McGill CPD Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines


The Office for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) (hereafter “the Office”) of the McGill University Faculty of Medicine is fully accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Continuing Medical Education (CACME). It is thereby authorized to accredit/certify continuing professional development (CPD) programs in accordance with the standards of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). In its review of CPD programming, the Office also adheres to the National Standard for Support of Accredited CPD Activities and the Code of Ethics of the Conseil Québécois de développement professionnel continu des médecins (CQDPCM).

The Office develops high-quality CPD activities designed to maintain the competence of physicians in caring for their patient populations and to promote a culture of lifelong learning. Furthermore, the Office participates in research and scholarly activity with the aim of contributing to best practices in CPD. In all of its activities, the Office holds itself to the highest ethical and legal standards.

The purpose of this document is to present a framework that describes the ethical and legal standards to which the Office complies. This document includes a description of the policies, procedures, and guidelines that the Office has formally adopted and which guide the accreditation/certification of CPD programming as well as the development of educational activities, namely:

  • The policies, procedures, and guidelines established by the Office
  • The relevant policies, procedures, and guidelines established by the Faculty of Medicine and/or McGill University (e.g. McGill University Faculty of Medicine Guidelines for Avoiding Conflicts of Interest in Relations Between Faculty Members and Industry), and
  • The policies, procedures, and guidelines established by external institutions (e.g. National Standard for Support of Accredited CPD Activities)

In order to ensure consistency and quality assurance, this framework is available on the CPD Office website at The information below is pertinent to the Office’s stakeholders, including its faculty, staff, committees, collaborators, presenters, moderators, learners, CPD organizers, and all other parties or resource persons involved with the Office’s mission.

Accreditation/Certification and Ethical Guidelines

The Office ensures that all accredited/certified activities provide relevant and evidence-based learning experiences for health care professionals. To this end, the Office adheres to the accreditation/certification criteria established by relevant provincial and national stakeholders as per the list below:

The accreditation/certification approval for CPD activities is contingent upon activity organizers meeting or exceeding the criteria established by the above-mentioned regulatory bodies in addition to standards developed by the Office. All relevant criteria are described on the accreditation application forms available on the CPD Office website.

At any time, the Office may choose to consult with external entities (e.g. CFPC, RCPSC, or CQDPCM) for guidance on any matters related to accreditation/certification.

The Office reserves the right to refuse accreditation/certification for any CPD program which, upon review, has been deemed by CPD faculty/staff to be non-compliant with the Office’s standards.

CPD Accreditation/Certification Procedures

Various policies, guidelines, and best practices to help ensure that an educational activity complies with accreditation/certification requirements are available on the CPD Office website at or can be supplied upon request.

The Office includes a pool of physicians who review educational activities requesting accreditation/certification. These individuals are trained to objectively evaluate applications in accordance with all relevant standards.

The Office reserves the right to audit any CPD activity in which it has participated as an accrediting/certifying body or as an organizer/co-organizer (including research projects).

After delivery of a CPD activity, organizers are required to submit a final report of the activity, whose content will be dictated by the Office via a Final Report Form.

Guidelines for CPD Resource Persons

As described in the Office’s Accreditation/Certification Application form, the Office provides resource persons (scientific or planning/organizing committee members, speakers, moderators) with criteria to ensure compliance with accreditation and certification standards including information regarding how to avoid potential bias. Relevant documentation can be found on the CPD Office website.

CPD Co-Development Model

The Office’s co-development of educational activities in collaboration with third parties must adhere to a series of guidelines to ensure scientific integrity, objectivity and balance and to conform to relevant legal and financial standards. In its role as physician organization for such programming, the Office oversees all aspects of program development, evaluation and implementation, in accordance with relevant standards.

Integrity of Programming

Educational activities are to be based on learner-centered instructional design principles and to be free from commercial bias. The Office ensures integrity at both the organizational (i.e., program design) and individual levels (i.e. resource persons).

A. Relationship Between the CPD Office and External Entities

The Office’s relationships with external entities (profit and non-profit organizations) are guided by the following:

B. Declaration of Conflict of Interest by Resource Persons

Resource persons of an educational activity include: scientific committee members, planning/organizing committee members, speakers, trainers, facilitators, reviewers, moderators, and authors.

All resource persons must complete a declaration of potential conflict of interest form. All potential conflicts of interest must be mitigated by the scientific planning committee. Guidelines regarding disclosure and mitigation of potential conflict of interest are provided on the CPD Office website. Relationships with both for profit and non-profit organizations must be disclosed. Resource persons are also provided with guidelines related to printed and verbal disclosure.

C. Scientific Validity

The content of CPD programming must meet the identified needs of the target audience and be free from bias. The content presented must be evidence-based, relevant, objective and balanced.

D. Quality Assurance

The Office’s quality assurance procedures are in place to ensure the consistent evaluation of educational activities seeking accreditation/certification and the activity’s integrity. These include, but are not limited to the following procedures:

  • Applications for single-sponsor CPD activities are reviewed by two reviewers
  • Any activity accredited/certified by the Office may be audited by CPD staff or Scientific Planning Committee members


The Office complies with Quebec Law (An Act respecting Access to Documents held by Public Bodies and the Protection of the Personal Information, chap A 2.1. R.S.Q.).

Confidential information refers to any documentation belonging to or under the control of the McGill CPD Office, whether such documentation is verbal, written, electronic or physical, including documentation relating to the operations of the Office, such as program and event content and financial data, and which is disclosed to the Office’s stakeholders, including staff, committees, collaborators, presenters, participants, CPD organizers and all parties involved with the Office’s educational events (“Stakeholders”).

The Office uses all reasonable efforts to protect confidential information and only discloses such information to stakeholders on a need-to-know basis. The CPD Office advises any stakeholder to whom confidential information is disclosed that use of such information is restricted to the activity for which it is being disclosed and that such information may not be used for any other purpose without the express prior written approval of the CPD Office.

The Office’s privacy policy regarding the disclosure of participant information to third parties is described on the CPD Office website and a confidentiality clause is included in all agreements with third parties.

Online Privacy:

McGill University's Office for Continuing Professional Development is committed to maintaining our clients’ privacy on the internet. Any information gathered on the website will be used only for the purposes for which it was collected (e.g. payment of registration fees for medical conferences via this website). In the case that information is obtained without the direct knowledge of the user, such information will not be used to identify the user. McGill University's Office for Continuing Professional Development will never share the information collected with third parties except in cases where it is reasonable to assume implicit agreement or explicit consent has been given.


All stakeholders acknowledge and agree that any information whether written or oral in any form or medium which is identified as confidential and that is disclosed to the parties in connection with the activity shall be held in confidence and only be used in connection with the activity. The only participant details that can be shared with sponsors and third parties can include first name, last name, city and province if consent is given by the participant to do so. No other personal information of the participants shall be disclosed.


The Office respects and adheres to the McGill University policy on copyright. The policy can be found on the McGill University website at

McGill Logo Use

The Office adheres to the McGill University policy on the use of the University’s name, logo and other trademarks, which can be found on the CPD Office website.

Cancellations and Refunds

Terms regarding cancellations and refunds to course participants are described on the course registration page for each individual activity.

Complaints and Violations

Any breach of this document identified by or brought forward to the Office will be reviewed by the Associate Dean and/or Assistant Dean, in consultation with Office personnel as appropriate (Administrative Officer, Accreditation Reviewers, Advisory Committee Members) and/or other external bodies. If warranted, the Office will impose appropriate sanctions.

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