The Value of Programmatic Assessment in Supporting Educators and Students to Succeed: A Qualitative Evaluation

Janeane Dart, Cliona Twohig, Amanda Anderson, Andrea Bryce, Jorja Collins, Simone Gibson, Sue Kleve, Judi Porter, Evelyn Volders, Claire Palermo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Programmatic assessment has been proposed as the way forward for competency-based assessment, yet there is a dearth of literature describing the implementation and evaluation of programmatic assessment approaches. Objective: To evaluate the implementation of a programmatic assessment and explore its ability to support students and assessors. Design: A qualitative evaluation of programmatic assessment was employed. Participants/setting: Interviews with graduates (n = 8) and preceptors (n = 12) together with focus groups with faculty assessors (n = 9) from the one Australian university explored experiences of the programmatic approach, role of assessment in learning, and defensibility of assessment decisions in determining competence. Analysis performed: Data were analyzed into key themes using framework analysis. Results: The programmatic assessment increased confidence in defensibility of assessment decisions, reduced emotional burden of assessment, increased value of assessment, and identified and remediated at-risk students earlier when philosophical and practice shifts in approaches to assessment were embraced. Conclusions: Programmatic assessment supports a holistic approach to competency development and assessment and has multiple benefits for learners and assessors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1732-1740
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Education
  • Evaluation of learning
  • Programmatic assessment
  • Work-based assessment

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