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 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, the SHEC program has accepted and certified students from all over Canada.

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

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

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: $1033, due 30 days prior to Module 1
  • payment 2: $1033, due two weeks prior to Module 3
  • payment 3: $1033, 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 two weeks prior to the first day of program. 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.

At this time, there are no scholarship opportunities for outside applicants. Existing Options for Sexual Health employees may apply to their manager for professional development.

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 will usually be offered within 1-2 months prior to the first module. 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. SAR begins on a Thursday evening and continues all-day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  

No. The SHEC program is completed in person and in cohorts, giving graduates an opportunity to develop knowledge at a reasonable pace, with a supportive peer group.

You must have attended a previous SAR (within the last five years) or be registered and payment submitted for an upcoming SAR in time before Module 1 of SHEC begins, in order to apply.

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 or related fields, but currently there is no program in Canada that trains AND certifies graduates to teach sexual health education.

SHEC 2019 Fall is currently in progress. SHEC 2020 Spring will run May-September 2020 and SHEC 2020 Fall will run November 2020-March 2021. Applications for these cohorts will be open until February 15, 2020. 

SHEC has been offered in Vancouver and Prince George, BC. SHEC 2020 programs will take place in Vancouver, BC.

Yes, practicums can be completed anywhere a suitable preceptor and placement is found. Please contact us prior to applying if you are interested in remote practicum experience.