Applications for Quality Academy’s fall cohort are now closed.
At the core of advancing quality is ensuring that there is a broad base of individuals who have both the capacity and capability to lead improvement. Quality Academy is a professional development program that equips learners to champion and lead quality and safety initiatives within their organizations.
Delivered over a six-month period, Quality Academy consists of three in-person residency sessions and a mix of online classes and learning activities. During your time in the Quality Academy program, you will apply your new skills and knowledge to lead improvement projects within your organization. You will learn from expert instructors and be paired with mentors for individual coaching and support. During the program, you will also work on a sponsored project from your organization that addresses one or more dimensions of quality, based on the Health Quality Matrix.
The aim of Quality Academy is to provide you with the capability to effectively lead quality and safety initiatives, including teaching and advising others in the process of improving health care quality. The curriculum is designed to support you in developing your knowledge, skills and confidence around the core components of quality improvement. These include:
- Improving quality and safety;
- Process and systems thinking;
- Engaging others;
- Leading change;
- Measurement and using data; and
- Innovation, spread and sustainability.
The Quality Academy curriculum is learner-centred and aligned with principles of adult learning so you can navigate the content in ways that are most meaningful to you. You will learn from a variety of leading experts and will be exposed to a diverse collection of tools, techniques, and frameworks for quality improvement. You will be provided with opportunities to not only develop your skills and knowledge of various quality improvement tools and methods, but also to develop your critical thinking and leadership skills. Both are needed to strategically use opportunities and tools to improve the quality of care. We will also support you to teach and advise others on quality improvement work.
Learn more about the six quality improvement competencies.
We are committed to providing you with a positive learning experience. To ensure you are successful in the program, Quality Academy will offer you a series of supports.
- Residency Sessions – Three in-person sessions to learn about quality improvement competencies and engage with others to apply and practice learning.
- Synchronous Online Classes – A series of educational classes held between residency sessions to build on the content from the residencies and provide additional learning.
- Coaching & Mentoring – You will have a program mentor to support your learning. During the program, you and your mentor will connect regularly through progress reports, written feedback and one-on-one and group meetings (online). In addition, you will be provided with measurement coaching for extra support in this topic area.
- Project Assignments and Learning Activities – You will complete a series of activities to supplement your learning and your project including documenting your outcomes and success indicators.
- Learning Management System – You will have access to our Learning Management System with dedicated learning materials for Quality Academy. This resource will be available during the program and six months afterwards.
- Networking – One of the most valuable experiences from the program is your interactions with peers, instructors and mentors. During both formal and informal learning activities, you will form a valuable network of leaders in quality improvement.
A key component of the Quality Academy program is leading a quality project that enables you to apply the concepts, skills and knowledge gained from the curriculum. You will receive support from an assigned mentor throughout the program.
In your application, you will include information on your improvement project, describing how it aligns with the mission, vision, and values of your organization. You are encouraged to begin exploring potential topic areas with your organization during the application process. Project criteria includes:
- explicitly address one or more dimension of quality, based upon the BC Health Quality Matrix;
- aligns with the strategic or business plan of your organization;
- supported by an organizational Executive Sponsor;
- has a measurable aim statement;
- progress toward the aim can be made prior to the program end date;
- has the support of a clinical champion (where the project occurs in a clinical area);
- incorporates the patient perspective; and
- baseline data is available or can be obtained for the outcome measure.
Do I have to do a project as part of Quality Academy?
Yes. Quality Academy requires you to lead a quality improvement project as part of the curriculum. Leading a project will give you the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge that is explored and gained during in the program in a real-world situation as well as make a tangible impact in your organization. Here are a few guiding questions to help you start thinking about a potential project:
- Think about a typical workday. What frustrates you the most when it comes to delivering care?
- If you could change one thing about your workday, what would it be?
Can I be a co-lead on a project?
You must lead your own projects. With a partner or co-lead, you will only benefit from half of the learning opportunities. However, you will be working with others on your project. As a project lead, you will build a team, drawing in others who are in your area of work to help you in achieving your aim.
Quality Academy instructors come from various areas of BC and are experts in improving health care quality. This diverse group will provide a variety of unique perspectives and cover a comprehensive curriculum providing you with the skills, knowledge and confidence to lead improvement initiatives.
Please review the information below to learn about the application process.
- Review the information about the Quality Academy program: Review this webpage and our Program Overview and Program Schedule.
- Review the Quality Academy Application Form. Review the list of questions for information required to apply and work with your direct supervisor and executive sponsor from your organization. Together, you will discuss your participation in Quality Academy and explore your quality project ideas.
- Start your Application Process. Many organizations have an internal process and activities for staff who wish to participate in Quality Academy. Identify your organization’s internal Quality Academy lead and contact information as part of your application process.
