Terms of Use Agreement


The portal (Portal) provides direct access to trusted, evidence-based continuing professional development online courses, resources and online communities for health and medical education. The Portal is maintained by McMaster University’s Division of e-Learning Innovation.

The Portal aims to be a trusted voice on continuing medical education for health care providers and trainees.

It includes two key features described below:

  • Online Courses, providing access to the best available evidence on key topics, presented using best practices in multimedia learning;
    • Often, these online courses are accredited for continuing professional development credits by accrediting bodies such as McMaster University, the College of Family Physicians of Canada or Ontario College of Family Physicians, or other Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada professional associations;
  • Online Communities, providing access to a range of social networking applications such as blogs, forums and file galleries/resources, and with appropriate user/member management, roles and permissions for some groups or programs.

The Portal also provides opportunities to customize your interactions by signing up for email notifications and e-newsletters, as well as opportunities to learn about and get engaged in a variety of knowledge translation activities such as webinars or health education research studies.


This Terms of Use Agreement (“Agreement”) is a legal agreement between you and McMaster University (“McMaster”), the owner and operator of the Website (the “Website” or “Portal”). It states the terms and conditions under which you may access and use the Website. By accessing and using the Website, you are indicating your acceptance to be bound by and comply with the terms and conditions of this Agreement. If you do not accept these terms and conditions, you must not access or use the Website. McMaster may revise this Agreement at any time by updating this posting. Use of the Website after such changes are posted will signify your acceptance of the revised terms. You should visit this page periodically to review this Agreement.


Do NOT use the Website for medical emergencies. If you have a medical emergency, call a physician, qualified health care provider or CALL 911 immediately. Under no circumstances should you attempt self-treatment based on anything you have seen or read on the Website.


Again, the general information provided on the Website is for information purposes only and is not professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or care, nor is it intended to be a substitute therefore. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider properly licensed to practise medicine or general health care in your jurisdiction concerning any questions you may have regarding any information obtained from this Website and any medical condition you believe may be relevant to you or to someone else. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. Information obtained on the Website is not exhaustive and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions or their treatment.


The presentation of general information on the Website does not establish a physician-patient relationship between you and the Owner (or any of its physicians) and is not intended as a solicitation of individuals to become patients or clients of the Owner (or any of its physicians).


The presentation of Content on the Website, including discussions between physicians using the Website, does not establish a duty of care between you (or your patients) and the Owner (or other physicians using the Website) and is not intended as a solicitation to consult the Owner or physicians using the Website. See more below under ONLINE COMMUNITIES and Content Submission Guidelines.


Unless specifically stated, the Owner does not recommend or endorse any specific brand of products, services, procedures or other information that appears or that may be advertised on the Website.


You may link to this Website for non-commercial purposes only, unless otherwise prohibited by this Agreement, provided that (i) the text of the link accurately describes the content as it appears on the Website, and (ii) each page within the Website is displayed in full, unaltered and with no additional frames, style features, designs, logos, branding, trade-marks or other promotional materials. Unless otherwise expressly provided, McMaster shall not be considered associated or affiliated with, or to endorse or approve in any way, any third parties or sites that link to this Website. McMaster reserves the right to disable any links or frames at any time, or revoke this permission. If you wish to link, cache or frame any part of this Website in a manner not authorized in this Agreement, you must obtain the prior written consent of McMaster University (see “Contact Us” below).

Re-posting content or images from this Website on other websites, or framing pages from this Website within another website is not permitted (open in a new window instead). Links to this website are not permitted without providing appropriate credit. You may use the following lead-in sentence with your text link to this Website: is a leading provider of unbiased, high quality, evidence-based continuing health education from McMaster University.

