If you wish to develop a career in sexual health education, Options for Sexual Health’s SHEC program is the only one of its kind in Canada. Those who are currently teaching sexual health will feel more comfortable and confident in their skills and knowledge.

Each cohort is a maximum of 12 students to ensure that the highest level of attention is given to participants. We are not able to accept all qualified applicants and must occasionally turn away applicants who meet all standards.

SHEC is an academically challenging program. While we are willing to consider applicants who do not have a related undergraduate degree, please recognize that SHEC will be more challenging for those without an education or health sciences background. Historically we have accepted 1-3 such students in each cohort of 12.

Currently, there is no formal process in Canada for teachers or health professionals to specialize in teaching sexual health. As the largest non-profit provider of sexual health services in Canada, Options for Sexual Health has created a comprehensive training program for those who wish to teach sexual health to a variety of audiences. Graduates of the SHEC program who go on to complete the practicum component completing the certification requirements; will be eligible to say they are an Options for Sexual Health Certified Sexual Health Educator.

The selection committee carefully considers all aspects of the application with particular emphasis on the letter of intent. A workable, well considered plan for how the certification will be used is looked upon most favorably. In particular, Options for Sexual Health hopes to support the training and development of rural sexual health educators.

Yes. While Options for Sexual Health is a provincial organization based out of BC Canada, the SHEC program has accepted and certified students from all over. However, most of the content in the program is tailored to BC or Canadian education and laws. The core of the content taught can certainly be adapted to other areas.

The total cost for the SHEC program is $3600. This includes all five modules, the practicum component and course materials. Students will be responsible for purchasing or renting textbooks; these costs should not exceed $150. Students will also need to plan for travel and housing costs while attending the SHEC program when delivered in-person. The completion of a SAR workshop is not included in this cost.

You can pay for the course in full or spread it out over three payments:


  • paying in full: $3420 (minus 5% discount), due 30 days prior to Module 1


  • Three payments of $1200 (first payment due 30 days prior to Module 1

Second payment due two weeks prior to Module 3. Third payment due two weeks prior to Module 5.


Non-refundable deposit: $500 due once accepted into the program

  • paying in full: $2945 (minus 5% discount), due 30 days prior to Module 1


  • non-refundable deposit: $500 due once accepted into the program
  • payment 1: $1050, due 30 days prior to Module 1
  • payment 2: $1025, due two weeks prior to Module 3
  • payment 3: $1025, due two weeks prior to Module 5

At this time, SHEC tuition fees are not eligible as a tuition tax credit. If you are self-employed, the cost of the program may be a tax-deductible expense; please see your accountant for assistance.

The student has a right to a full refund of all charges if they cancel this agreement before the date the first payment is due (depending on the first day of the cohort). The student will be charged a 10% processing fee for the refund procedure. If the student cancels or discontinues the program partway through, the student will be reimbursed for 50% of payments made in advance, but will not be reimbursed for the portion already attended.

Options is committed to growing the numbers of sexual health educators who are Black, Indigenous, or who are people of colour. Please let us know on your application form if you’d like to be considered for any scholarship opportunities available for BIPOC students. 

You will be an Options for Sexual Health Certified Sexual Health Educator and will have the skills and knowledge to market to, and teach school aged youth, adults, and parents.

The entire program consists of five modules, followed by the practicum component and the prerequisite, if needed. (SAR is an additional workshop to attend either before or during the SHEC modules). Usually, a module will be offered each month for five months. Students will then have a year to complete the practicum component (extensions available if needed).

Each module is three days long–Friday through Sunday; 9am-5pm PST each day. This applies to both in-person or online modules.

The SHEC program is completed in cohorts. We will aim to offer an online and in-person cohort each year, depending on demand.

Sexual Attitude Reassessment (SAR) is an experiential workshop intended to explore personal and professional values around human sexuality and gender.

This workshop is a requirement of SHEC certification and must be completed before completing Module 5 of the course.

When applying; students will need to state the SAR they have attended (within the last 5 years) or plan to attend with the date/organization name.

Students will need to show proof of attendance (‘certificate of completion’) in order to be certified.

There are many offered online by other organizations in North America. You will find options by googling Sexual Attitude Reassessment or checking the AASECT website, under their CEs search SAR.

For specific questions about this, please contact our Education Coordinator, Saira (shansen@optbc.org)

You will be able to market yourself as an Options for Sexual Health Certified Sexual Health Educator to schools, parents, adult groups, and other groups. Some recently certified graduates are now employed as sexual health educators, while other graduates have used their SHEC education to improve their skills in their current jobs as teachers, nurses, counsellors, social workers and other professionals.

Options for Sexual Health is the only organization that offers a Sexual Health Educator Certification program in Canada. AASECT in the US provides information about continuing education courses and is a certifying body for sexual health educators. Some Canadian and US institutions offer degrees or minors in sexual health, sexuality or related fields, but currently there is no program in Canada that trains AND certifies graduates to teach sexual health education.

Applications for our 2024 Spring and Fall cohorts are closed. For inquiries about applying for the waitlist, please contact our Education Coordinator, Saira (shansen@optbc.org)

Yes, practicums are student led and can be completed anywhere in the world as long as a student is able to find a suitable practicum supervisor.