UGME Student Affairs Advisory Council

Terms of Reference

Purpose and Authority

The purpose of this advisory council is to:

  • Advise the Associate Dean, Student Affairs on matters relating to the quality of student services and improvements to the quality of student life in the Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) Program, according to relevant accreditation standards including ensuring comparable and timely access to student services across sites.
  • Advise the Associate Dean, Student Affairs, on solutions to issues perceived by students as arising in the UGME program to enhance the student experience.


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, Student Affairs (chair) (1)
  • Assistant Deans, Student Affairs (IMP, NMP, SMP) (3)
  • Assistant Deans, Student Affairs, VFMP (2)
  • Director, Career Planning Program, Undergraduate Medical Education (1)
  • Coordinator, Indigenous Student Initiatives (1)
  • Health and Safety Advisor (1)
  • Student Financial Assistance Officer, UGME (1)
  • Student Research and Education Coordinator, UGME (1)
  • Student Affairs Coordinators (IMP, NMP, SMP, VFMP) (4)
  • Student Affairs Administrator (1)


  • Students, IMP, NMP, SMP (one from each year in each site) (12)
  • Students, VFMP (two from each year in the site) (8)

Corresponding Members

Ex officio

  • Administrative Directors (IMP, NMP, SMP, VFMP) (4)

Guests may be invited to join specific meetings or portions of specific meetings at the chair's discretion.

Appointment Process

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

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


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

Appointed students are members for a four-year term.


Chaired by the Associate Dean, Student Affairs, Undergraduate Medical Education, or delegate.

Meeting Schedule and Administration

Normally meets approximately ten times per year and at the call of the chair.

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

Corresponding members are not expected to attend meetings, but will receive meeting minutes and agenda packages. They will be consulted regularly and may be asked to attend specific meetings, depending on the agenda.

The Assistant to the Associate Dean, Student Affairs will record and assemble meeting minutes and coordinate all meetings and correspondence. 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

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:

  • Advises the Associate Dean, Student Affairs, UGME.

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


This advisory council:

  1. Supports the Associate Dean, Student Affairs, by providing advice on matters related to students in the Undergraduate Medical Education Program, either proactively or as requested.
  2. Advises the Associate Dean, Student Affairs, in support of ensuring that all students at all sites have comparable and timely access to:
    1. Effective financial aid and debt management resources [12.1][i]
    2. Student scholarships and bursaries [ibid]
    3. An effective system of personal counseling, which includes wellness initiatives and mentor programs at each site [12.3][ii]
    4. Preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic health services [12.4][iii]
    5. Psychiatric/psychological health services from health professionals who have no involvement in the academic evaluation or promotion of the student receiving those services [12.5][iv]
    6. Health insurance and disability insurance [12.6][v]
    7. Appropriate immunizations [12.7][vi]
    8. Information regarding student exposure to infectious and environmental hazards [12.8][vii]
    9. Information about security, student safety and disaster preparedness [5.7] [viii]
    10. Academic advice, providing initial contact, support, and triage; and integrating the efforts of faculty members, course directors, academic advisors, and Student Affairs [11.1] [ix]
    11. Career planning and application to residency programs [11.2] [x]
  3. Supports and advises the Associate Dean, Student Affairs regarding:
    1. STUDENT AFFAIRS SERVICES PROVISION: personal, financial (both information on awards and bursaries, and financial literacy), helping students obtain medical services, career advising, guidance on navigating academic and professional issues and leaves, extra-curricular activities, organizing mentor groups, and access to research opportunities.
    2. POLICIES AND PROCEDURES: review of those that affect student supports for the Undergraduate Medical Education Program and forwards them to the appropriate committee for approval.
    3. COMMUNICATION: amongst internal and external stakeholders on issues related to student affairs.
    4. MISTREATMENT [3.6] [xi]:
      1. Collaborating to address in the Undergraduate Medical Education Program;
      2. System of Student Affairs advice and support to students who have experienced mistreatment.
    6. BUDGET: for student services, support and travel.
  4. Reviews its terms of reference in June of each year and recommends changes to the Associate Dean, Student Affairs, as needed.


This version of these terms of reference has been approved by the Associate Dean, Student Affairs on March 6, 2018.

Version History

The former Student Affairs Subcommittee was dissolved by the UGME Committee on February 26, 2018.

The former Student Affairs Subcommittee terms of reference were:

  • Updated (minor revisions) by Student Affairs Committee (StAC) on July 21, 2016
  • Received by Faculty Executive on September 15, 2015
  • Approved by MD Undergraduate Regional Executive (MDUREX) on August 25, 2015
  • Updated (minor revision) on August 15, 2015
  • Developed July 21, 2015

[i] 12.1 Financial Aid/Debt Management Counseling/ Student Educational Debt

A medical school provides its medical students with effective financial aid and debt management counseling and has mechanisms in place to minimize the impact of direct educational expenses (i.e., tuition, fees, books, supplies) on medical student indebtedness.

[ii] 12.3 Personal Counseling/Well-Being Programs

A medical school has in place an effective system of personal counseling for its medical students that includes programs to promote their well-being and to facilitate their adjustment to the physical and emotional demands of medical education.

[iii] 12.4 Student Access to Health Care Services

A medical school facilitates medical students' timely access to needed diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic health services at sites in reasonable proximity to the locations of their required learning experiences and has policies and procedures in place that permit students to be excused from these experiences to seek needed care.

[iv]12.5 Non-Involvement of Providers of Student Health Services in Student Assessment/Location of Student Health Records

The health professionals who provide health services, including psychiatric/psychological counseling, to a medical student have no involvement in the academic assessment or promotion of the medical student receiving those services. A medical school ensures that medical student health records are maintained in accordance with legal requirements for security, privacy, confidentiality, and accessibility.

[v]12.6 Student Access to Health and Disability Insurance

A medical school ensures that health insurance is available to each medical student and his or her dependents and that each medical student has access to disability insurance. 

[vi] 12.7 Immunization Guidelines

A medical school follows accepted guidelines that determine immunization requirements and ensures compliance of its students with these requirements.

[vii] 12.8 Student Exposure Policies/Procedures

A medical school has policies in place that effectively address medical student exposure to infectious and environmental hazards, including:

  1. The education of medical students about methods of prevention.
  2. The procedures for care and treatment after exposure, including a definition of financial responsibility.
  3. The effects of infectious and environmental disease or disability on medical student learning activities.

All registered medical students (including visiting students) are informed of these policies before undertaking any educational activities that would place them at risk.

[viii] 5.7 Security, Student Safety, and Disaster Preparedness

A medical school ensures that adequate security systems are in place at all locations and publishes policies and procedures to ensure student safety and to address emergency and disaster preparedness.

[ix] 11.1 Academic Advising

A medical school has an effective system of academic advising in place for medical students that integrates the efforts of faculty members, course and clerkship directors, and student affairs staff with its counselling and tutorial services and ensures that medical students can obtain academic counselling from individuals who have no role in making assessment or promotion decisions about them.

[x] 11.2 Career Advising

A medical school has an effective and where appropriate confidential career advising system in place that integrates the efforts of faculty members, clerkship directors, and student affairs staff to assist medical students in choosing elective courses, evaluating career options, and applying to residency programs.

[xi] 3.6 Student Mistreatment

A medical school defines and publicizes its code of conduct for the faculty-student relationship in its medical education program, develops effective written policies that address violations of the code, has effective mechanisms in place for a prompt response to any complaints, and supports educational activities aimed at preventing inappropriate behaviours. 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.