What is Accreditation?
Through accreditation, the CACMS provides assurance to medical students, graduates, medical professionals, health care institutions, health authorities, regulatory authorities and the public that:
- educational programs culminating in the award of the M.D. degree meet reasonable, generally accepted, and appropriate national standards for educational quality, and
- graduates of such programs have a complete and valid educational experience sufficient to prepare them for the next stage of their training.
As outlined on the CACMS website, accreditation is a voluntary peer evaluation process by which institutions and programs undergo an evaluation of their compliance with accepted standards for educational quality. Regular self-evaluation of the medical school’s performance against national standards enables program administrators, faculty and staff to proactively implement changes to ensure ongoing continuous improvements of the undergraduate medical education program.
There are 12 standards with 96 elements, all of which are evaluated on an eight-year cycle with internal evaluation mid-cycle. The consultation process for reviewing the standards and elements involves various members of the medical education community, including students, faculty and practicing clinicians, in addition to collaboration with the LCME (the American body).
CACMS requires the submission of documentation to assist in determining the college’s compliance with the accreditation requirements several months prior to the visit. For a full site visit, every eight years, the college submits the Data Collection Instrument (DCI), Independent Student Analysis (ISA), and Medical School Self-Study (MSS). Each of these documents provides data related to the accreditation standards and elements from the viewpoint of the faculty and the medical students.
The submitted documents are used by the survey team and — along with the information gathered from on-site conversations with faculty, students and residents — aids in the preparation of a site visit report. The site visit report is reviewed by the CACMS and determines the accreditation outcome.
College of Medicine