- Download the Quality Academy Executive Sponsor Form. The Quality Academy application requires an Executive Sponsor form signed by both your Direct Supervisor and Executive Sponsor. Once completed, save a copy to be attached to your online application.
- Submit your Quality Academy Application and Executive Sponsorship forms online. Your organization will provide you with a direct link to the online application. Once completed, you will receive an email confirmation indicating that your application has been received. Note that incomplete applications will not be considered.
If you have any questions about the application process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quality Academy is designed to support learners from all sectors of care including primary care and community services, acute care, residential and long-term care, palliative care, mental health and others who would like to build their knowledge, skills and confidence to lead improvement initiatives. We encourage health care professionals from across the health system who are leading improvement projects to apply.
Who is the ideal learner in Quality Academy?
While there are many learners who would benefit from attending Quality Academy, our experience shows there are some key criteria to get the most out of the program:
- Basic knowledge of quality improvement: Quality Academy is geared to those with some familiarity with health care improvement work. Those who are unfamiliar may have additional readings required to stay on track.
- Capacity to attend residency, online classes, and complete required work: It is essential that you have dedicated time and resources to participate fully for this work. The amount of time required will vary considerably depending on your current role and project. It is expected that this will be at least one day per week, in addition to the scheduled in-person residencies and online activities.
- Autonomy to lead a project: The aim of Quality Academy is to build your capability to lead improvement initiatives. To build these skills, you will work on an improvement project from your organization and you will need to be able to test ideas and run PDSA cycles in conjunction with a team.
- Operational Responsibility: Those with operational roles (Leaders, Managers and Directors, etc.) are often best poised to lead improvements in their area of responsibility, particularly to ensure the necessary resources are made available to support the work.
- Organizational support: This is crucial to the success of improvement initiatives. Your project should be aligned with the strategic aims of your organization to help ensure that it will be supported through to completion. In some cases, these timelines may extend beyond the six-months of the QA program.
- A project that is included within your ongoing work functions: Along with being aligned with your organization’s priorities, plan to do a project that is considered a part of your job. Projects that are done off the side of the desk are always the first thing to fall off and are not recommended.
- A project that has some level of flexibility: Ideal projects for Quality Academy are outcome-focused and leave some autonomy for how a team will accomplish that outcome.
- A working knowledge of Excel: Managing, presenting, and understanding data is essential to improvement work, and is taught at Quality Academy. If you are unfamiliar with Excel you may require additional support to learn these skills prior to attending Quality Academy in order keep up with the measurement and data components of the curriculum. While instruction for the creation of graphs is given, some basic computing skills are required.
Do I have to work for a health authority to take part in the Quality Academy?
No. Although Quality Academy is designed for anyone who works in the BC’s publicly funded health care system, including all health care sectors across the continuum of care, seats in the program for non health authority learners are limited.
I work in a non-clinical role, can I come to Quality Academy?
Yes. If you work in a non-clinical role you are invited and encouraged to attend Quality Academy! Policy makers, administrators, human resource and finance professionals working for organizations ranging from residential care facilities to the Ministry of Health Services are all welcome. Everyone has a role to play in improving the quality of health care and has the ability to lead quality improvement projects.
You must meet the following requirements to complete the program:
- attendance and active participation at all in-person residency sessions and online classes;
- completion of all online lessons, assignments, including tasks related to your project;
- demonstration of progress and application of concepts through your quality improvement project;
- submission of monthly project summaries to be shared with your Quality Academy mentor, direct supervisor and executive sponsor;
- evaluation of the Quality Academy program using surveys, interviews and other activities during the program and beyond.
Graduates of Quality Academy will receive a certificate of participation from HQBC.
Time to Participate
You must attend all residency sessions and online classes to complete Quality Academy. It is expected that you will be free from official duties in all synchronous sessions to be fully present and engage with your learning activities. As well, you will require adequate time and support during the program to dedicate to your quality improvement project. This time will vary depending on the scope of the project chosen; however, experience suggests you will need at least one day per week.
In the case of extraordinary circumstances (illness or family emergency), the Quality Academy Team will work with you individually to cover missed material to complete the program. We are unable to provide make-up sessions for the residencies and online activities arising from participant’s scheduling conflicts.
Each participant pays a program fee of $3,000 plus tax.
HQBC provides significant funding to support the program as part of its mandate to support capability and capacity-building across the province.
Note: You will be responsible for your own travel and accommodation costs for the residency sessions.
Is the Quality Academy accredited by any post-secondary educational institutions or offer CME credits?
No. Quality Academy is currently not accredited by any post-secondary institutions or offer CME credits. You will receive a certificate of recognition upon successful completion of Quality Academy from Health Quality BC.