Can Rac

Read the results of national consultations!

What is accreditation reform?

Within residency education, accreditation is a quality improvement process that evaluates programs against national standards. In 2013, the Royal College, the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) and Le Collège des médecins du Québec (CMQ) partnered to develop a new accreditation system, based on best practices and a competency-based approach to medical education.

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CanRAC group photo

What is CanRAC?

CanRAC is the Canadian Residency Accreditation Consortium, which is comprised of the three accrediting residency colleges in Canada: Royal College, CFPC and CMQ.

Why are we changing accreditation?

In 2012, focus groups conducted with the postgraduate deans of Canadian Faculties of Medicine identified the need for change. Since then, CanRAC has examined the strengths, challenges and frustrations of the current system. This information has guided the development of a proposed plan that introduces a conjoint system for residency education accreditation that keeps the strengths of the system, while addressing identified challenges.

What’s changing? What’s staying the same?

The proposed plan aims to preserve the strengths of the current system, including national standards, onsite visits conducted by peer reviewers, and input from specialists in the discipline.

Current System

  • Systematic rigorous process
  • Peer review
  • Manual, paper-based
  • Episodic, “snap-shot in time” site visit
  • Process-based standards that don’t focus enough on outcomes
  • Unclear categories of accreditation
  • Resident input not optimized
  • Inconsistency of decision-making
  • High stakes, punitive

Proposed System

  • Systematic rigorous process
  • Peer review
  • Digital platform
  • Continuous cycle of accreditation
  • More explicit standards with an increased focus on outcomes
  • Revised, clearer categories of accreditation
  • Robust system for resident involvement
  • Standardized and reproducible decision-making process
  • Emphasis on continuous improvement

How do the changes align to the transition to competency-based medical education (CBME)?

As medical education in Canada moves towards a competency-based model, we must also reform accreditation to ensure the system as a whole runs smoothly. Learn more through our storyboard.

When can I expect changes?

The proposed changes will NOT affect schools currently preparing for 2016-17 accreditation visits. The accreditation process remains status quo pending full endorsement of the guiding principles and components of the new conjoint residency accreditation system and implementation plan by the three Colleges’ accreditation committees. To learn more about the implementation process, visit our When am I affected? section.