As Collaborators, physicians work effectively with other health care professionals to provide safe, high-quality, patient-centred care.


Collaboration is essential for safe, high-quality, patient-centred care, and involves patients and their families,* physicians and other colleagues in the health care professions, community partners, and health system stakeholders.

Collaboration requires relationships based in trust, respect, and shared decision-making among a variety of individuals with complementary skills in multiple settings across the continuum of care. It involves sharing knowledge, perspectives, and responsibilities, and a willingness to learn together. This requires understanding the roles of others, pursuing common goals and outcomes, and managing differences.

Collaboration skills are broadly applicable to activities beyond clinical care, such as administration, education, advocacy, and scholarship.


  • Collaboration with community providers: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 
  • Communities of practice: 1.3, 3.2 
  • Conflict resolution, management, and prevention: 2.2 
  • Constructive negotiation: 2.2 
  • Effective consultation and referral: 1.2, 1.3, 3.1, 3.2 
  • Effective health care teams: all enabling competencies 
  • Handover: 3.1, 3.2
  • Interprofessional (i.e. among health care professionals) health care: all enabling competencies 
  • Intraprofessional (i.e. among physician colleagues) health care: all enabling competencies 
  • Recognizing one’s own roles and limits: 1.2, 3.1 
  • Relationship-centred care: all enabling competencies 
  • Respect for other physicians and members of the health care team: 2.1, 2.2 
  • Respecting and valuing diversity: 1.2, 2.1, 2.2 
  • Shared decision-making: 1.3 
  • Sharing of knowledge and information: 1.3, 3.1, 3.2 
  • Situational awareness: 1.1, 1.2, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2
  • Team dynamics: 1.1, 2.2, 3.1 
  • Transitions of care: 3.1, 3.2 


Key competencies

Enabling competencies

Physicians are able to: 
  • 1. Work effectively with physicians and other colleagues in the health care professions
  • 1.1 Establish and maintain positive relationships with physicians and other colleagues in the health care professions to support relationship-centred collaborative care 
  • 1.2 Negotiate overlapping and shared responsibilities with physicians and other colleagues in the health care professions in episodic and ongoing care 
  • 1.3 Engage in respectful shared decision-making with physicians and other colleagues in the health care professions
  • 2. Work with physicians and other colleagues in the health care professions to promote understanding, manage differences, and resolve conflicts
  • 2.1 Show respect toward collaborators 
  • 2.2 Implement strategies to promote understanding, manage differences, and resolve conflicts in a manner that supports a collaborative culture
  • 3. Hand over the care of a patient to another health care professional to facilitate continuity of safe patient care
  • 3.1 Determine when care should be transferred to another physician or health care professional 
  • 3.2 Demonstrate safe handover of care, using both verbal and written communication, during a patient transition to a different health care professional, setting, or stage of care


* Throughout the CanMEDS 2015 Framework and Milestones Guide, references to the patient’s family are intended to include all those who are personally significant to the patient and are concerned with his or her care, including, according to the patient’s circumstances, family members, partners, caregivers, legal guardians, and substitute decision-makers.


Where are these tools from?

Many of the tools were originally developed for the CanMEDS Teaching and Assessment Tools Guide.

The title codes on the tools are maintained to allow quick cross-referencing between the CanMEDS Tools Guide and this online registry (e.g. T1, T2, A1)

The tools are part of the Royal College’s commitment to support the roll-out of CanMEDS 2015.

lightbulb in circleTips on using these Tools

  • Many of the Tools are designed to use as-is (i.e. no further work required)
  • Some tools are also available in MSWord format. This allows you to easily manipulate the ‘bones’ of the tool and customize it for your own use
  • When reproducing and modifying the tools, please maintain the footer that acknowledges the source

To maximize the utility of these tools, you should:

  • Clarify the teaching and assessment goals of your specific context;
  • Select the right tools to match the particular needs and goals of your specific context; and
  • Combine Roles and tools in an effective and efficient manner