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Stepping Stones:
Foundations in Education

Program Overview

Stepping Stones: Foundations in Education is our foundational program at the Centre for Faculty Development (CFD). It provides support to health professionals in their multiple education roles and activities including teaching, education scholarship, advocacy and academic leadership. This introductory level program is aligned with other CFD programming which provides more advanced content in the same areas.

Program Description

Stepping Stones: Foundations in Education is a 1-3 year program consisting of both workshops and a journal club. Program goals are:

  • To promote growth and development of individuals in relation to their educational roles; and,
  • To provide opportunities for educational networking and collaboration across caring and learning environments.

Workshops are offered on a variety of topics related to the roles and activities Stepping Stones supports – teaching, education scholarship, advocacy and academic leadership.  Examples of topics include: clinical teaching, workplace based assessment, learning theories, curriculum development, mentorship, evaluation, equity and wellness. Stepping Stones follows a flexible, adaptive curriculum and participants choose to attend workshops that meet their needs and interests.

Journal club takes place once a month during Year 1 of the program. Journal club facilitates the integration of workshop content, the broader health professions education literature, and participants’ own education practice.

Program Structure

A new cohort of Stepping Stones: Foundations in Education participants begins every September. After you begin the program, you must complete the following requirements within two academic years.

1. Completion of 9 Workshops

To complete the workshop requirement, you must attend a minimum of 9 workshops within two academic years. Workshops are 3 hours in length, and are offered both in person and over Zoom. A list of Stepping Stones Stepping Stones topics offered during the two year program are listed here. We continually update this list in response to participant needs and environmental shifts. There are no mandatory workshops; participants are able to choose topics that best suit their interests and needs.

Specific workshops are advertised and available for registration on a per term basis: October – December, January – March, April – June. Please click here to see current workshops offered this term.


2. Completion of Journal Club 

You must complete the journal club requirement in the first year of the program. Journal Club is held virtually and runs monthly from September to June.  You must attend 8 of the 10 sessions and complete 2 assignments in order to complete the Journal Club requirement.

Upon completion of the program requirements, you receive a Stepping Stones certificate issued by the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Office.

Access and Inclusion Bursary

We have established this Bursary to enhance financial support, recognizing that funding access varies across health professions and institutions. Our available funds for this Bursary vary from year to year, and therefore the number of bursaries we can award will vary and become available each winter.

For details on what funding is available and instructions on how to apply, click here.

Accreditation Details

Continuing Professional Development has awarded the 2022-2024 – Stepping Stones: A Foundational Faculty Development Program with the following credits:
  • Certificate of Completion in Continuing Professional Development: 43.0 hours

The 2023-2024 Centre for Faculty Development Workshop Series has been accredited for up to:

  • 63 College of Family Physicians of Canada Mainpro+ credits (Group Learning)
  • 63 Royal College Maintenance of Certification – Section 1 hours

The 2023-2024 Stepping Stones: Journal Club has been accredited for up to:

  • 20 College of Family Physicians of Canada Mainpro+ credits
  • 20 Royal College Maintenance of Certification – Section 1 hours

Review complete accreditation details.

Program Team

Amanda BinnsProgram LeadSHE / HER

Amanda is the Education Development Lead, Clinical Teaching and leads the Stepping Stones and Teaching & Learning in the Clinical Context programs. She is a clinician, researcher, and educator in the field of Speech-Language Pathology. She is an Assistant Professor at University of Toronto, and clinical manager of a Student-Led Environment at Holland Bloorview. Her program of research extends from years of experience providing interprofessional supports for neurodivergent children and their families.

Sarina IannelliProgram CoordinatorTHEY / SHE

Sarina is the coordinator for the Stepping Stones program at the Centre for Faculty Development. They started this role after they completed their Master of Education at OISE, specializing in Adult Education and Community Development. Sarina takes care of most of the coordination of Stepping Stones, from booking every workshop, to ensuring participants have everything they need to succeed within the program. In addition to handling the coordination of the program She also works with Lindsay to develop curriculum that addresses current health profession education topics and issues and other participant needs.

Meredith SmithJournal Club LeaderSHE / HER

Meredith Smith is an Assistant Professor in the Teaching Stream within the Physical Therapy Department at the University of Toronto and teaches in the neurological curriculum of the Master of Science in Physical Therapy (MScPT) program. She also is the Physiotherapy Academic Clinical Educator and Program Education Lead at Toronto Rehabilitation/University Health Network.  In addition, she continues to practice clinically at Balance Physiotherapy. Meredith has also been involved in research related to racism and oppression. She is a graduate of the MScPT program at the University of Toronto and holds a Bachelors in Physiology from Michigan State University.

Sanne Kaas-MasonJournal Club LeaderSHE / HER

Sanne Kaas-Mason is an interprofessional educator whose research interests focus on the various ways that healthcare practitioners engage in interdependent work. She is interested in the spectrum of relatively stable or fluid ways that constellations of collaboration show up across healthcare spaces, and how these impact the delivery of care. This includes interprofessional ways of collaborating. She also explores how entrenched distributions of power, along with siloed understandings of illness and care, might influence collaborative practices of healthcare practitioners.

Tova NathansonJournal Club LeaderSHE / HER

Tova has been working as a registered dietitian at St. Michael's hospital in acute care and critical care for the past 15 years. In addition to her clinical role, Tova has been teaching at George Brown College and Ryerson University at both the undergraduate and graduate level, supporting various future health professionals in their learning. Tova's clinical interests include gender sensitivity and inclusivity as well as clinical mentorship.

Stephanie SliekersJournal Club LeaderSHE / HER

Stephanie Sliekers (she/her), MEd, is the Manager, Simulation and Digital Innovation at Canada's largest mental health teaching hospital, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). She is a leader and health professions educator focused on using simulation education and digital learning to create a more equitable and accessible mental health care system. As a Master’s student, Stephanie’s research focused on continuing education in the health professions. Her major research paper, “Written Assessments in Continuing Education: Examining the Tension between Constructivist Learning and Logical Positivist Evaluation,” was a driving factor in focusing her career on simulation and innovation in health care education. In her current role at CAMH, she manages Canada’s first Simulation Centre at a mental health hospital. She oversees CAMH Education’s digital innovation team, who develop and disseminate digital mental health education products, including online courses and podcasts. She brings to her work expertise in adult learning, education theory, instructional design, digital user experience/design, project management, and co-creation and co-design.

Jameela LencuchaJournal Club LeaderSHE / HER

Jameela Lencucha is the Occupational Therapy Academic Clinical Educator and Interim Program Education Lead at Toronto Rehabilitation/University Health Network. She has been practicing clinically in acute care for over 15 years and currently is an OT in the Krembil Neurosciences Program at the Toronto Western Hospital. She has been involved in clinical education throughout her career within UHN and in the Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy program at the University of Toronto. She is interested in and committed to lifelong learning and adapting practice to optimize the learner experience.

Lynda MaoJournal Club LeaderSHE / HER

Lynda is a pharmacist and Clinical Teaching and Learning Development Educator with the University Health Network (UHN). She completed a Master of Education in Higher Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. She is passionate about teaching and enhancing the experiences of learners in academic and clinical settings. Her current work involves partnering with learners at UHN, building their learning opportunities, and expanding their possibilities as future healthcare leaders.

CFD Membership

All Stepping Stones: Foundations in Education participants will be automatically enrolled as a CFD General Member for the academic year(s) you are in the program and in the academic year following completion of the program.


Amanda Binns
Program Lead

Sarina Iannelli
Education Coordinator

Registration Details

Level: Foundational

Who should register: Open to anyone who is interested in learning about core concepts in health professions education.

Location: Online with select workshop offerings held in-person.

Program length: 1-3 years

Cohort size: 45 participants

Upcoming dates:
Registration opens March 1st.
New cohort starts every September.

Please click here to see our Upcoming Dates.

Non-member rate: $1100
Member rate: $900
Student/Fellow/Senior trainee rate: $500

Please note: Fee covers both workshop and journal club components.
*Fees are subject to change.

