Health Coaching for Diabetes Care Certificate

Program Overview

Supporting diabetes self-management

Program Goal


This certificate program is offered with Diabetes Canada. The program will focus on the implementation of health coaching approaches and skills to support at-risk ‘pre-diabetes’ population and people living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Learn at your pace through three, on-demand learning modules online, and then consolidate your learning with a live classroom session featuring practice simulations at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax prior to the 2018 Diabetes Canada Conference.

Health coaching is an evidenced-based strategy that can increase the efficiency of health care providers to manage chronic conditions. We will teach you essential health coaching skills, including communication and behaviour change change skills related to diabetes self-management, that are crucial to your role as a diabetes educator.

Throughout the course, you will explore case studies using the diabetes coaching model.The course is designed in a convenient format for working health care professionals.

Program Benefits

  • This certificate program will help you to implement your knowledge as Certified Diabetes Educators (CDE) or equivalent to support diabetes self-management
  • The program is aligned with the competencies outlined by Canadian Diabetes Educator Certification Board. Participants who complete the program will qualify for 18 continuing education credits for certification maintenance of Certified Diabetes Educator standing (CDE® ) through the self-directed credit portfolio option.
  • Using a Patient First approach, you will learn how to increase primary prevention and diabetes self-management support among people living with or at risk for diabetes
  • Implement health coaching methods using evidence-based strategies and technologies at your workplace to support a greater number of individuals at-risk or living with diabetes

Learning Outcomes

  • Gain health coaching knowledge and skills to support diabetes self-care for outpatient settings
  • Increase awareness and empathy for the person living with diabetes through p-centred communication skills and person-centred agenda setting
  • Define diabetes self-management education and support, and the varying degrees of self-management.
  • Support individuals to design behaviour modification and self-management plans
  • Link behaviour change through motivational interviewing and shared decision-making
  • Understand how to incorporate technology to support diabetes health coaching

Who should take this course?

  • Health care professional or allied health care professional working with at-risk ‘pre-diabetes’ adults or adults living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).


  • Regulated health professional or demonstrated 1-2 years of relevant/equivalent education and experience

Program Content

Program Details

The program is designed for working professionals across various practice setting and is delivered in a convenient four-day blended learning format:

  • Three days pre-recorded, on-demand learning at your own schedule
  • One-day in-person, classroom session of simulation practice

Program Modules

Introduction to health coaching for diabetes
  • Increase understanding of the diabetes health coaching role and need
  • Understanding coaching models and approaches for diabetes self-managed support
  • Understanding implementation successes and challenges
Behaviour Change
  • Understand knowledge, skills, attributes of a diabetes health coach
  • Build skills including motivational interviewing, behaviour change, shared decision-making for person-centred care
Becoming a Diabetes Care Translator ®
  • Learn effective communication strategies for person-centred care
  • Implement diabetes care translation and goals for person-centred care
  • Incorporate use of health technologies
Implementation and Learning Consolidation
  • Synthesizing and applying diabetes coaching skills and knowledge (review of mock documentation)
  • Simulation cast studies


The program uses a professional development format and is non-degree and non-credit. Participants who complete this program will receive a certificate of completion from York University.

This program is aligned with the competencies outlined by Canadian Diabetes Educator Certification Board, and will qualify for 18 continuing education credits for certification maintenance of Certified Diabetes Educator standing (CDE® ) through the self-directed credit portfolio option.


Diana Sherifali - RN, PhD, CDE

Associate Professor, School of Nursing and Joint Faculty, Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, McMaster University
Associate Researcher, Population Health Research Institute, Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster University
Clinical Nurse Specialist, Diabetes Care and Research Program, Hamilton Health Sciences.

Diana’s research interests include evidence-based diabetes practice and the implementation and evaluation of strategies for diabetes self-care at the patient, provider and population level.  She has been funded by Diabetes Canada, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.  She is currently leading a trial to evaluate the effect of a diabetes health coach on diabetes control and quality of life.

She has authored or co-authored over 50 papers and is currently the Methods Co-Chair and Co-Author on three chapters for the 2018 Diabetes Canada's Clinical Practice guidelines. Finally, Diana is the Deputy Editor of the Canadian Journal of Diabetes and has been an active volunteer with Diabetes Canada since 1998.