While the Owner encourages links to the Web site, it does not wish to be linked to or from any third-party Web site which contains, posts or transmits any unlawful or indecent information of any kind, including, without limitation (i) any content constituting or encouraging conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability or otherwise violate any local, state, provincial, national, international law or regulation which may be damaging or detrimental to the activities, operations, credibility or integrity of the Owner, or (ii) any Web site which contains, posts or transmits any material or information of any kind which violates or infringes upon the rights of others, including material which is an invasion of privacy or publicity rights, or which is protected by copyright, trademark or other proprietary rights. The Owner reserves the right to prohibit or refuse to accept any link to the Web site, including, without limitation, any link which contains or makes available any content or information of the foregoing nature, at any time. You agree to remove any link you may have to the Web site upon the request of the owner.


The Website contains links to third-party Websites. These links are provided solely as a convenience to you and not as an endorsement or approval by McMaster of the contents of such third-party Websites. McMaster is not responsible for the content of any third-party Website, nor does it make any representation or warranty of any kind regarding any third-party Website including, without limitation (i) any representation or warranty regarding the legality, accuracy, reliability, completeness, timeliness, security or suitability of any content on any third-party Website, (ii) any representation or warranty regarding the merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose of any material, content, software, goods or services located at or made available through such third-party Websites, and (iii) any representation or warranty that the operation of the third-party Website will be uninterrupted or error free, that defects or errors in such third-party Websites will be corrected, or that such third-party Websites will be free from viruses or other harmful components. You also understand and agree that McMaster’s Privacy Policy is applicable only while you are using the Website. Once you are linked to another Website, you should read the privacy policy of that Website before disclosing any Personal Information (as defined in the Privacy Policy).


All materials displayed or otherwise accessible through this Website, including but not limited to text, graphics, videos, photos, trademarks, logos and other materials (collectively, “Content”) are protected by copyright and trademark laws, and are owned by McMaster and its licensors, or the party accredited as the provider of the Content. The material on this Website is covered by the provisions of the Copyright Act (Canada) and by other applicable laws, policies, regulations and international agreements that address intellectual property rights. Such provisions serve to identify the information source and, in specific instances, to prohibit reproduction of materials without written permission. Except as granted in the limited licence herein, any use of the Content, including modification, transmission, presentation, distribution, republication, or other exploitation of the Website or of its Content, whether in whole or in part, is prohibited without the express prior written consent of McMaster. McMaster and its affiliated parties respect the intellectual property of others. If you believe that your work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please contact us (see “Contact Us” below). By using the Website, you may be exposed to content and/or material that is offensive, indecent or objectionable. McMaster University is not responsible for other Content posted or transmitted through the Website via other users of the Website. You must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of any Content. You may not rely on any Content created by us. You acknowledge and agree that we may preserve Content and may also disclose Content if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such preservation or disclosure is reasonably necessary to: (a) comply with legal process; (b) enforce these Terms; (c) respond to claims that any Content violates the rights of third parties; or (d) protect our rights, property, or personal safety and those of our users and the public. You acknowledge that, with the exception of comments posted on blogs and discussion forums, we do not pre-screen Content, but that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to refuse, move or delete any Content that is available via the Website. McMaster reserves the right to remove any Content that violates this Agreement or is otherwise objectionable in our sole discretion.


The Website also provides features for registered users which allow you to post your Content to designated areas on the Website. “Your Content” means material (including, without limitation, text, images, audio material, video material and audio-visual material) that you submit to our website, for whatever purpose. Your Content is the sole responsibility of the person from which such Content originated. You are responsible for Your Content that you upload, post, transmit or otherwise make available on the Website.

