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 health 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.

Benefits of winning an ASPIRE award

Achieving 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. Successful 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 recognised for their excellence in education

How to apply

The application period is now closed. 

Submission Charges

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.

  • Standard Charge £2,500
  • Emerging Economies Charge £1,500
  • Multiple Standard Submissions £2,000

    per submission for two or more submissions in the same twelve month period.

  • Multiple Emerging Economies Submissions £1,250

    for two or more submissions in the same twelve month period.

The ASPIRE Process

The ASPIRE criteria provide a framework for excellence that institutions can apply to their own context. Many institutions use the ASPIRE criteria and the preparation of an application to engage faculty, staff, and students in the development of excellence at their institution.

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. 

 In addition to the reputational value of an ASPIRE award, the ASPIRE review provides helpful feedback and external validation of the institution’s direction and progress in the development of excellence.  

Please see below for the ASPIRE criteria.

Areas of Excellence

Schools can opt to submit applications in any of the following areas:

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.

  • Katharine Boursicot (Chair), Singapore
  • Valdes Bollela, Brazil
  • Christy Boscardin, USA
  • Katy Cobb, UK
  • John Cookson, UK
  • Kevin Eva, Canada
  • Debra Klamen, USA
  • Dianne Manning, South Africa
  • Chris Roberts, Australia
  • Dujeepa Samarasekera, Singapore
  • Michael Tweed, New Zealand
  • Rukhsana Zuberi, Pakistan

Applications are now now closed. 

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 learner

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

Applications are now closed. 

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

  • Ardi Findyartini (Chair), Indonesia
  • Peter Cantillon, Ireland
  • Ugo Caramori, Brazil
  • Francois Cilliers, South Africa
  • Wendy Hu, Australia
  • Latika Nirula, Canada
  • Madalina Elena Mandache, Romania
  • Herma Roebertsen, The Netherlands

Applications are now closed. 

Inspirational and Innovative Approaches

This ASPIRE award focuses on Inspirational and Innovative Approaches to health professions and veterinary medicine education. It recognises institutional excellence in innovations that address important gaps and can demonstrate impact. These can also include overcoming economic, cultural, technological, or other barriers that move health professions education forward on a local, national, or international level.

The subject of the submission may also in part be covered in other ASPIRE award programs (e.g., Curriculum Development, Social Accountability), but here the focus is on innovation and exemplary efforts to overcome contextual difficulties. 

The criteria for excellence in this category involve innovations that are well planned (e.g., based on needs assessments), successfully implemented (e.g., overcoming barriers over an extended period of time), well studied (e.g., with robust program evaluations), and programs that inspire others to consider similar improvements (e.g., through presentations and publications).

If you are interested in submitting an application for this category, please review the application criteria and send a letter of intent to [email protected] initially, and the team will contact you with more information on making your full submission. Please note the deadline has now passed for submissions of letter of intent.

  • Elizabeth Kachur (Chair), USA
  • Annette Burgess, Australia
  • Vishna Devi Nadarajah, UK
  • Alexandra Dumitra, Romania
  • Barry Issenberg, USA
  • Michelle McLean, Australia
  • Vagelis Papageorgiou, UK
  • Harm Peters, Germany
  • Tomas Petras, Slovakia

Applications are now closed. 


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.

  • Debra Nestel (Chair), Australia
  • Ignacio de Moral, Spain
  • Luke Devine, Canada
  • Barry Issenberg, USA
  • Nancy McNaughton, Canada
  • Leizl Joy Nayahangan, Denmark
  • Augusto Scalabrini Neto, Brazil
  • Ross Scalese, USA
  • Cathy Smith, Canada
  • Diane B. Wayne, USA

Applications are now closed. 

Social Accountability

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)

  • 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

Applications are now closed. 

Student Engagement

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.

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

Applications are now closed. 

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.

  • John Sandars (Chair), UK
  • Shoaleh Bigdeli, Iran
  • Raquel Correira, France
  • Peter de Jong, the Netherlands
  • Dario Fernandes, Brazil
  • Ken Masters, Oman
  • Goh Poh Sun, Singapore
  • Kalyani Premakumar, Canada
  • Monika Sobocan, Slovenia

Applications are now closed. 

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.

  • Chinthaka Balasooriya (Chair), Australia
  • Samar Absoulsoud, Egypt
  • Emmaline Brouwer, the Netherlands
  • Russell D’Souza, Australia
  • Alaa Dafallah, Sudan
  • Molly Fyfe, USA
  • Lionel Green-Thompson, South Africa
  • Judy McKimm, UK
  • Azhar Adam Nadkar, South Africa
  • Pat O’Sullivan, USA
  • Mohammed Hassan Taha, UAE
  • David Taylor, UAE

Applications are now closed. 

ASPIRE Board & Executive Committee

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 Board comprises the following individuals:

  • Rikki Goddard-Fuller, UK (Chair)
  • Kulsoom Ghias, Pakistan (Vice-Chair)
  • James Rourke, Canada (Past Chair for 1 year)
  • 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
  • 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
  • Katharine Boursicot, Singapore
  • Madalena Patricio, Portugal
  • Marko Zdravkovic, Slovenia
  • Ricardo Leon Borquez, Mexico
  • Robert Woollard, Canada
  • Ronald Harden, UK
  • Vishna Devi Nadarajah, Malaysia

The ASPIRE Executive Committee comprises the following individuals:

  • Rikki Goddard-Fuller, UK (Chair)
  • James Rourke, Canada (Past Chair)
  • Anne Lloyd, UK (representing AMEE)
  • Heeyoung Han, USA (representing the ASPIRE Academy)
  • John Jenkins, UK (representing the Panel Chairs)
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