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Accreditation is a process by which institutions and programs voluntarily undergo an extensive peer evaluation of their compliance with accepted standards for educational quality. In Canada, accreditation of undergraduate medical education is undertaken jointly between the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).  Full accreditation reviews of each medical school occur on an eight-year cycle.

NOSM has embraced accreditation as part of its philosophy of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI). The accreditation process is an opportunity for us to identify and implement necessary changes.

Accreditation is a whole school responsibility and requires a collaborative approach.

In October and December of 2020, the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) conducted a virtual Full Site Visit at NOSM. On June 23, 2021, CACMS issued its decision letter outlining their vote to continue with Full Accreditation at NOSM.

Full Site Visit Findings

On June 23, 2021, CACMS issued its decision letter on the virtual Full Site Visit conducted at NOSM in October and December of 2020, outlining their vote to continue with Full Accreditation at NOSM.

Of the 95 required elements, the level of compliance was found to be “Satisfactory (S)” in 72 elements, “Satisfactory with Monitoring (SM)” in 13 elements and “Unsatisfactory (U)” in 10 elements – as illustrated in the following colour-coded table:

A “mini DCI (Data Collection Instrument)” will be required on the 23 elements identified as SM and U by August 2022.  A limited site visit will be conducted by CACMS by October 31, 2022.

Learn more about the to CACMS Elements Descriptions and Requirements.




In 2012, NOSM’s MD Program received full accreditation for the maximum allotted time of eight years. This outcome was arrived at after a rigorous review process that included site visits by the CACMS and the LCME to NOSM’s two main campuses at Lakehead University (Thunder Bay) and Laurentian University (Sudbury), and one of NOSM’s teaching sites (Kapuskasing) in March 2012.

“This is a significant achievement for not only a newer medical school but even amongst some of Canada’s oldest medical schools,” explained NOSM Dean, Dr. Roger Strasser. “To receive full accreditation for the maximum allotted time is a testament to the exemplary work performed by all staff, faculty, and learners at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.”

Understanding the Accreditation Process

Accreditation is essential to the maintenance of the quality of the MD Program. Preparations for the accreditation survey visit require support and collaboration across the whole School.

What is Accreditation?
Infographics created by Tharshika Thangarasa and Alyssa Archibald.



Accreditation provides a mechanism to ensure that a given school meets certain prescribed standards in the provision of its program of medical education. The standards, outlined in Standards and Elements have been developed and accepted by medical educators, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The standards are applied to all medical schools in the United States and Canada.

Accreditation fosters an institutional reflection and evaluation of ongoing activities within the school. This process allows the institution to review its strengths and weaknesses and to suggest important recommendations to help it achieve its goals. This process can ultimately help the school further define and revise its strategic plan, and shape its direction in the short and long-term.

CACMS Elements Descriptions and Requirements

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