Certificate: Participants will receive a certificate issued by the University of Toronto, Temerty Faculty of Medicine’s Continuing Professional Development Office upon successful completion of the program.

Share this Program


“Stepping Stones is an excellent foundational program that has given me knowledge and skills to thrive in my current role. The workshops offered cover a breadth of topics, many of which I found relevant to my work. Attending the workshops provided me with new knowledge and resources, and encouraged me to reflect on and look for opportunities to shift my thought processes, approaches and activities so that I can excel within my role.”

“I truly enjoyed the Stepping Stones program! Not only the great diversity of topics, from clinically applicable teaching examples to simulation, theory of education and different research areas, but also the organization, enthusiasm and well-preparedness of the presenters and staff, the interactive workshops and meeting people with similar interests. I also benefitted from the Journal Clubs, where I built some friendships with people from very different fields. As a result of the Program, I have managed to come up with some new ideas and have published two education-related papers since. Thank you!”

Upcoming Events

  • CFD_MembershipMondays_Card.png
    This virtual community event is for CFD members to come together to during a lunch and learn to discuss emerging curiosities, questions and tensions within health professions education on the topic of the month.
    • Member Event
    • loc_virtual
    Start 12:00 pm EDT
    End 01:00 pm EDT
    Delivery Online
  • CFD13-%20CFDLogo_SubBranding__Workshop_Card_Blank.png
    This workshop is focused on the alignment between curriculum, instructional practice, and subsequent assessment. We look at current theory on how assessment practices can shape and enhance learning and work on practical exercise to apply this knowledge to individual assessment practice.
    • Stepping Stones
    • Workshop
    • loc_virtual
    Start 01:00 pm EDT
    End 04:00 pm EDT
    Delivery Online
  • CFD13-%20CFDLogo_SubBranding__Workshop_Card_Blank.png
    Our learning environments can include the classroom, the bedside, the busy hallway, the Zoom room, the learning portal, and the list goes on. How do we establish these “spaces” to optimize the potential for learning? What choices can we make as educators that increase psychological safety in any learning environment?
    • Stepping Stones
    • Workshop
    • loc_virtual
    Start 05:00 pm EDT
    End 08:00 pm EDT
    Delivery Online


Q. How do I create and/or activate my account to log into the site?

A. To create a CFD user account please click here. If you have already created an account, click here to log in. Please note you will be required to set up a new account and password for our new website. We will connect your account with your previous CFD event records.

Q. Is there a cost to attend your programs?

A. There is a cost to participate in some of our programs. The cost of each of our programs varies and in some cases, the cost varies depending on your status with the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at University of Toronto and/or in which hospital you work as well as whether or not you have an annual CFD Membership.

Q.I do not have a faculty appointment in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Can I still attend your workshops, programs and/or events? Is there a fee?

A. Anyone whose education activities include teaching, leading, scholarship and advocacy are welcome to attend our workshops, programs and/or events. Specific pre-requisite criteria may apply. Please refer to each workshop, program or event page for details. All fees and discounts (where applicable) can be found in the workshop, program and event pages.

Q.I am interested in having one of your workshops offered at my home site/department. Do you offer this type of service?

A. Please contact us for further information.  The availability of this service is dependent on the resources and capacity of the CFD at the time the request is made.

Q: Is having a CFD Membership the same as having a CFD account?

A: No, a CFD Membership is not the same as a CFD account. However, in order to complete your CFD Membership registration you will be prompted to create a CFD account if you do not already have one. To register for a CFD General Membership and create your account click here.

Need more help?

Our Programs

The CFD offers a number of exceptional programs to meet current and emerging faculty development needs across the health system. View the full listing of CFD’s programs to determine which may best meet your interests and needs.

Our Programs

The CFD offers a number of exceptional programs to meet current and emerging faculty development needs across the health system. View the full listing of CFD’s programs to determine which may best meet your interests and needs.

Centre for Faculty Development
Li Ka Shing International Healthcare
Education Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital
209 Victoria Street, 4th floor

Mailing Address:
30 Bond Street, Toronto, ON, M5B 1W8


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