’s CanAMS profile as well as documents from the program e.g. meeting minutes; with learner consent, access to trainee confidential assessment information). This team conducts interviews with each stakeholder group of the training program.   The resultant internal review report summarizes triangulated information around the discipline-specific standards and is submitted to the PGME Accreditation Committee.  Finalized reports are returned to the program director and residency program committee to allow for a process of reflection and to find solutions for any identified areas for improvement (AFIs).  

The goals of an internal preparatory review are:

  1. As a program quality assurance process conducted by PGME on a regular cycle between full accreditation survey visits.  For programs requiring Action Plan Outcome Reports, preparatory reviews will be conducted prior to the formal mandated 18-24 month reporting period to the College.
  2. To allow PGME to understand how the program is performing against accreditation standards and to deploy support where required.  If any signals indicate problems, further internal reviews will be conducted as decided by the Accreditation Subcommittee.
  3. To allow common AFI themes across multiple programs to be identified and addressed centrally through creation of policy or educational resources.
  4. To notify programs as to any existing deficits (AFIs) requiring action 
  5. To prepare programs for any upcoming mandated internal or external review or for an upcoming accreditation visit. 

Preparatory review follow-up occurs within 18-24 months and may include a written report from the program to PGME Accreditation Subcommittee on the progress/resolution of any identified AFIs, or another full team review conducted by PGME.  Information from written reports is reviewed by the Director of Accreditation, Committee representative(s), and may be forwarded to Departmental Vice-Chairs of Education and/or Chairs as appropriate for monitoring of program status.

This type of review is carried out by three reviewers (2 faculty and 1 resident) over a full day period. uOttawa reviewers approved by the Director of Accreditation, conduct these reviews.  A report is produced and reviewed by the Accreditation Subcommittee.  The Director of Accreditation completes the Action Plan Outcomes Report (APOR) on CanAMS and submits to the respective College before the required deadline.  Programs are able to review the report generated by the review team but will be required to wait for a decision letter from the College regarding the final determination of accreditation status.

External Review

Reviewers for a mandated external review are appointed by the responsible accrediting College (RCPSC or CFPC).  The PGME office will facilitate communication to the program and access to the documents as required.  At the end of this review, the surveyors will transmit to the Program Director and PG Deans, a recommendation to the relevant College’s Accreditation Committee. That College’s Accreditation Committee will at its next meeting, issue the final accreditation status in a decision letter to the PG Deans. 

Further information about accreditation process and residency program status can be obtain by contacting the Postgraduate Medical Education Office.