You represent and warrant that (i) you are the owner of or have the right to use Your Content, (ii) Your Content is true and accurate, and (iii) Your Content will not cause injury, damage, embarrassment or harm to any person or entity. Your Content must not contravene the privacy rights of others or be defamatory, libelous, pornographic, fraudulent, discriminatory, infringing, plagiarizing, false, misleading, impersonating, or otherwise illegal, offensive, hateful, obscene, threatening, bullying, abusive, profane, or in poor taste. Your Content must not upload, post, link to, or transmit any material which constitutes a virus, spyware, adware, malware, worm, or other harmful component, or any other code, file or program designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer or telecommunications system or equipment. Your Content must not be used for purposes of promoting or advertising any goods or services, for soliciting funds, or for any political purpose. McMaster reserves the right to remove any of Your Content that violates this Agreement or is otherwise objectionable in our sole discretion. McMaster is not responsible for any loss or theft of, or damage to, Your Content. You grant McMaster a worldwide, irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free licence to use, reproduce, adapt, publish, translate and distribute Your Content in any existing or future media. You also grant to us the right to sub-license these rights and the right to bring an action for infringement of these rights.


Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, you are hereby granted a limited revocable non-exclusive licence to access, view and use the Website for your non-commercial use, and are granted the right to download, store and print single copies of items comprising the Content for your non-commercial use, provided that you maintain all copyright and other notices contained in such Content.


Currently, users have a free, non-exclusive licence to use this Website. McMaster or its partners, agents or licensors reserves the right to charge licensing, registration or user fees in the future for certain categories of users or types of use of this Website.


Subject to applicable law, in no event shall McMaster and its partners, employees, consultants, agents or licensors be liable for damages of any kind including, without limitation, any direct, special, indirect, punitive, incidental or consequential damages including, without limitation, any loss or damages in the nature of or relating to lost business, lost savings, lost data and/or lost profits arising from your use of, reliance upon, or inability to use the Website or the Content, regardless of the cause and whether arising in contract (including fundamental breach), tort (including negligence), or otherwise. The foregoing limitation shall apply even if McMaster knew of or ought to have known of the possibility of such damages.


The Website and the Content is provided "as is" and "as available", without warranty or condition of any kind, either express or implied. McMaster expressly disclaims all warranties and conditions, including any statutory or implied warranties or conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title, quiet enjoyment or non-infringement in respect to the Website and the Content, to the fullest extent permissible under applicable law. While McMaster endeavours to provide Content that is correct, accurate and timely, no representations or warranties are made regarding the Website and/or the Content including, without limitation, McMaster provides no representation or warranty that (i) the Website or Content will be accurate, reliable, complete, current, timely or suitable for any particular purpose, (ii) that the operation of the Website will be uninterrupted or error-free, (iii) that defects or errors in the Website or the Content will be corrected, (iv) that the Website will be free from viruses, malware, worms or other harmful components, and (v) that communications to or from the Website will be secure and/or not intercepted. You acknowledge and agree that you are using the Website and the Content, if applicable, at your own risk and liability.


You hereby agree to release McMaster and its partners, employees, consultants, agents and licensors from, and in no event shall any or all of McMaster and its partners, employees, consultants, agents or licensors be liable to you or any other person or entity, for any and all liabilities and damages (including any direct, indirect, special, exemplary or consequential damages, including lost profits) whatsoever arising from your use of the Website (including any breach by you thereof), the Content or otherwise relating to this Agreement and you agree that your sole remedy for any claim, loss, damage, costs or expenses is to cease using the Website. You will indemnify and hold harmless McMaster and its partners, employees, consultants, agents or licensors from and against any claims, losses, judgments, damages, costs and expenses (including without limitation, reasonable legal fees) incurred by any of them due to or resulting from your use of the Website, the Content or otherwise relating to this Agreement (including any breach by you thereof). You will also indemnify and hold harmless McMaster and its partners, employees, consultants, agents or licensors from and against any claims brought by third parties arising out of your use of the Website or its Content.


