The ASPIRE award programme was established to go beyond the traditional accreditation process, and to identify, recognise and reward world-class excellence in education. The aim of the programme is to highlight, showcase and exemplify best-practice in healthcare professions education, improving the education process and outcomes of other institutions around the world.

Each year applications open for Medical, Dental or Veterinary Schools from across the globe to submit examples of their greatest achievements in a variety of areas, to be assessed against the defined criteria for excellence, set by a board and panels of international leaders and experts in their field.

What are the benefits of winning an ASPIRE award? 

Winning an ASPIRE to Excellence award comes with a number of reputational benefits, highlighting your institution nationally and internationally as a global leader in the areas awarded. Winning institutions can also clearly demonstrate to their students, staff and other stakeholders that the quest for excellence in education is part of their school’s vision and mission, and can also highlight that the educational experience at the school, in the awarded areas, is amongst the best available in the world. 

Your institution also becomes part of an exclusive network of ASPIRE winning schools recognized for their excellence in education.

How to apply

The application period has now closed. 

Submitted applications will be reviewed by a team of three assessors who submit their report to be considered by the relevant ASPIRE panel. Recommendations from the panel are then endorsed by the ASPIRE Board. 
The standard charge per submission is £2,500 for each Area of Excellence to be assessed, this is reduced to £2,000 per submission for two or more submissions in the same twelve month period. The charge for institutions from emerging economies is £1,500 per submission, and £1,250 for two or more submissions in the same calendar year. View the list of emerging economies to see if your institution is eligible for this. Payment must be received before submissions are sent out for review, and re-submissions will be accepted within three years of the original application. The charge for a resubmission is £2,000.

The Areas of Excellence

Schools can opt to submit applications for ASPIRE to excellence awards in any of the following areas:
  • Assessment of Students
  • Curriculum Development
  • Faculty Development
  • Inspirational Approaches to Health Professions Education
  • Simulation
  • Social Accountability of the School
  • Student Engagement in the Curriculum and in the School
  • Technology Enhanced Learning
  • International Collaboration in Health Professions Education

  • Assessment of Students

    For an institution to be regarded as achieving excellence in the area of assessment, there should be evidence of an outstanding programme of assessment. This can be demonstrated to actively promote learning in order to achieve the curriculum objectives, provide a fair assessment of learner achievement, and ensure patient safety by only allowing competent individuals to progress and graduate. The notion of excellence also embodies the active engagement with scholarship and a desire to seek continuous improvement in the area of assessment of competence.

    The Excellence in Assessment Panel comprises the following individuals:
  • Richard Fuller (Chair), UK
  • Chris Roberts, Australia
  • Christy Boscardin, USA
  • Debra Klamen, USA
  • Dianne Manning, South Africa
  • Dujeepa Samarasekera, Singapore
  • John Cookson, UK
  • Kathy Boursicot, Singapore
  • Katy Cobb, UK
  • Kevin Eva, Canada
  • Maria Rachid, Lebanon
  • Michael Tweed, New Zealand
  • Paul Gordon-Ross, USA
  • Rukhsana Zuberi, Pakistan
  • Valdes Bollela, Brazil

  • The application period has now closed.

    Download the application criteria  

    Curriculum Development

    A curriculum is a statement of the intended aims and objectives, experiences, outcomes and processes of an educational programme (Grant, 2006). A curriculum describes all the ways in which a training or teaching organisation plans and guides learning. This learning can take place in groups or with individual learners. It can take place inside or outside a classroom. It can take place in an institutional setting like a school, college or training centre, or in a village or a field. It is central to the teaching and learning process (Rogers and Taylor, 1998).

    The Excellence in Curriculum Development Panel comprises the following individuals:
  • John Jenkins (Chair), Ireland
  • Sharon Peters (Vice-Chair), Canada
  • Anne-Marie Reid, UK
  • Berkay Akad Ülker (Student Representative), Turkey
  • Gustavo Quintero, Argentina
  • Indika Karunathilake, Sri Lanka
  • Janusz Janczukowicz, Poland
  • Liz Mossop, UK
  • Ming-Jung Ho, USA
  • Peter McCrorie, Cyprus
  • Richard Hays, Australia
  • Toh Chooi Gait, Malaysia

  • The application period has now closed.

    Download the application criteria  

    Faculty Development

    An applicant school may have a single centralised program or a decentralised series of programs of faculty development to enhance teaching/education, leadership and scholarship. Applicants will describe the total array of the school’s faculty development programs in the application summary and will specify whether the application will describe the whole series of programs OR focus on the specific program that prepares teachers and educators, educational leaders and educational scholars. The program must include a focus on those who teach undergraduate students but may also include those who teach postgraduates and practicing clinicians. The school’s designated program(s) will constitute “the program of faculty development” for the ASPIRE program application and be assessed using the criteria for excellence.

