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 environment1, including discrimination and mistreatment of medical students; and
  • Collaborate with the Regional Associate Deans and Department Heads who are jointly responsible for the UGME Learning environment; and
  • Advise the UGME Committee on recommendations that promote a culture of wellbeing, trust, and respect among learners, faculty, and staff.


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)
  • Senior Advisor, FoM Safety & Risk Services (co-chair) (1)
  • Associate Dean, UGME Student Affairs or delegate (1)
  • Associate Dean, FoM Faculty Development (1)
  • Director, FoM Evaluation Studies (1)
  • UGME Curriculum Lead, Student Professionalism and EDI(1)
  • FoM Executive Director, REDI (or delegate) (1)


  • One Site MDUP Administrative Director (rotating among IMP, NMP, SMP, and VFMP) (1)
  • Three FoM departmental members appointed by the Department Head (from core clinical rotations) (3)
  • Four MDUP Site 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 MDUP students (one from Year 1&2 and one from Year 3&4) (2)

Corresponding Members

  • Associate Dean, Health Professions
  • Assistant Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education
  • Associate Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Education
  • UGME Faculty Lead, Accreditation
  • Educational Environment Faculty Lead, Postgraduate Medical Education

Guests may be invited to join 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 Senior Advisor, Safety & Risk Services, Faculty of Medicine.

Meeting Schedule and Administration

Normally meets approximately 8 times per year 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

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 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. Review aggregate reports (provided by the Associate Dean, UGME) of student mistreatment and other aspects of the learning environment from multiple sources, including
    1. The FoM Office of Respectful Environments, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI).
    2. The AFMC Graduation Questionnaire pertaining to student mistreatment and the learning environment.
    3. Evaluation Studies End-of-Rotation and End-of-Elective Surveys including student comments.
    4. Evaluation Studies Student Mistreatment Surveys.
    5. Evaluation Studies Health Education Learning Environment Survey (HELES).
    6. Teacher Assessments by medical students.
    7. Any other sources relevant to the Learning Environment in the FoM.
  2. Through the UGME Committee and its subcommittees, provide students and faculty with follow-up information as to what has been done about types of concerns that have been brought forward.
  3. Collaborate with the FoM Office of REDI, Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) and other units in the UGME to identify and address systemic causes of discrimination and mistreatment of learners in the UGME environment.
  4. Collaborate with the UGME Faculty Lead, Accreditation in preparing accreditation reports.
  5. Collaborate with FoM Faculty Development in developing a strength-based approach to support our faculty in providing a safe and supportive learning environment.
  6. Collaborate with UGME curriculum teams to identify needs and review learning objectives for sessions related to mistreatment, the learning environment, and professional behaviour, in alignment with the MDUP Exit Competencies.  
  7. Collaborate with Students Affairs, students and others to proactively identify systemic opportunities for improvement of the learning environment. 

Guiding Principles in Decisions Regarding Recommendations

  1. Potential benefits to all UGME learners at all sites of the MDUP.
  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 elements 3.4, 3.5 and 3.6.
  5. This is an Advisory Council of the UGME Committee – see reporting structures and responsibilities of the UGME Committee here.


This version of these terms of reference has been approved by the Undergraduate Medical Education Committee on June 19, 2023.

Version History

  1. Revised on June 9, 2022
  2. Approved by the Undergraduate Medical Education Committee on June 20, 2022
  3. Approved by the Undergraduate Medical Education Committee on June 19, 2023

Appendix One: UGME Committee Terms of Reference Responsibilities and CACMS Standards (version 2024-25) 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

3.4 Anti-Discrimination Policy

A medical school and its clinical affiliates do not discriminate on any grounds as specified by law including, but not limited to, age, creed, gender identity, national origin, race, sex, or sexual orientation. The medical school and its clinical affiliates foster an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and take steps to prevent discrimination, including the provision of a safe mechanism for reporting incidents of known or apparent breaches, fair and timely investigation of allegations, and prompt resolution of documented incidents with a view to preventing their repetition.

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.

Appendix Two: Learning Environment Conceptualization

Ref: Gruppen LD, Irby DM, Durning SJ, Maggio LA. Conceptualizing learning environments in the health professions: Acad Med. 2019;94(7):969-974. 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002702

1 The learning environment refers to the social interactions, organizational culture and structures, and physical and virtual spaces that surround and shape the learners’ experiences, perceptions, and learning (Appendix 2)