Surveillance Advances Seminar Series


Co-hosted by National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCCID) and the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) Data, Surveillance, and Foresight Branch (DSFB), the Surveillance Advances seminar series features experts and discussions about emerging successes, perspectives, issues, and approaches in public health surveillance with a focus on their relevance for the future of public health surveillance. Important areas of focus include, but are not limited to: enabling components that support effective surveillance (e.g., governance, infrastructure, and stewardship), integration of health equity in surveillance methods, and the role of surveillance and data in informing effective public health interventions to improve population health. 


Ten accessible, virtual seminars will be delivered monthly on the last Tuesday of the month from September 2023 to August 2024, excluding December 2023 and July 2024.


1:00 to 2:00 Eastern Time / 12:00 to 1:00 Central Time


Seminars will be held on Zoom. The typical format is a 30-minute presentation by one or two speakers, followed by an approximately 20-minute discussion and question period. Presentation materials in English and French will be distributed through NCCID media channels.


Public health surveillance systems continuously collect, analyze, and interpret health-related data including health trends, determinants, and outcomes. This makes it possible to:

  • identify emerging health conditions;
  • monitor and forecast public health threats, such as disease outbreaks;
  • determine and prioritize public health actions;
  • monitor the impact of control measures; and
  • support evidence-based programs and policies.

The growing rate of data generation and emerging advances in data science, data management, technology, and analytic methods have created both opportunities to substantially enhance surveillance and challenges in implementation. For advances in the future of public health surveillance, it is essential to discuss the challenges and opportunities of innovative surveillance methods and new technologies, as well as the role that public health governance has in supporting health equity while implementing new surveillance methods.

General objectives

  • Demonstrate the importance of public health surveillance and its importance for improving population health, achieving well-being, and promoting health equity;
  • Facilitate dissemination of innovations and successes in the cycle of public health surveillance and the use of surveillance information, methods, tools, systems, and infrastructure to respond to emerging public health issues, and how they can continue to generate key evidence for future public health insights and action across Canada;
  • Build capacity and strengthen networks across the Canadian public health surveillance community by providing participants with exposure to surveillance experts; and
  • Discuss health equity in all aspects of the future of public health surveillance, with an emphasis on Indigenous methods, ways of knowing, governance, and sovereignty for race and population-based data.  


This seminar series is designed for diverse audiences. It will be offered to undergraduate and graduate health sciences and public health students, health professionals, public health practitioners, epidemiologists, data analysts, stakeholders in public health in various settings (rural, remote, northern, as well as congregate settings such as corrections and shelters), Indigenous working groups and organizations.


Each seminar will have experts sharing their knowledge and experience in public health surveillance.


Each seminar addresses a different aspect of public health surveillance, including data science, health inequities, communicable and non-communicable disease surveillance, novel surveillance methods and tools, and knowledge mobilization and translation. 

Registration and Access

Registration links and up-to-date information for each seminar are shared through NCCID’s News + Alerts. Click the link below to subscribe to NCCID’s News + Alerts and receive seminar information and registration links.

Registration links for individual seminars can also be found at each seminar’s webpage. Please visit the Surveillance Advances webcasts page and select your seminar of choice for up-to-date information.

Access instructions will be posted on each seminar’s Zoom registration page and webpage.

Surveillance Advances is a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). Surveillance Advances is also approved by the Council of Professional Experience for professional development hours for members of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI).

Past Webinars

Surveillance Advances launched in September 2023 with a discussion about the foundational concepts of public health surveillance and the future opportunities that lie ahead. Subsequent seminars featured topics related to health inequalities (seminar 2),  data science (seminar 3),  maternal and newborn health (seminar 4), and injury surveillance (seminar 5). For a complete list of seminars and to view their recordings, please visit the Surveillance Advances webcasts page.

Seminars 1 to 5 can be viewed below.

#5 – Injury data and surveillance: What are we looking for?

#4 – Insights in public health surveillance for maternal and newborn health

#3 – Data for action: the role of data science in public health surveillance

#2 – Advancing public health surveillance’s role in tackling health inequalities

#1 – Bridging the Gaps: A Vision for Public Health Surveillance in Canada