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Competency Based Medical Education

Prepare – 30 Months Before Launch

Prepare for CBD redesign, including program alignment

Teams and Resources

Learn more about CBD by reading the rationale and background materials. You will need to know this because of your role the lead and key resource for your program.

Build a team within your program. Recruit supportive faculty and residents to share the work and build momentum.

Connect with the CBME office and CBME Lead, Lisa Colizza, to identify local supports and address any questions you may have:

  • Connect with other disciplines about lessons learned.
  • Obtain the policies, procedures and practices for CBD implementation from your PGME office (e.g., assessment platform, learner handover, competence committee, academic advisors).
  • Discuss how to share the load (e.g., CBME committee, associate PD, resident leads, administrative and educational support).


Ask yourself if any rotation and service changes may be required for CBD implementation (e.g., adding a boot camp, creating additional training experiences and/or rotations; moving experiences/ rotations earlier or later to ensure entrustable professional activities (EPAs) are completed at the appropriate stage).

Work with your CBME lead and/or PG dean to explore impact and plan for implementation. Moving, adding or deleting experiences may have service implications.

Form a competence committee to take on progress decisions. You may be able to realign your RPC or assessment committee into a competence committee.

Plan for structured competence committee discussions and decision-making about residents’ progress including enhanced use of reporting tools and other documentation.

Capacity Building

Consider conducting a needs assessment in your program. These data could also be used as a baseline for future evaluation activities.

Work on your program’s feedback culture and coaching skills, coach and document residents in the current structure; refresh PD/resident meetings.

Field test a small selection of work-based EPAs, even if only available in draft form. Plan when and where you can share CBD changes with your local stakeholders (faculty, residents, RPC, department/division head, affected clinical services and other residency programs)

Provide brief updates and CBD faculty development at existing meetings/events with faculty and residents. Create 3, 5, 15-minute scripts of key messages and then be strategic about when to use the shorter vs longer versions.

Recommended Resources

Contact Lisa Colizza, CBME Lead of PGME McMaster, for any questions.


RCPSC – 2020 Top CBD Resources

Various resources recommended by stage of transition


A Guide to CBD: Everything You Wanted to Know About Competence by Design but Were Afraid to Ask – v2.1

This is a guide to some of the basic concepts and terminology of Competency Based Medical Education. Updated January 2019


CBD 101 eModule for Residency Teachers

These modules are designed to prepare residency teachers (faculty, senior learners, and other health care professionals) at McMaster for the transition to a competency-based model of residency education.