Exploring the divide between academics and clinical educators in competency based assessment

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Introduction/background:Making decisions regarding student competency assessment is challenging and involves the input of multiple stakeholders in both the academic and work-based settings. Variation in assessment decisions can be a source of frustration and confusion for all stakeholders, including students.Aim/objectives:This study aimed to explore the attitudes and behaviours of academics and work-based clinical educators and their impacts on assessment. Methods Focus groups with experienced academics from ten Australian universities involved in student dietitian training explored views on competency-based assessment (n=58). Questionnaires then explored clinical educators’ attitudes to assessing competency across 17 acute and sub-acutehospitals (n=26). Views of the different groups were analysed separately.Results:Focus groups acknowledged: the relationship between competency and future employment; holisticassessment; professionalism and challenges with a one-size fits all approach. Contrastingly, themajority of hospital-based educators reported: preference for a single standardised tool; theimportance of quantifiable objective measurements; and separate assessment for different domains ofpractice.Discussion:Academics appreciated of the complexity of competency assessment along with its potential forsubjectivity and its connection with the prospects for graduate employment beyond hospital settings.Clinical educators’ views were more focussed on the hospital environment and they valued theconcepts of objectivity and validated, standardised tools.Conclusions:Attitudes to assessing competency for work-based performance differed. Further training of clinicaleducators may develop their understanding of the complexities involved in competency basedassessment. This includes extending their understanding of competency assessment beyond theclinical domain and the role of self and subjectivity.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018
EventAustralian & New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators Conference 2018 - Grand Chancellor Hotel, Hobart , Australia
Duration: 1 Jul 20184 Jul 2018
https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/363deb_83bdc53169c048fb88656ee0671abb89.pdf (Abstract Book)


ConferenceAustralian & New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators Conference 2018
Abbreviated titleANZAHPE 2018
OtherTheme: Sustainability for Health Professions Education
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