Level 3: Advanced Cohort Training

​Thank you for your interest. Our next call for applications will open in December 2024.

Level 3 (L3) Advanced Cohort Training is our flagship training program, which runs from August to May (10 months) each year. Eligible* physicians will receive up to $30,000 in funding to help them protect their time to train and work on QI. Physicians from VCH and PHC, as well as those working in the community (for example, at privately owned clinics) are eligible to apply to our PQI Level 3 training. Other medical staff can also apply, though preference may be given to physicians, since the program is funded by the Specialist Services Committee.

A 'dyad' is comprised by representatives from two sides of care provision (i.e., medical and operations). You may choose to apply with a dyad partner (e.g., someone from Operations such as a nurse, allied health professional, or administrative staff who may be integral to your project). Your dyad partner can attend training and work with you on your QI project.

Please note the dyad partner needs to get approval from their manager and be released from care for training and QI work. Funding is not available for these dyad partners. The dyad partner can help with team member formation, brainstorming ideas, work jointly on deliverables, and encourage each other! The ultimate responsibility for the project lies with the physician or medical staff.

*Physicians whose time is compensated by the Health Authority under a service contract or employment may not be eligible for additional compensation for hose hours paid under that contract. Hours outside of the contract can be supported for PQI participation.


​​​Level 3 Tentative Training Dates (schedule may change slightly as we update our content or delivery):

    • Summer Session: August 13, 2024

    • Session 1: September 17, 2024

    • Session 2: October 8, 2024

    • Session 3: October 29, 2024

    • Session 4: November 19, 2024

    • Session 5: December 3, 2024

    • Session 6: January 14, 2025

    • Session 7: February 4, 2025

    • Session 8: February 25, 2025​

    • Session 9: March 11, 2025

    • Year End Presentations: April 30 and May 7, 2025 ​​

Why take L3 Training?​​​

  • Access to interactive training​ including lectures, group activities and workshops.

  • Physicians receive full project support and mentorship from PQI coaches and faculty, program advisors and data analysts.

  • Projects are endorsed by VCH and PHC medical and operational leaders. ​​

An ideal quality improvement (QI) project: 

  • ​targets a problem that has supporting evidence (e.g., baseline data, scholarly evidence of care gaps), or common agreement within your Department/Division that an issue exists

  • addresses one or more of the modified IHI Triple aims:

    • Improved patient experience

    • Better outcomes

    • Lower costs

    • Clinician well-being

    • Health equity,

  • while also focusing on one or more system priorities such as: (please note the list is not exhaustive and subject to change)

    • Cancer care

    • Addictions care

    • Optimizing surgical services

    • Senior's care

    • Indigenous health

    • Planetary health

    • Equity, diversity and inclusion

    • Anti-racism

    • Value-based health care

    • Other priorities of t​he Health Authority or the Department/Division as applicable, for example, VCH Quality and Patient Safety priorities include:

      • ​​​ED Wait time / Access to Care

      • Surgical Wait List / Access

      • Hospital-acquired Infection

      • Pressure Sores

  • has local, operational support

  • is amenable to a QI approach, where changes are developed and then tested locally with PDSA cycles (the project is not simply an implementation of a single pre-conceived change idea)

  • focuses on a problem that occurs frequently enough for meaningful data to be collected over a 10 month period

  • does not rely on a significant investment of new resources (equipment, staff, etc.)

No project idea yet? 

If you don't yet have an idea for a project and wish to learn about improvement opportunities that our Quality Departments have identified, please connect as follows:

​Providence Health Care:​

Liz Flores, Director, Quality Improvement and Accreditation, LFlores@providencehealth.bc.ca​

​Vancouver Coastal Health:


​If you are selected for L3 training, you are expected to work on a QI project of your choice over a period of 10 months, and to participate in 13 interactive training sessions. A detailed description of the expected commitments is available below (Appendix A). 


  1. ​​Confirm the problem is a system priority (refer to the section above "An ideal Quality Improvement (QI) project...") that has local and organizational support through conversations with the leadership at your site
    • For Community-based physicians: connect with the administrative and medical leadership at your site to gain endorsement of your idea.
    • For Health-Authority: the Operations/Program Director of the area where your QI project will take place, as well as with your Department/Division Head.
      • ​​If you are not sure who the Operations/Program Director is, take a look at these resources at VCH or PHC, or inquire with the manager of the area.
      • If you are still unsure, email us at medical.quality@vch.ca and we will be happy to assist you.
    • Obtain a basic understanding of QI fundamentals within health care - in order to acquire this:
      • Complete L1 Training (ideally before submitting your L3 application, or at the very least, prior to the application deadline:​ January 19, 2024​)​.
      • Commit to completing L2 Intermediate QI Training prior to the start of the cohort (August 2024) - E.g. signing up early for a L2 session will help you secure a spot. ​​​​​​​​​

In addition to these requirements, you are ​​highly encouraged to review the SSC Exchange to identify similar projects from where you could learn.​

 Level 3 training topics include the following:

  • Model for Improvement – Plan Do Study Act (PDSA)

  • Privacy and Ethics in QI

  • Project management

  • Root cause analysis

  • Human Side of Change – Key Partner Engagement

  • Data planning and testing Changes

  • Team Work & Communication

  • Sustaining and Spreading Improvement​ 

​​​​Level 3 participants collaborating during a breakout session 

Appendix A - Expected Commitments​​​​​​

  • Work on a QI project of your choice, sponsored and endorsed by your Vancouver Coastal Health / Providence Health Care medical and administrative sponsors
  • Keep your project sponsors aware of your project
  • Partnership - implement focused changes collaboratively with Health Authority staff and within established Health Authority operational processes
  • Champion QI within your department and share your knowledge and tools with colleagues
  • Training – attend mandatory training sessions​​
  • ​Read training materials and prepare for sessions with the cohort

  • Submit your monthly invoices for reimbursement

  • Present your project progress and achievements to your division, program, facility

  • Please acknowledge funding for your project in publications and presentations as appropriate. The acknowledgment should read "This project was supported by the Specialist Services Committee through the Physician Quality Improvement initiative"
  • Consider the PQI support team as a member of your working group for your project
  • Provide project status updates at training sessions
  • Provide monthly availability for check-ins with PQI team​​