UGME Learning Environment Advisory Council

Terms of Reference

Purpose and Authority

The purpose of the Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) Learning Environment Advisory Council (the "Advisory Council") is to:

  • Monitor the UGME learning environment[1], including mistreatment[2] of medical students; and
  • Promote a culture of trust and respect between learners and faculty; and
  • Advise the UGME Committee, the Regional Associate Deans, the Years 1&2 Curriculum Subcommittee, and the Years 3&4 Curriculum Subcommittee accordingly.


This Advisory Council is made up of ex officio and appointed members.

The Faculty of Medicine's commitment to equitable and diverse membership on its committees and advisory councils guides its nomination and selection process.

Ex officio

  • Associate Dean, UGME (co-chair) (1)
  • Health and Safety Advisor, Risk Management (co-chair) (1)
  • Associate Dean, Student Affairs (1)
  • Assistant Dean Faculty Development (1)
  • Director, Evaluation Studies (1)


  • One Site Administrative Director (rotating among IMP, NMP, SMP, and VFMP) (1)
  • Three departmental members appointed by the Department Head (from core clinical rotations) (3)
  • Four site education leaders (one from each of IMP, NMP, SMP, and VFMP) including Faculty Development, Assistant Deans, Site Education Leaders, and Discipline Specific Site Leaders (4)
  • Two UGME students (one from Years 1&2 and one from Years 3&4) (2)

Guests may be invited to join specific meetings or portions of specific meetings at the co-chairs' discretion.

Appointment Process

Ex officio members are members by virtue of their administrative appointment.

The appointed student members are appointed by the Medical Undergraduate Society (MUS) at the request of the Faculty of Medicine.

Other appointed members are appointed by the Associate Dean, UGME in consultation with the Regional Associate Deans and Department Heads.


Ex officio members are members as long as they hold their administrative appointment.

Normally the Year 1&2 student will continue on as the Year 3&4 representative.

Other appointed members are members for a 3-year term and are eligible for renewal.


Co-chaired by the Associate Dean, UGME and Health and Safety Advisory, Risk Management.

Meeting Schedule and Administration

Normally meets approximately every month and at the call of the co-chairs.

All members are expected to attend all meetings in person or via videoconference or phone.

A staff member from the UGME Office will capture meeting minutes. Agendas and minutes will be circulated to all members.

Records will be maintained in accordance with UBC and Faculty of Medicine records retention procedures.

Quorum and Decision-Making Process

Meetings will normally be cancelled if fewer than half of members can attend.

This advisory council provides advice based on the input of all members. Members typically reach consensus on that advice, but may convey multiple perspectives if consensus does not emerge.

Lines of Accountability and Communication

This Advisory Council:

  • Collaborates with and advises the UGME Committee, the Regional Associate Deans, and the Years 1&2 and Years 3&4 Curriculum Subcommittees.
  • Reports to the UGME Committee on an annual basis.
  • Liaises with other individuals, units, and committees/subcommittees to gather information to inform advice, as needed.

Representatives of this advisory council liaise with other academic and administrative committees and advisory councils, as needed.


This advisory council will:

  1. Create a system to collect reports of student mistreatment from multiple sources, including the Clinical Partnerships and Professionalism (CP&P) Office.
  2. Collect and summarize the reports centrally and produce a comprehensive summary.
  3. Regularly review the numbers and types of complaints that have been received.
  4. Through the UGME Committee, its subcommittees, and the CP&P Office, provides students and faculty with follow-up information as to what has been done about concerns that have been brought forward.
  5. Collaborate with the CP&P Office in continuing discussions with the Health Authorities about connecting faculty professionalism behaviour with clinical privileges, as part of closing the loop.
  6. Collaborate with the Faculty of Medicine Strategic Plan Education Pillar Objective 5 Working Group, to "Develop a learning environment conducive to learner, trainee, staff and faculty development and mentorship".
  7. Collaborate with the Faculty Lead, Accreditation in preparing accreditation reports.

In its deliberations, this Advisory Council will also review:

  1. The AFMC Graduation Questionnaire pertaining to student mistreatment
  2. Dean's Task Force on Mistreatment in the Learning Environment Report Dec 2013
  3. CACMS Accreditation Standards, the Learning Environment; DCI Narrative Responses required for Element 3.6 Student Mistreatment
  4. Evaluation Studies End-of-Rotation Surveys
  5. Evaluation Studies Student Mistreatment Surveys
  6. Evaluation Studies Learning Environment Survey
  7. UBC Ombudsperson Office reports re MD Undergraduate Program students
  8. Any other sources relevant to the Learning Environment at UBC (e.g., Teacher and Resident Assessment flags, clerkship evaluation comments, etc.)

Guiding Principles in Decisions Regarding Recommendations

  1. Potential benefits to all UGME learners at all sites
  2. Effective and efficient use of resources to address gaps and improve the quality of the learning environment
  3. Compliance with UBC Respectful Environment Statement: refer to
  4. Compliance with CACMS accreditation standards 3.5 and 3.6


This version of these terms of reference has been approved by the UGME Committee on June 17, 2019.

Appendix One: UGME Committee Terms of Reference Responsibilities and CACMS Standards Relevant to this Advisory Council

Learning Environment

The UGME Committee promotes a positive learning environment in all components of the UGME program and at all sites, by ensuring that all participants are aware of the policies and standards governing faculty/staff/students behaviours and interactions: UBC Respectful Environment Statement for Student, Faculty and Staff, and the Faculty of Medicine "Professional Standards" document [3.5].

Accreditation Standards

3.5 Learning Environment/Professionalism

A medical school ensures that the learning environment of its medical education program is:

  1. Conducive to the ongoing development of explicit and appropriate professional behaviors in its medical students, faculty, and staff at all locations;
  2. One in which all individuals are treated with respect.

The medical school and its clinical affiliates share the responsibility for periodic evaluation of the learning environment in order to:

  1. Identify positive and negative influences on the maintenance of professional standards;
  2. Implement appropriate strategies to enhance positive and mitigate negative influences;
  3. Identify and promptly correct violations of professional standards.

3.6 Student Mistreatment

A medical school:

  1. Defines and publicizes its code of conduct for the faculty-student relationship in its medical education program,
  2. Develops effective written policies that address violations of the code,
  3. Has effective mechanisms in place for a prompt response to any complaints, and
  4. Supports educational activities aimed at preventing inappropriate behaviors.

Mechanisms for reporting violations of the code of conduct (e.g., incidents of harassment or abuse) are understood by students and ensure that any violations can be registered and investigated without fear of retaliation.

[1] The learning environment (LE) encompasses the educational, physical, social, and psychological context in which trainees are immersed and is thought to play a significant role in their professional and moral development. (Colbert-Getz, J. Academic Medicine, 2014).

[2] Mistreatment is defined on the Association of American Medical Colleges Graduation Questionnaire as follows: "Mistreatment arises when behavior shows disrespect for the dignity of others and unreasonably interferes with the learning process. It can take the form of physical punishment, sexual harassment, psychological cruelty, and discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity, sex, age, or sexual orientation".