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Clinician Educator Diploma (CE-d)


The Clinician Educator area of focused competence was approved by the Royal College in April 2012. A Clinician Educator (CE) is defined as a physician with formal training in health professions education providing consultative advice regarding education projects. This new diploma attempts to address a growing demand for CEs as evidenced by a national needs assessment and consultation that included all Canadian deans, academic chairs and program directors.

The diploma is designed to allow candidates to progress at their own pace, while juggling clinical and academic responsibilities.

The CE diploma is competency-based and uses a portfolio to demonstrate actual application of theories, knowledge and skills to practical education questions. Candidates will complete 4 core units:

And 2 of 3 selectives

A formal call for applications for a CE program is anticipated for July, 2013, pending final approval of the CE diploma documents by the Accreditation Committee.

Frequently Asked Questions – Application process

What are the entry criteria for applicants?

Entry requirements include:

  • Evidence that the applicant is a trained physician (e.g. MD)
  • Up to date abbreviated CV that highlights education experiences
  • Letters of support from established medical educators or leaders in academic medicine that describes evidence of:
    • The applicant’s proficiency in teaching
    • The applicant’s experience / engagement in local or national educational activities
    • The support available for the applicant to successfully complete the CE diploma, and
  • Applicant’s personal letter that describes how the CE diploma will further their career goals in medical education.

Do I have to be a Fellow of the Royal College to apply to the diploma?

No. The only clinical requirement is successful completion of medical school.

Can a resident apply to the CE diploma?

Yes, a senior resident that meets the above criteria can apply to the diploma.

Can a physician in practice apply to the CE diploma?

Yes, this diploma is designed to be completed by a physician-in-practice, while continuing in their clinical and academic responsibilities.

How does an individual apply to the CE diploma?

Application is made to a local CE Centre. We hope that many medical schools across Canada will develop a CE Centre. The call for applicants and the application process is anticipated for release in early 2013.

What is the time commitment to complete the CE diploma?

It is anticipated that most individuals would complete the CE diploma within 2 years. Each unit has approximately 30 hours of learning activities. Six units must be completed. However, further time is required in order to complete the assignments required of each unit. These assignments are practical (e.g. lead a team engaged in an education project).

How are CE candidates assessed?

Each unit includes an assignment(s) that requires the practical application of the ideas covered in the unit. Candidates must demonstrate performance of specific abilities. These assignments are assessed using a portfolio. For example, the curriculum design unit may require a candidate to actually design and implement a small curriculum in their own program.

I have completed courses or programs that are very similar to the CE diploma units. Do I still need to complete the units?

No. This is a competency-based diploma, meaning, that previous course work that appropriately addresses the required learning activities of the unit will be accepted. This will be at the discretion of the local CE Centre. However, all of the portfolio entries for each unit must be submitted to demonstrate that a candidate can perform the required competencies.

Can I be “grandfathered” into the CE diploma?

Yes. However, the practice eligibility route (PER) requires submission of a portfolio (of past performance) that meets the requirements of all of the units. The specific PER requirements have yet to be finalized.

What is the title that is granted upon successful completion of the CE diploma?

Successful candidates are called diplomates. The title is DRCPSC(CE) – Diplomate of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (Clinician Educator).

Will the CE diploma replace existing local programs?

No. The intent of the CE diploma is to increase the Canadian capacity of medical education experts. The CE diploma is not designed to compete with existing faculty development programs, such as “Teaching Scholars” “Master Teachers” etc. In fact, the design of the diploma is to credential such programs (if requested) to avoid duplication of educational activities, while enhancing their effectiveness (by aligning programs into a comprehensive whole) and caché (by providing a nationally recognized certification).

Is the CE diploma now required for anyone involved in medical education?

No. The rationale for the diploma category is to maintain the value of generalism, while balancing the credentialing of the specialty expansion in medicine. The CE diploma is an example that supports this rationale. This diploma acknowledges and promotes an important and growing area in medical education. However, a Clinician Educator diploma is NOT designed as a requirement for all clinician teachers (e.g. frontline teaching faculty) or program directors. A Clinician Educator is an individual grounded in education theory, who teaches effectively, designs curriculum and assessment programs, evaluates education programs, serves as an education leader, and produces scholarship. While, clinician teachers, program directors, education scholars etc. may share some (but not all) of these competencies, a Clinician Educator is unique. This diploma will equip a physician to provide consultative advice to faculty with an education challenge; it is not the standard expected of teaching faculty nor program directors.

General information about AFC Diplomas (includes information about costs)

Contact Us

If your question remains unanswered, or you would like to be added to an email list for future updates, please contact the Committee on Specialties Administrator by emailing

Questions about local CE centres? Please contact the Accreditation Unit by emailing

Questions about credentialing? Please contact the Credentials Unit by emailing