    The Excellence in Faculty Development Panel comprises the following individuals:
  • Ardi Findyartini (Chair), Indonesia
  • Francois Cilliers, South Africa
  • Herma Roebertsen, The Netherlands
  • Latika Nirula, Canada
  • Madalina Elena Mandache, Romania
  • Peter Cantillon, Ireland
  • Ugo Caramori, Brazil
  • Wendy Hu, Australia

  • The application period has now closed.
    Download the application criteria   

    Inspirational Approaches to Health Professions Education

    In line with ASPIRE’s aim of recognising excellence in health professions education and veterinary science, the need had been identified to recognise schools where there is evidence of excellence in education not addressed or captured in other ASPIRE categories specified to date or where resources are limited to satisfy all the criteria within a particular area due to certain economic or cultural limitations– which the school or institution has overcome to demonstrate impact and excellence. This new initiative will contribute to the ASPIRE aim of supporting international excellence in health professions in whatever form or context it manifests. We also hope it will encourage schools, colleges or institutions to apply for recognition for their initiatives and efforts. This category recognises that excellence exists in a range of ways in various contexts. This should encourage schools, colleges and institutions and indeed the health care professions education community more widely to think in different ways of how excellence in education can manifest.

    If you are interested in submitting an application for this category, please send a letter of intent to [email protected] initially, and the team will be back in touch with you with more information on making your full submission.

    The Excellence in Inspirational Approaches Panel comprises the following individuals:
  • Elizabeth Kachur (Chair), USA
  • Alexandra Dumitra, Romania
  • Annette Burgess, Australia
  • Barry Issenberg, USA
  • Vagelis Papageorgiou, UK
  • Harm Peters, Germany
  • Irem Aktar, Turkey
  • Vishna Devi Nadarajah, UK

  • The application period has now closed.
    Download the Letter Of Intent template

    Download the application criteria   


    Simulation in healthcare education is a “technique, not a technology that replaces or amplifies real experiences with guided experiences that evoke or replicate substantial aspects of the real world in a fully interactive manner” (Gaba, 2004). Simulation may include a range of technologies and educational contexts that include but are not limited to: simulated (standardised patients), simple and partial task trainers, full body patient mannequins, virtual reality, augmented reality, haptic, hybrid models, and simulated environments. An institution that has achieved excellence in healthcare simulation education ensures it is well-designed (embedded in appropriate educational theory), and integrated into the curriculum, uses it as an adjunct to patient or health systems care training and/or assessment experiences, and provides for outcome driven measures that are continuously evaluated for quality and improvement.

    The Excellence in Simulation Panel comprises the following individuals:
  • Debra Nestel (Chair), Australia
  • Augusto Scalabrini Neto, Brazil
  • Barry Issenberg, USA
  • Diane B. Wayne, USA
  • Ignacio de Moral, Spain
  • Jean Ker, UK
  • Luke Devine, Canada
  • Paul Phrampus, USA
  • Ross Scalese, USA

  • The application period has now closed.
    Download the application criteria   

    Social Accountability of the School

    The essence of the social accountability of a school is their engaging, partnering with, and responding to the needs of their communities, regions and nation (noting that some social accountability activities may involve all three levels whereas others may predominately involve the community, or region, or nation).

    The Excellence in Social Accountability Panel comprises the following individuals:
  • Bob Woollard (Chair), Canada
  • Alex Anawati, Canada
  • Bipin Batra, India
  • Charles Boelen, France
  • Debra Klamen, USA
  • Emmanuelle Careau, Canada
  • Erin Walling, Canada
  • James Rourke, Canada
  • Kosha Gala (IFMSA representative), Denmark
  • Madalena Patricio, Portugal
  • Martin Veysey, UK
  • Nivritti Patil, Hong Kong
  • Robert Carroll, USA
  • Rui Amaral Mendes, Portugal
  • Shelley Fielden, UK
  • Suzanne Pitama
  • Tomas Petras (IFMSA representative), Slovakia
  • Tomlin Paul, Rwanda

  • The application period has now closed.
    Download the application criteria     

    Student Engagement in the Curriculum and in the School

    For a school/institution to be regarded as achieving excellence in student engagement, there must be specific evidence provided in the application that students actively participate in a variety of areas within and external to the academic community and that they are consulted about and formally participate in shaping the teaching and learning experience.

    The Excellence in Student Engagement Panel comprises the following individuals:
  • Barbara Barzansky (Co-Chair), USA
  • Carmen Fuentealba (Co-Chair), USA
  • Celine Marmion, Ireland
  • Danai Wangsaturaka, Thailand
  • Gladys Zugwai Ibrahim (Student Member), Nigeria
  • Khalid Bin Abdulrahman, Saudi Arabia
  • Kulsoom Ghias, Pakistan
  • Madalena Patricio, Portugal
  • Maria Rosa Fenoll-Brunet, Spain
  • Marietjie Van Rooyen, South Africa
  • Marko Zdravkovic, Slovenia    


    The application period has now closed.

    Download the application criteria    

    Technology Enhanced Learning

    There is no ‘universal’ definition of Technology Enhanced Learning  (Kirkwood & Price, 2014) but a useful broad definition is that used by the AMEE Technology Enhanced Learning Committee: “enhancing teaching and learning by the use of general education technologies with special emphasis on the education pedagogies underlying their use.” Technology is increasingly used in both simulation and in the provision of healthcare (medical informatics) but applicants are advised to carefully consider the appropriateness of activities in their application for ASPIRE Recognition of Excellence in Technology Enhanced Learning.

    The Excellence in Technology Enhanced Learning Panel comprises the following individuals:
  • John Sandars (Chair), UK
  • Dario Fernandes, Brasil
  • Goh Poh Sun, Singapore
  • Kalyani Premakumar, Canada
  • Ken Masters, Oman
  • Monika Sobocan, Slovenia
  • Peter de Jong, Netherlands
  • Raquel Correira, France
  • Shoaleh Bigdeli, Iran

  • The application period has now closed.
    Download the application criteria   

    International Collaboration in Health Professions Education

    For the purposes of the ASPIRE award in International Collaboration, we intend to define collaboration as the purposeful action of working with others for mutual benefit that extends beyond the organisations themselves and involves a sharing of responsibilities and power. Collaborations should be able to demonstrate the additional benefits and value that the collaboration brings, over and above what each entity can achieve alone.

    The Excellence in International Collaborations in Health Professions Education Panel comprises the following individuals:
  • Chinthaka Balasooriya (Chair), Australia
  • Alaa Dafallah, Sudan
  • Azhar Adam Nadkar, South Africa
  • David Taylor, UAE
  • Emmaline Brouwer, The Netherlands
  • Judy McKimm, UK
  • Lionel Green-Thompson, South Africa
  • Mohammed Hassan Taha, UAE
  • Molly Fyfe, USA
  • Pat O-Sullivan, USA
  • Russell D'Souza, Australia
  • Samar Absoulsoud, Egypt

  • The application period has now closed.

    Download the application criteria

    The criteria for excellence in each area is set and assessed by international leaders and experts in each field, as well as practicing teachers and students. If you have any questions about any aspect of ASPIRE to Excellence, please contact us at [email protected]

    The ASPIRE Foundation Board

    The ASPIRE Foundation Board comprises the following individuals:
  • James Rourke (Chair), Canada
  • Ahmed Al Kuwaiti, Saudi Arabia
  • Anne Lloyd, UK
  • Ardi Findyartini, Indonesia
  • Azhar Adam Nadkar, South Africa
  • Barbara Barzansky, USA
  • Carmen Fuentealba, USA
  • Chinthaka Balasooriya, Australia
  • Deborah O'Mara, Australia
  • Debra Klamen, USA
  • Debra Nestel, Australia
  • Dujeepa Samarasekera, Singapore
  • Elizabeth Kachur, USA
  • Francois Cilliers, South Africa
  • Harm Peters, Germany
  • Ilze Akota, Latvia
  • John Jenkins, Ireland
  • John Sandars, UK
  • John Tegzes, USA
  • Kathleen Leedham-Green, UK
  • Kulsoom Ghias, Pakistan
  • Madalena Patricio, Portugal
  • Marko Zdravkovic, Slovenia
  • Ricardo Leon Borquez, Mexico
  • Richard Fuller, UK
  • Robert Woollard, Canada
  • Ronald Harden, UK
  • Rukhsana Zuberi, Pakistan
  • Vishna Devi Nadarajah, Malaysia


    The ASPIRE Executive Committee

    The ASPIRE Executive Committee comprises the following individuals:
  • James Rourke (Chair), Canada
  • Anne Lloyd (AMEE), UK
  • Ilze Akota (representing the ASPIRE Board members), Latvia
  • Kulsoom Ghias (representing the ASPIRE Academy), Pakistan
  • Richard Fuller (representing the Panel Chairs), UK

  • Press Release: Voices of AMEE Plenary announced for AMEE 2023

    Through this moderated panel discussion, we aim to provide a platform for speakers from diverse personal and professional backgrounds to share under-represented and varied points of view within health professions education.


    Press Release: AMEE Glasgow 2023 Opening Plenary Announced

    The opening plenary of AMEE Glasgow 2023 will be given by Dr. Sophie Soklaridis on the topic of Understanding Inclusive Leadership in HPE.


    Press Release: AMEE Glasgow 2023 Closing Plenary Announced

    The closing plenary of AMEE Glasgow 2023 will be given by Professor Rola Ajjawi on the topic of Enabling Assessment for Inclusion in the Health Professions