Registration allows you to more fully participate in some programs, and is required for access to many of the online courses on the site, as well as membership in some of the online communities. It allows you to sign up to receive email notifications, post comments and participate in discussion forums. To register, you agree that you will i) provide true, accurate, current and complete information about yourself as prompted by any registration form; and (ii) maintain and promptly update the information to ensure it remains true, accurate, current and complete. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of the password and account, and for all activities that occur under your account. In consideration of use of the Website, you agree to maintain and update true, accurate, current and complete Registration Data. If you provide any information that is untrue, inaccurate, not current or incomplete, or if McMaster has reasonable grounds to suspect that such information is untrue, inaccurate, not current or incomplete, we may suspend or terminate your account and refuse any and all current or future use of the Website or any portion thereof. Individuals under the age of 18 are prohibited from creating or using accounts through the Portal.

In some cases, whether for full participation in some of the online communities or as a condition of the accrediting body of an online course, additional information may be required after time of registration. Once registered, you have the option of updating your profile by providing additional information.

By subscribing to ‘daily or weekly digests’ or other email-based notifications of the Website, or e-newsletters, you are giving McMaster your consent to receive email notifications.

If you are using the online community features to post comments about blogs and to contribute to online forums, you agree to provide a required public profile name (this will be different from your username, which is your email address). You may have the option of providing your social media contacts (e.g., Facebook, Twitter addresses) as well as an Avatar that you can be identified by when you make submissions to the online community.


Your registration with the Website may enable you to participate in certain social networking online groups’ on the Website, some of which have public membership, and some of which are private ‘members-only’ groups. McMaster will not share personal information gathered on this Website with any other parties. It is McMaster’s intention to protect against improper use of your personal information. Accordingly, McMaster has provided safeguards for the protection and storage of the personal information you have provided. Access to your registration information is limited exclusively to those individuals who require it to process and record your registration. All personal information created, held or collected by McMaster is protected and used in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Ontario) and will be disclosed only in accordance with this Act.

The information gathered during your activities on the Website may be aggregated with that of other users so that we can make decisions about how to improve the Website. The information collected will not be linked to specific individuals, but will be accessed in aggregate form. Your statistical information may also be used for research purposes, e.g., to validate the effectiveness of a learning program, but in all such circumstances will remain anonymous. Aside from the foregoing uses, the information you provide and any other information, will be protected and used in compliance with Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (RSO 1990) and will be disclosed only in accordance with this Act. If you have any questions about the collection and use of this information please contact

In addition to voluntary information provided, the Website uses Google Analytics, which is a web analytics tool that reports on how visitors interact with the Website, to collect non-personal information and data. Google Analytics collects information anonymously and reports Website trends without identifying individual visitors. Like many Internet services, Google Analytics uses first-party cookies to track visitor interactions. ‘Cookies’ are small text files that identify an individual computer’s browser entering a website. Cookies are used to store information, such as what time the current visit occurred, whether the visitor has been to the site before, and what site referred the visitor to the web page. Browsers do not share first-party cookies across domains. The Website uses cookies only for the above-mentioned purposes and will not use them to identify users or to track usage that is not related to the Website.

If you do not want a cookie placed on your computer by McMaster, you may disable cookies in the web browser configuration options. Note that it is possible that some aspects of the Website may be unavailable to you if this option is chosen.

The Website also uses additional analytics and data analysis of both online communities and online courses, and this information will only be reported without identifying individual visitors.


Any passwords and user IDs used for this Website are for individual use only. You will be responsible for the security of your password and user ID (if any), and you are responsible for all activities that occur under your User Name and Password. You agree to notify McMaster immediately of any unauthorized use of your Password or account or any other breach of security. McMaster will be entitled to monitor your password and user ID and, at its discretion, require you to change it. If you use a password that McMaster considers insecure, McMaster will be entitled to require the password to be changed and/or terminate your account. You further agree that McMaster will not be responsible for the unauthorized use of your profile by any other person and is under no obligation to confirm the actual identity of any password or user ID. McMaster cannot and will not be liable for any loss or damage arising from your failure to comply with these provisions.


