CACMS Site Visit
The CACMS On-site Accreditation Visit took place on:
November 2 - 6, 2020
The accreditation visit was conducted remotely, utilizing videoconferencing technology for meetings with faculty, staff, and students.
Because of the virtual nature of the visit, a one-day, virtual follow-up visit also took place on Monday, December 7, 2020.
The FAQs below will be updated as new information is made available.
The Medical School Self-study (MSS) culminates in an on-site visit by an ad hoc team of peer medical educators from Canada and the United States.
Meet the CACMS visiting team that will review the MD Program at the University of Toronto.
Please review the information below for an overview of the site visit.
How is the pilot virtual visit different from a typical on-site visit?
An on-site visit typically begins with an introductory conference with the visiting team on a Sunday evening, and continues for three to four days. During an on-site visit, the team meets with a wide range of participants from across the MD Program, Faculty of Medicine, and clinical and community affiliates.
In the first stage of the virtual visit process, the visiting team will restrict its conversations to those individuals/groups who can provide additional, detailed information on specific CACMS elements that require more in-depth investigation.
The second stage of the pilot visit will consist of a one-day follow-up, to allow the visiting team to provide any final details needed to complete the report, or to conduct a more in-depth investigation of issues that may have arisen during the first stage of the visit.
All virtual visit meetings will take place in an online teleconferencing platform.
What happens after the visit is over?
At the end of the on-site visit, the team presents a summary of their findings to Faculty of Medicine and University of Toronto leadership.
The team will then compile a Site Visit Report. The Site Visit Report will be based on the DCI, MSS, ISA, and conversations from the on-site meetings. The Site Visit Report will then be provided directly to the CACMS for review.
Does the team determine the program’s accreditation status?
The Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) determines the accreditation status of medical schools, in cooperation with the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME) in the United States.
The Site Visit Report is one of the main sources of information used by the CACMS and LCME to determine a medical schools accreditation status, but the visiting team does not make a decision on accreditation.
Both the CACMS and LCME will review the Site Visit Report and formulate a decision on the program's accreditation status. Following this, a joint CACMS/LCME decision on the medical school's accreditation status will be determined.
What happens during a site visit?
The final component of the full accreditation survey of a medical education program is an on-site visit, conducted by an ad hoc team of external reviewers.
During the site visit, the visiting team will meet with individuals and groups from across the University, Faculty of Medicine, MD Program, and its affiliated clinical sites.
As these meetings unfold, the team will take the opportunity to gather additional information on a number of topics that were explored in the Medical School Self-study (MSS). The team will attempt to come to a better understanding of the MD Programs compliance with the requirements of the CACMS Standards and Elements.
Who selects the visiting team? Who are they?
The ad hoc visiting team is selected by the CACMS Secretariat.
Visitors are recruited from peer medical schools in Canada. Wherever possible, there is also a representative from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the counterpart to the CACMS in the United States.
The chair of a team tends to be the dean of a peer Canadian medical school. The team secretary is a senior faculty leader from a peer medical school, who has significant experience in the accreditation process.
A visiting team also includes faculty leaders and student members who volunteer their time to participate in the accreditation process.
Team members are oriented to their duties by the CACMS Secretariat in advance of the site visit.
Meet the visiting team that will review the MD Program at the University of Toronto.
What information does the team already have?
Approximately 3 months prior to the start of the site visit, the MD Program provides the visiting team with the following materials:
- the complete Data Collection Instrument (DCI), containing detailed information on all aspects of the MD Program
- the Medical School Self-study (MSS) Summary Report, including a summary of evidence for all CACMS elements
- the Independent Student Analysis (ISA) Report, including the survey instrument and detailed data tables
These materials will inform the scheduling of the site visit.
Who will the team want to meet with?
The visiting team will meet with individuals and groups from the MD Program and its partners.
This will include the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and the decanal team; the Vice Dean, Medical Education and other program leaders; University department chairs and other leaders; representatives of clinical affiliates; teaching faculty; and students.
Will the team want to meet with students? What will the team ask about?
The student voice is of great importance in the accreditation process. The visiting team will have lunch meetings with students from each program year, from both campuses, and from all four academies.
The findings of the ISA and the MSS will form the basis of conversations with students, and the visiting team will ask about those aspects of the MD Program where the student voice is particularly important, including the learning environment, time spent in educational activities, academic advising, career counselling, and student wellness.
What sites/facilities will the visiting team want to see?
The Visiting Team will request a student-led tour of campus facilities, including libraries, student study and relaxiation spaces, and research facilities.
Based on the information submitted by the MD Program, the visiting team will also select an affiliated clinical site to visit. This will most likely be an anchor site for one of the three St. George academies.
The visiting team will also visit the University of Toronto Mississauga campus, as well as a clinical site affiliated with the Mississauga Academy of Medicine.
What are the possible outcomes of accreditation?
Ideally, the outcome of the process for the MD Program will be a renewal of accreditation for the full period of eight years.
If significant issues have been identified, the CACMS may place the program on warning status or on probation status.
Rarely, programs may have their accreditation withdrawn. This is an extreme action, and no Canadian program has ever had their accreditation withdrawn.
Along with their decision on accreditation status, the CACMS will provide a set of ratings for each of the 12 CACMS Standards and their constituent Elements.
Standards may be rated "In compliance," "In compliance with a need for monitoring," or "Not in compliance."
Elements may be rated "Satisfactory," "Satisfactory with a need for monitoring," or "Unsatisfactory."
The Standard and Element ratings will indicate to the program the areas in which additional action, data collection, and follow up will be required. In some cases, a program’s accreditation may be renewed for an indefinite period, pending required follow-up reports to the CACMS.
What are the consequences of an adverse accreditation status decision?
While a program is unlikely to lose its accreditation following a survey and site visit, a probationary or warning status may have a significant and lasting impact on the program.
Adverse accreditation findings affect the institution’s reputation, including its place in national and international rankings, and may have a negative impact on the institution’s development activities.
A program on probation must send written notification to all current students and applicants for admission that it has been placed on probation.
In order to apply for and enrol in a post-graduate training program (residency) in Canada and/or the United States, students must have graduated from an MD program accredited by the CACMS and LCME. Maintaining accreditation is therefore essential to ensuring that MD Program graduates are able to continue their training beyond the MD level.