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 any area.

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:

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 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 have an ONLINE and in-person cohort each year starting in 2023.

SAR is prerequisite for certification. Students will need to complete a SAR before they complete Module 5.

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.

Applications for our 2023 Summer and Winter cohorts are now open until April 3rd. For inquiries about our 2023 cohorts please contact our Education Coordinator.

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.