To effectively operate its websites, McMaster occasionally uses external service providers which may be located within Canada or outside Canada, and may be outside your jurisdiction of residence. Such service providers are bound by contract with McMaster to treat any personal information they may receive in a manner that is consistent with the provisions of applicable privacy laws. If you have any questions, concerns or complaints about how external service providers handle personal information, you may wish to direct them to


The Portal includes or may include a number of features that facilitate online communication among a community of professionals:

  • blogs, where experts selected by McMaster post entries related to key topics of interest related to a specific learning program, and where users of the Portal can post comments, and
  • discussion forums where users of the Portal hold peer-moderated or otherwise moderated online conversations about learning programs, matters of interest to them and the communities they represent.

Content Submission Guidelines

We welcome Your Content submissions. For blogs and forums, comments are open and welcome for variable intervals, and moderated as described below. When submitting Your Content, you understand that it is prohibited to:

  • engage in activities that prevent other users from using and enjoying the Website, interfere or attempt to interfere with the functionality of the Website, or do anything, which in the sole discretion of the Owner, imposes an unreasonable or disproportionately large load on the Website infrastructure;
  • provide or send any unlawful, abusive, defamatory, or obscene information of any kind, including, without limitation, any submission that could constitute or encourage conduct that would be considered a criminal offence, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any local, state, provincial, territorial, national, or international law or regulation;
  • post any content that is offensive or that could expose an individual or a group of individuals to hatred or contempt based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age or mental or physical disability;
  • provide or send any submission, including, without limitation, articles, images, software, stories, or other material, which violates or infringes upon the rights of others, including material which is an invasion of privacy or publicity rights, or which is protected by any intellectual property rights, including, without limitation, copyright, patent, trade secret, trademark, or other proprietary rights herein, or derivative works with respect thereto, without first obtaining permission from the Owner or rights holder;
  • post or transmit any submission which contains a virus or other harmful component;
  • post or transmit “junk mail,” “chain letters,” unsolicited mass mailing, or “spam”; and
  • use or "mine" the Website for any type of commercial venture, including, without limitation, posting, uploading, or transmitting submissions that contain advertising, involve commercial activities, solicitations or sales, or that involve contests, sweepstakes, advertising, and pyramid schemes.

No Duty of Care

The presentation of Content on the Website, including discussions between physicians using the Website, does not establish a duty of care between you (or your patients) and the Owner (or other physicians using the Website) and is not intended as a solicitation to consult the Owner or physicians using the Website. Access to some of the Website programs and online communities is strictly limited to health care providers/clinicians only. No diagnosis, medical advice or treatment recommendations pertaining to actual cases or patients are to be made or requested on or through the Website. Case studies or case scenarios must be fictional and are intended to be used as educational tools only. They should not include any identifiable personal health information or pertain to actual cases. No identifiable personal health information or descriptions of actual cases, even if de-identified, should be posted on the Website.

Moderation of content submissions

Your submission to the Portal may be moderated. That means that we may read it before it is published to make sure it adheres to the Content Submission Guidelines provided above. If so moderated, we will do our best to get it up promptly. To ensure that Your Content is posted, we ask that you follow the Content Submission Guidelines. We use a variety of moderation techniques including pre-moderation (before publishing), post-moderation (after publishing) and reactive moderation (in response to concerns). McMaster or its partners, employees, consultants or agents reserves the right to remove any content that does not adhere to the Guidelines. While every effort will be made to ensure that submissions and postings abide by the Guidelines, McMaster is not responsible for the postings of individual users.

If you think someone else's content violates the Content Submission Guidelines, you can alert us at We will investigate and act accordingly.


All software embedded in or located on or at the Web site, including, without limitation, all computer code of all types, including all files and/or images contained in or generated by such software ("software") is protected by copyright and may be protected by other rights. All such software is owned by the Owner, its licensors or the party accredited with ownership of such software. You are hereby granted the right to access and use the software embedded and integrated into the Web site, subject to (i) the terms and conditions of this Agreement, and (ii) any additional conditions which may be imposed on your access and use of such software.

