Carol Kennedy Excellence In Teaching Award



“An excellent teacher is viewed as one who contributes positively to the learning environment by providing exceptional energy, keen interest in students, and extraordinary strengths” as: a subject matter expert, a pedagogical expert, a student-centered mentor, an excellent communicator, and a systematic and continual assessor.” 1

Through nearly 40 years, Carol Kennedy has served as a leading exemplar of Orthopaedic Manual/Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy (OMPT) teaching and practice in Canada. This award will honour Carol’s legacy by guiding and recognizing excellence in clinical teaching of OMPT at a post-professional level.

Carol Kennedy is a nationally and internationally recognized clinical expert in the practice of orthopaedic manual/musculoskeletal physiotherapy and physiotherapy management of cervical spine-related conditions. Carol’s expertise has been accrued through her dedication for lifelong learning evidenced by critical appraisal, participation in continuing education courses and conferences, discussions with other clinical experts and completion of a clinical master’s degree after 30 years of professional practice. Carol’s expertise and the exceptional evolution of her career is displayed through her contributions to clinical scholarship, textbooks, symposia, clinical research, clinical practice and teaching content and skills.


Carol’s teaching career began in the Orthopaedic Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA), and she has remained a proud and loyal Division instructor and Examiner throughout her career. Her instruction, mentorship, coaching, and evaluation are student-centered, based on the most recent and rigorous evidence, fair minded and principled. Learner feedback received is honored and feedback provided to learners is honest, systematic, and encouraging. Learners and peers are keenly aware of Carol’s passion for the subject and her interest in their success and development. She is clear with her teaching goals, intended outcomes and criteria for evaluation.

Carol has taken the OMPT learning environment beyond the post-professional and university classroom. Every day at the clinic is a teaching opportunity and she readily shares her knowledge with seasoned and less experienced colleagues, physiotherapy students and patients. She willingly leads evening seminars, informal study groups, and all forms of online learning from teaching modules to discussion groups and remote coaching and mentoring. Carol is always the learner, always the teacher, no matter the medium.

Carol’s extensive curriculum vitae speaks to the length and depth of her teaching career and professional roles in the service of education: Chief Examiner of the Orthopaedic Division, Canada’s representative to the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapy (IFOMPT), an inaugural CPA Clinical Specialists in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, and visionary lead of the Graduate Certificate in Orthopaedic Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy at the University of British Columbia. She exhibits a delightful and unwavering dedication to the cause of OMPT that is humble, at times gently maternal, and always professional.

The teacher often best articulates a teaching philosophy themselves. Carol’s teaching philosophy is founded in the best of current clinical practice and creating a learning environment that is clear in purpose, logical in progression, and supportive of the needs of all learners. She is open to new evidence and debate, and always acknowledges uncertainty. Through her career, Carol has laid down a template for excellence in teaching and provides an enduring role model for all teachers and clinicians.


This award will recognize a physiotherapist who has demonstrated excellence in teaching and has made a significant contribution to the education of others in OMPT.

Nomination Procedure

Nominations may be made by a current member of the CPA. All nominations are confidential between the nominator(s) and the Awards Committee. 

The nomination must include:

  1. Three letters of recommendation, none of which shall exceed 1200 word-count. 
  2. One of the nominators must be identified as the primary nominator.
  3. In order for the Candidate to be successful in the nomination process, the letters must outline the uniqueness of the individual, how they meet the criteria for the award and must provide supporting evidence for all the qualities of an exceptional teacher.
  4. Curriculum Vitae of the candidate.

Criteria For Selection

The applicant

  1. Exhibits a consistently superior command of the subject matter.
  2. Demonstrates excellent planning and organization in course outlines and objectives, reading and laboratory assignments, handouts, projects, grading schemes, examinations, and all other material associated with post graduate courses (external peer evaluations of criterion can be submitted with the nomination).
  3. Instills interest in and enthusiasm for the subject on the part of students.
  4. Encourages students to be critical, to think independently and to solve problems.
  5. Generates a desire for continued life-long learning.
  6. Presents the subject matter at an appropriate level of rigor.
  7. Demands that students have a comprehensive, coherent understanding of the subject matter.
  8. Demonstrates a concern for student progress and is available and approachable for out-of-classroom consultation.
  9. Is a valuable resource for both students and colleagues.
  10. Contributes to mentorship for development of OMPT instructors.
  11. Promotes and contributes to excellence in teaching by collaborating with others within the OMPT education programs and/or with communities at large.

Selection Of Candidate

The Orthopaedic Division Awards Committee will select the recipient.

Form Of Award

A physical award will be selected by the Awards Committee and NOD Executive.


The Award will be presented annually at the Orthopaedic Division Annual Symposium or Annual Meeting.

Download the Nomination Form

1 Schreyer Institute for Learning Excellence. Penn State University. Accessed 28/02/ 2022


The Carol Kennedy Excellence In Teaching Award Recipients: