Student Led Environments (SLE)

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The SLE strategy is a partnership between CACHE and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

What is a Student Led Environment (SLE)?

Student led environments (SLEs) are defined as unique workplace-based learning opportunities where health professional learners, under the supervision and support of preceptors and facilitators, collaborate to:

  • create a discipline-specific or interprofessional learning environment;   
  • build their collaborative leadership competencies; and
  • address a significant and identified gap in the workplace that would otherwise not be met and/or adds to existing service delivery

All SLEs...

  1. enable collaboration between students, patients, clients and families, staff and other system partners,
  2. foster the development of knowledge, skills and capacities in interprofessional practice, care and/or education,
  3. ensure inclusivity, physical and psychological safety for all,
  4. enable and support students from different professions as collaborative leaders,
  5. are clear about (and driven by) addressing a service gap or unmet need. It is their reason for being.
  6. create experiences together that acknowledge unique contexts and different ways of thinking and doing,
  7. clearly articulate all roles and responsibilities; accountabilities and liabilities relevant to the SLE,
  8. can show how service gap/unmet need are addressed and other ways the SLE is bringing value to people, learners, teams, and organizations.

What is the value of an SLE?

Early research on SLEs indicates that students’ appreciate the learning during their time in an SLE and patients are very satisfied with the care they receive from SLE students. For more information, see the attached briefing note and infographics in the SLE Resources section.

Where can we learn more if we are thinking about starting an SLE?

We are in early days with our exploration of SLEs. That said, many individuals/groups in the TAHSN community have started to build SLEs in their own context. The individuals listed below are willing to connect with you to share their learning about SLEs and help you get started.

In addition, please see SLE Community Table for a summary of Canadian SLEs for a better understanding of types of SLE clinics, scope, clients/patients, students, preceptors, etc.
Infographic for potential partners and Infographic for potential funders.

Anne Hunt – Dr. Anne Hunt served as the Manager for OnTrack Concussion at Holland Bloorview. She was instrumental in creating an SLE in pediatric concussion. Dr. Hunt can be reached at

Nick Reed - Dr. Nick Reed is an Adjunct Scientist with the Bloorview Research Institute and a key leader and champion of the OnTrack Concussion SLE. Dr. Reed can be reached at

Darlene Hubley – Darlene Hubley is the Interprofessional Education/SLE Lead at Holland Bloorview (HB). She is instrumental in the operations of all active SLEs at HB. Darlene is Co-Chair, TAHSN SLE Steering Committee and can be reached at

Kathryn Parker – Dr. Kathryn Parker is Associate Director, Transformative Change at the Centre for Advancing Collaborative Healthcare & Education (CACHE). Kathryn provides initial consultation with teams who wish to begin an SLE. Kathryn is Co-Chair, TAHSN SLE Steering Committee and can be reached at

IMAGINE (Interprofessional Medical and Allied Groups for Improving Neighbourhood Environments) is an interprofessional, student-run community health initiative aimed at promoting and providing health care to the core neighborhoods of downtown Toronto. Find out more via the IMAGINE Clinic website.

SLED-VAST (Student-Led Environments to Deliver Virtual Autism Supports for Wait-times) is a new SLE supported by the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) Workforce Capacity Fund. The SLED-VAST project will include a virtual clinic for delivering foundational supports for early autism services during wait-times (e.g. family workshops; preparatory work). Find out more via the SLED-VAST website.