If the Web site provides software for download, unless otherwise provided, you are hereby granted, subject to the terms of this Agreement and to any other specific terms and conditions that may apply to your downloading and use of such software, a personal, nontransferable, non-exclusive licence to (i) install and run one copy of the software in object code format on a non-networked computer for your personal, non-commercial use, and (ii) to reproduce the software only as reasonably required to install, run and make reasonable backup copies as allowed by law.

Except to the extent expressly permitted in this Agreement, you may not (i) use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, upload, download or transmit the software in whole or in part, (ii) sell, rent, lease, license, transfer or otherwise provide access to the software, (iii) alter, remove, or cover any trademarks or proprietary notices included in the software, and/or (iv) decompile, disassemble, decrypt, extract, or reverse engineer the software or assist others in doing so.

Other than the limited licence granted herein, nothing contained in the Web site shall be construed as granting you any right, title, interest or other licence in or to any software embedded or integrated into the Web site or made available for download from the Website, including, but not limited, to any intellectual property rights in the software.

All software embedded or integrated into the Web site is provided "as is'', without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, without limitation, any warranty (i) that the software is of merchantable quality and/or is fit for any particular purpose, (ii) that the software will conform with any specification(s) relating to the software, (iii) that the software will be free from material defects, (iv) that the software contains no computer viruses or other contaminants, or (v) that the software shall process date and time-related data without causing any processing interruptions, abnormal termination or process or manipulate any time-related data.


Any tools, apps or calculators provided on the Website are provided for general and illustrative purposes only. Such tools, apps and/or calculators are not medical advice nor are they intended to be a substitute therefor. You should not act or abstain from acting based on any information provided by any such tool, app or calculator available on this Website.


Any information sent or received over the Internet is generally not secure, and may be intercepted, lost or altered. McMaster cannot guarantee the security of any communication to or from the Website. McMaster does not assume any responsibility or risk for your use of the Internet.


The Owner reserves the right any time, and from time to time, to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the Website (or any part thereof) with or without notice to you. The Owner shall have no liability to you or any third party for any modifications, suspension or discontinuance of the Website or any part thereof.


The Website is operated by McMaster within the Province of Ontario, Canada. By accessing or using the Website, you agree that all matters relating to your access to, or use of, the Website and its Content shall be governed by the laws of the Province of Ontario and the federal laws of Canada applicable therein, without regard to conflict of laws principles. You agree and hereby submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the Province of Ontario with respect to all matters relating to your access to and use of the Website.


McMaster may, in its sole discretion, cancel or terminate your right to use the Website, or any part of the Website, at any time without notice. In the event of termination, you are no longer authorized to access the Website or the part of the Website affected by such cancellation or termination. The restrictions imposed on you with respect to both Content and the Website set out in this Agreement shall survive. McMaster shall not be liable to any party for such termination.


Except for any agreement in respect of Content, this is the entire agreement between you and McMaster relating to your access and use of the Website and the Content herein.


If any term or provision of this Agreement is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, it shall be severed and the remaining provisions shall remain in full force and effect without being invalidated in any way. You may not assign, convey, subcontract or delegate your rights, duties or obligations hereunder. McMaster will not be considered to have waived any of its rights or remedies described in this Agreement unless the waiver is in writing and signed by McMaster. No delay or omission by McMaster in exercising its rights or remedies will impair McMaster’s rights or be construed as a waiver. Any single or partial exercise of a right or remedy will not preclude further exercise of any other right or remedy. McMaster’s failure to enforce the strict performance of any provision of this Agreement will not constitute a waiver of McMaster’s right to subsequently enforce such provision or any other provisions of this Agreement. The headings used in this Agreement are included for convenience only and have no legal or contractual effect.


If you have any questions regarding the terms and conditions of this Agreement you may direct them to us by email at, or use the contact form on the Website.

updated 3 July 2014