Comprehensive Diabetes Education

An updated version of this course will be available after February 7, 2022 to support learners for the May 2022 Certified Diabetes Educator Exam. New dates for the live webinar will also be announced at that time.


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This comprehensive program is comprised of over 20 online modules and a 3-day live webinar (see course outline below). It is designed to help you to fully prepare and pass the CDE Exam. In addition, the program meets the educational requirements by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to provide the MedsCheck for Diabetes service.

The program covers various aspects of diabetes management and is taught by subject matter experts who put a strong emphasis on providing education for the self-management of diabetes. Participants will have access to an interactive tool that provides MOH documentation forms, checklist forms containing patient teaching points for various areas of diabetes care, reference resources for pharmacists and patients.

Live Webinar Dates*:

  • TBD


*Recordings will be uploaded in the program immediately after live webinars.

Learning objectives:

OPA MASTER Plan – Unique Approach Bringing Patient-Focused Care to Life

  • Understand the traditional modes of delivery of patient health education
  • Understand impacts and limitations of traditional odes of provider-centric communications with patients
  • Understand the core elements of the OPA MASTER Plan and its ability to actualize patient-centricity in care, drive patient empowerment, and facilitate achievement of positive health outcomes
  • Understand the opportunities that patient-centricity can bring to one’s practice
  • Understand the professional satisfaction that comes with patient-centric approaches to care and communications

Psychosocial Aspects of the Adult with Diabetes

  • Identify and describe the potential psycho-social impact of diabetes and its treatment
  • Identify barriers to self-care and become familiar with strategies to promote self-care
  • Become familiar with communication strategies to promote therapeutic interactions

Motivational interviewing to facilitate behaviour change

  • Define Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • Explain how MI helps people engage in the change process
  • Apply OARS communication skills
  • Discuss the pharmacist’s role using MI skills to assist people with diabetes make important changes to optimize management

Diabetes self-management: Perspectives in behaviour change

  • Discuss selected theories and philosophies which can be applied to optimize counselling in the change process
  • Identify tools that can be used to facilitate the process of behaviour change
  • Identify where and how behaviour change theories and philosophies can be applied to practice

Overview of pathophysiology of diabetes

  • Describe the basic pathophysiology of diabetes
  • Identify the characteristic signs and symptoms of diabetes
  • Distinguish between the major types of diabetes in terms of etiology, prevention, defining characteristics and incidence
  • Identify the diagnostic criteria for the different types of diabetes
  • Identify target range for blood glucose values
  • Utilize an appropriate screening tool for type 2 diabetes

Pharmacological management of type 2 diabetes: oral antihyperglycemic agents and injectable therapy

  • Review treatment algorithm in management of hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes
  • Describe different types of oral antihyperglycemic agents (OAA) in terms of action, indications for use, side effects, safe administration and precautions
  • Examine methods of assessing renal function
  • Explore how to individualize therapeutic choices

Pharmacological management of diabetes: Insulin

  • Review action profile of different insulins
  • Describe the rationale for common insulin regimens
  • Discuss how to choose starting dose of common insulin regimens
  • Describe the principles of pattern management
  • Explore how to apply pattern management

Self-monitoring of blood glucose

  • Identify benefits of blood glucose monitoring
  • Discuss techniques of blood sampling
  • Describe purpose and methods of quality control for blood glucose meter
  • Examine self-monitoring blood glucose (SMBG) recommendation tool for healthcare providers
  • Explore how to individualize frequency of SMBG

Overview of blood glucose monitoring in the community pharmacy

  • Summarize the rationale of the ODB Blood Glucose Test Strip (BGTS) reimbursement policy
  • Demonstrate a step-wise approach to providing a person with a blood glucose meter
  • Discuss the individualization of Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose (SMBG)

Insulin injection devices and injection techniques

  • Identify common gaps in insulin injection
  • Examine FIT Canada recommendations on insulin administration
  • Explore strategies to adopting best practice

Diabetes: Complications and screening

  • Describe the microvascular complications of diabetes.
  • Discuss the associated macrovascular complications of diabetes.
  • Describe the appropriate screening times for diabetes complications.
  • Identify the screening tools available for the detection of diabetes complications
  • Describe how pharmacists can use these screening tools in practice.
  • Identify prevention strategies for diabetes complications.

Managing special circumstances in diabetes patient care

  • To explore how to manage the following special circumstances: hypoglycemia, sick days, preparing for colonoscopy, surgery or diagnostic test and guideline on driving private car

The use of CSII technology in diabetes

  • Discuss the basics of insulin pump
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of insulin pump therapy
  • Define the following terms in relation to insulin pump use: basal rate, bolus rate, ezCarb, combo wave bolus, dual wave bolus, carbohydrate ratio, insulin sensitivity, insulin on board
  • Outline the necessary steps for successful pump initiation
  • Identify some potential problems and potential solutions with pump use

Physical activity and diabetes: Prescribing exercise

  • Be familiar with the current guidelines for recommending physical activity and exercise for people with diabetes
  • Understand the effect of different forms of physical activity and exercise on the management of diabetes
  • Have the knowledge to confidently prescribe individualized practical exercise and physical activity programs to people with diabetes

Lifestyle changes for diabetes management

  • Understand the goals of nutrition management for diabetes
  • Be familiar with the meal planning tools for educating people with diabetes
  • Be able to apply the 2018 Diabetes Canada CPG nutrition principles for the management of diabetes

More food facts: carbohydrates counting

  • Become familiar with the concept of and rationale for the use of carbohydrate (CHO) counting.
  • Describe the steps involved in basic and advanced carbohydrate counting.
  • Calculate insulin dose using CHO ratio and Correction Factor along with CHO counting.
  • Read a nutrition label and identify the available carbohydrate content and estimate food choice values based on the nutrition information provided.
  • Discuss the concept of the Glycemic Index

Moving on…intensifying treatment

  • Describe the pathophysiology of diabetes
  • Discuss the factors involved in individualizing pharmacotherapy
  • Recommend Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose (SMBG) appropriately as a tool to support self-management
  • Identify prescription medications and over-the-counter products that may affect blood glucose
  • Know how to start Insulin
  • Recommend dose titrations for insulin (pattern management)
  • Support patient safety re: hypoglycemia, driving considerations, sick day management, and exercise and managing blood glucose

Communication and counseling strategies

  • Readily assess their patient’s confidence to change
  • Apply the key components of the transtheoretical stages of change theory
  • Identify the key components of motivational interviewing
  • Identify the characteristics of the patient centered approach

Diabetes in the family

  • Identify the unique aspects of diagnosing and managing diabetes in pregnancy, childhood, adult and elderly
  • Discuss how diabetes can affect sexual health and sexual function
  • Discuss diabetes and travel

Teaching for effects

  • Understand how the principles of adult education are used to guide effective teaching.
  • Understand the application of four different styles in teaching
  • Choose appropriate teaching methods for subject and participants

Program development

  • Identify the components in the development of a diabetes self-management education program
  • Identify confounding factors in program planning
  • Practice the process of program planning

Teaching tool

  • Demonstrate how the use of the 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) can improve your practice
  • Apply three key counseling points referenced in the guidelines to a clinical situation.
  • Select appropriate tools to reinforce your counselling

Course at a glance:

  • 27.75 Hours to complete
  • 27.75 CEUs
  • Available until February 28, 2022
  • Online, live webinars
  • Accreditation: 8003-2019-2715-B-P
  • Completion requirement: Complete the program’s online component. Attend and participate in the live two-day webinar (or recordings). Complete the pre-readings. Complete the program’s evaluation.

Who should take this course:

This program supports pharmacists and other healthcare professionals interested in writing the Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) examination, a nationally recognized certification administered by the Canadian Diabetes Educator Certification Board (CDECB). The course also benefits those pharmacists who do not wish to take the CDE exam, but who want to enhance their skills and knowledge in diabetes within their practice setting.

Course outline:

I. Online Modules

  • OPA MASTER Plan – Unique Approach Bringing Patient-Focused Care to Life (Note: This online module is not CCCEP accredited)
  • Psychosocial aspects of the adult with diabetes
  • Motivational interviewing to facilitate behaviour change
  • Diabetes self-management: Perspectives in behaviour change
  • Overview of pathophysiology of diabetes
  • Pharmacological management of type 2 diabetes: oral antihyperglycemic agents and injectable therapy
  • Pharmacological management of diabetes: Insulin
  • Self-monitoring of blood glucose
  • Overview of blood glucose monitoring in the community pharmacy
  • Insulin injection devices and injection techniques
  • Diabetes: Complications and screening
  • Managing special circumstances in diabetes patient care
  • The use of CSII technology in diabetes
  • Physical activity and diabetes: Prescribing exercise
  • Lifestyle changes for diabetes management
  • Introduction to theories in education
  • More food factors: carbohydrate counting
  • Communication and counselling strategies
  • Program development
  • Teaching for effects
  • Interactive tool
  • Brain wave exam preparation workshop

II. Live Webinar (recordings will be made available to all registrants)

  • TBD (Fabio De Rango)
    Diabetes in the family, Teaching tool
  • TBD (Susie Jin)
    Moving on…intensifying treatment
  • TBD (Susie Jin)
    Last minute Q&A with an Expert

III. Online Assessment

  • Multiple choice examination

Development Team:

  • Zubin Austin, RPh (MBA, MISc, PhD)
  • Laura Murphy, RPh (ACPR)
  • Gail McNeil, RN (CDE)
  • Barry Simon, MD (FRCP)
  • Freda Leung, RPh (CDE, CRE, CGP)
  • Susie Jin, RPh (CDE, CPT, BCGP)
  • Joanne Lewis, RD (CDE)
  • Joyce Chan, RPh (ACPR, CDE, BCPS)
  • Beth Li, RPh (CDE)
  • Henry Halapy, RPh (ACRP)
  • Maggie Cheung, RPh (CDE)
  • Fabio De Rango, RPh (CDE)

About the CDE examination:

The Canadian Diabetes Educator Certification Board (CDECB) is responsible for the development and administration of the certification program for Certified Diabetes Educators in Canada. It is independent and separate from all other diabetes-related organizations and associations. For further details, go to