Leigh Caplan - RN, MA, CDE

Diabetes Nurse Educator, Sunnybrook Academic Family Health Team

Leigh Caplan is a Diabetes Nurse Educator in the Sunnybrook Academic Family Health Team.   She has worked in the area of Diabetes Education for over 19 years. She has been the clinical lead on the expansion of the diabetes program at Sunnybrook and responsible for inter-professional diabetes education. Leigh is a faculity member of the Institute of Healthcare Communication: Choices and Change workshop, Choices and changes Mentoring Workshops with simulated patients and Coaching Clinicians for Enhanced Performance. Leigh is a tutor in University of Toronto Medical School’s Community, Population and Public Health ( CPPH) -1 course. Leigh has been a tutor and facilitator of Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences’ Diabetes Educator Graduate Certificate course.

Leigh received the U of T Family and Community Medicine Interprofesional Teaching Award 2011 and the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre University of Toronto Diabetes Educator of the Year 2012. Leigh has been an active member: On three projects by the Centre for Effective Practice, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto. The Central Toronto LHIN Self Management Group Toronto Central LHIN: Diabetes Steering Committee. Government of Ontario Diabetes Strategy Self Management Working Group. Leigh is presently an active member: TC LHIN RCC New Hires Planning Committee Sunnybrook Academic FHT Education Committee  Banting & Best Diabetes Centre - Continuing Health Education & Professional Development Committee Meeting TC LHIN Self management Advisory Committee  Health Quality Ontario – Ontario Diabetes Evidence committee Expert Panel.

Shannan Grant - RD/ PDt, MSc, PhD

Clinician Scientist, Department of Applied Human Nutrition-Mount Saint Vincent University

As a Clinician Scientist, Shannan uses clinical trials to assess community-based questions. Interested in assessment of nutrition education from both the perspective of the patient/ client and the health care professional, she uses knowledge translation (KT) strategies, classical behaviour change theories and core education principals to develop, implement and assess dietary interventions. Shannan is particularly interested in working with health care professionals and patients to assess approaches to chronic disease prevention and treatment.

With eleven years of experience designing, implementing and evaluating dietary interventions in urban and rural settings, Shannan brings a practical lens to our Faculty. An example of an ongoing urban-setting multi-centre trial Shannan is working on is the Avoiding Diabetes After Pregnancy Trial - In Moms (ADAPT-M). This study has been developed to evaluate the impact of health coaching on post-partum risk modification in women with recent gestational diabetes (GDM). Other examples of Shannan’s relevant experience include: Overseeing a community-based dietary intervention as part of the Sandy Lake Health and Diabetes Project, an ecological study to better understand the eating behaviours of inpatients with Schizophrenia, a pilot trial designed to test a low glycemic index diet in women with gestational hyperglycemia and a follow-up multi-centre trial (that has just completed its active phase) assessing the effect of an evidence-based glycemic index education platform on clinical outcomes in women with GDM. All of these studies contain rigorous education evaluation and have provided opportunities for dietetic interns and nutritional science graduate students to receive training.

In her work, training and mentorship activities, Shannan aims to highlight the capacity clinicians have to play a key role in translating knowledge from research to practice. As a strong believer that education activities inform research and vice versa, Shannan is passionate about using clinical research as an opportunity to educate trainees. She is truly enjoys facilitating education of her students as they develop the knowledge and skills to become engaged in the knowledge-to-action process

Anka Brozic - BPHE, MSc

Director of Diabetes Education Programs, Waterloo Region-Langs Farm Village Association

Shivani Goyal, PhD

Lead - Strategy & Research, eHealth Innovation @ UHN
Assistant Professor, University of Toronto

Funding Sources

Please note that these funding sources below are listed here for your information only. York University or HLLN does not directly provide this funding or apply for grants.

Nursing Education Initiative

Nurses taking this program may be eligible to receive reimbursement of up to $1500 from the Education Initiative offered through the RNAO. You do NOT have to be an RNAO member to apply for the funding. Please visit the RNAO website, Education Funding, for more details

The Allied Health Professional Development Fund

Allied Health professionals taking this Workshop may be eligible to receive reimbursement of up to $1500 from the Allied Health Professional Development Fund offered through HealthForce Ontario. Please visit the HealthForce Ontario website for more details

The Canada-Ontario Job Grant

Through the Canada-Ontario Job Grant you may be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in government support per person for training costs.
The Canada-Ontario Job Grant can be used to purchase training for your employees. York University/The Health Leadership & Learning Network is an eligible training provider and the grant can be applied to all of our offerings and for in-house training.
You can apply at any time. Employers can apply for one employee or for a large group of employees
If you are an employee or employer and would like more information visit:

Please note: Not all employers are eligible to apply, please consult the Canada-Ontario Job Grant website for more details.