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About the PFAC Toolkit

PFAC concept of a group of connected peopleThe Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) Toolkit is intended to be continually enhanced with input and insight from organizational staff and council members. The toolkit is structured around the major themes of creating and maintaining a PFAC.

How to use this toolkit

  • Each section is meant to inform you about relevant details or insight into the experience of creating a PFAC 
  • Content is supported by samples, templates and multimedia approaches to sharing information for increased uptake and learning

Who should use the toolkit?

This toolkit is intended for any organization that wishes to engage patients and their families in advisory councils as a means to improve patient experiences with health services. These organizations may be:

  • in the early stages of creating and supporting an advisory council, or
  • experiencing challenges around the sustainable effectiveness of their council

Organizations may also wish to share aspects of the toolkit with patients or staff on council to facilitate their understanding of council objectives, expectations and structure.  


The PFAC Toolkit is derived from:

The CCO PFAC was established in 2010 as part of a research study led by Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) and University Health Network in which patients and family members were actively recruited to form and participate on a PFAC. The PFAC members provided valuable feedback for evaluation throughout the process, and this learning is incorporated throughout the toolkit. 


1 Family members may include people who are not directly related to a patient or survivor yet can identify themselves as a member of a patient’s care team. 

Citation and Acknowledgements

How to cite this work

Cancer Care Ontario (2012). Patient & Family Advisory Council Toolkit. Available from:

This work was made possible through a research grant provided by the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CHSRF).


Cancer Care Ontario would like to acknowledge the following contributors to this important work: Sarah Ahmed, Rebecca Anas, Nathalie Assouad, Pamela Catton, Maggie Di Stasi, Audrey Friedman, Esther Green, Naomi Greenberg, Alejandro Jadad, Jennifer Jones, Colleen Lynas, Laura Macdougall, Marnie Mackinnon, Caitlin Mills, Laura O’Grady, Menaka Pulandiran, Carol Sawka, Jane Tipping, Sara Urowitz, David Wiljer.

This work would not have been possible without willing and passionate participation of the Cancer Care Ontario Patient & Family Advisory Council members.

Last modified: Fri, Feb 15, 2013
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