Khalifa University’s Center for Experiential Learning and Clinical Simulation First in UAE to Receive Unique Dual Accreditation from US

January 18, 2024

Recognition from Society for Simulation in Healthcare Recognizes High Quality Medical Education Through Simulation


The Khalifa University Center for Experiential Learning and Clinical Simulation (KU-CELS) has become the first clinical simulation program in the UAE to receive dual accreditation in the specific criteria for Assessment and Teaching/Education from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH), a leading US-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). 


To achieve this accreditation from the SSH, which integrates international site reviewers to perform on‐site reviews, KU-CELS met a comprehensive set of criteria including demonstrating a well-structured and supported simulation program, ensuring educators and assessors are competent, hosting exemplary activities, and ensuring the simulation center is equipped with the latest technology.


In its citation, the SSH commends KU-CELS for providing quality services as well as meeting key accreditation requirements including confidentiality procedures, physical and psychological safety, separation of simulation and actual patient care materials, storage and maintenance of equipment and supplies, video recording, data retention, and prioritization of simulation resources.


The Center which includes a large virtual-environment mass casualty and disaster training area, complete with helicopter and ambulance facilities, was also previously granted accreditation as an American Heart Association International Training Center.


Dr. Habiba Alsafar, Dean, College of Medicine and Health Sciences (CMHS), Professor Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology, said: “Simulation plays a crucial role in Khalifa University’s medical education program, aligned with the university’s vision of supporting a healthier community in Abu Dhabi and the UAE and in developing competent practitioners globally. Simulation is integrated into our curriculum to enhance clinical skills, communication, teamwork, and the overall quality of medical training. The SSH accreditation for KU-CELS will enhance the learning experiences of our students, achieved by added credibility and quality to our simulation programs, aligning them with international standards and best practices.”


For the SSH, accreditation is defined as a ‘peer-reviewed, customized evaluation of a healthcare simulation program’ and to credibly achieve accreditation, the SSH assesses the qualifications of instructors, faculty and others who perform vital roles in the program.


The team at KU-CELLS comprises simulationists and subject matter experts who possess prestigious certifications such as the Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE), Certified Healthcare Simulation Operation Specialist (CHSOS), CHSOS-Advanced (CHSOS-A), and CHSE-Advanced (CHSE-A). One of the team members also holds both CHSE-A and CHSOS-A certifications, a rare achievement in the field of simulation.


Dr. Christopher Guyer, Assistant Dean, Clinical Skills and Simulation Training, Associate Professor, Medical Sciences, said: “The accreditation from SSH underscores KU-CELS’s commitment to providing top-tier education and simulation training, setting a high standard in healthcare simulation. This acknowledgement highlights the Center’s capabilities beyond education and assessment domains, positioning KU-CELS to pursue additional domains, such as research, both within the university and in collaborations with other programs.


Alisha Roy
Science Writer
18 January 2024