Maximising collaboration to expedite positive change in the assessment process that determines physiotherapy students' readiness for independent practice

Assessment of student physiotherapists in the clinical environment is a critical part of their education which determines their readiness for independent clinical practice once qualified. Therefore it has significant implications for patient safety and quality of service delivery. Yet, research and experience highlight many challenges with this assessment process including the assessment methods used and the people charged with the task of assessing these students. Until now, limited research has been conducted involving the key people involved in this process, i.e. physiotherapy students and physiotherapists, despite the fact that this would help to identify ways to improve the process and therefore the quality of Irish health professionals. This study provides some answers and it is therefore important to ensure that its findings are shared with the people responsible for educating physiotherapy students so that we can improve the overall assessment process. Thus, a series of seminars will be held in four national locations (Cork, Limerick, Dublin, Galway). Physiotherapy clinicians, managers, students, and policy makers in physiotherapy education will meet to consider the research findings and exchange ideas on how these could be used to improve how we assess students. Following the seminar series, a further meeting will be organised with a smaller representative group to finalise recommended changes for educational policy and practice. Practical resources will be developed and made freely available after these seminars through professional bodies' and teaching institutions'websites, thus enabling all physiotherapists engaged in student assessment to access resources that will help to improve their practice.

Award Date
27 September 2018
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Anne O'Connor
Host Institution
University of Limerick
Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination Scheme