Implementing a Competency-Based Medical Education Curriculum for the Ontario Undergraduate Medical Education Programs

Endorsed In: 
May, 2020
Paper Type: 
Position Paper

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  • Tharshika Thangarasa (University of Ottawa)
  • Mina Boshra (University of Ottawa)
  • Cole Clifford (University of Ottawa)
  • Gabrielle Haidar (University of Ottawa)
  • Tayler Bailey (University of Ottawa)
  • Alexander Pearson (University of Ottawa)
  • Sara Trincao-Batra (University of Ottawa)
  • Francesco Fazzari (University of Ottawa)
  • Victoria Renée Lanoe (University of Ottawa)
  • Sarah Wei Ping Chan (University of Ottawa)
  • Tul-Zahra Rida (University of Ottawa)
  • Kathryne DesAutels (University of Ottawa)
  • Brittany Paul (University of Ottawa)
  • Imane Foudil-Bey (University of Ottawa)
  • Ioana Stochitoiu (University of Ottawa)
  • Robert Bell (University of Ottawa)

Background: ​

The Competency-based Medical Education (CBME) curriculum is a new curricular structure implemented by residency programs across Canada. It ensures trainees progress through residency based on adequate performance of clinically relevant competencies, ideally measured by objective evaluation. This is in contrast to purely chronology-based progression, where residents move forward in residency based on time spent in training. CBME strives for improvement to resident education, trainee evaluation, and patient safety. As such, the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) has published guidelines towards incorporating CBME into Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME).


  • UGME programs should ensure their curricular structure is able to fulfill all mandated EPAs and evaluate whether additional EPAs should be included to align with a specific program’s mission and values.
  • UGME programs should match program learning objectives to the newly formed EPAs.
  • The UGME program should create a set of milestones for each EPA to allow for discreet, stepwise goals.
  • The UGME should establish a system in order to assess EPAs in their UGME curriculum. As with any curriculum, a system will be required to collect preceptor assessments of students.
  • The UGME program should establish a development program to train its staff and faculty on the CBME learning model before implementation.
  • Ontario Medical schools should educate their UGME students on the goals and justification of a CBME curriculum.
  • The Ontario Medical Schools should involve all stakeholders in the process of implementation.