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    Orthotist/Prosthetist competency assessment using a portfolio method: An exploration of a novel, best practice approach


    10/7/19 | 1:15 PM – 2:30 PM time


    Leigh Clarke, The Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association (Melbourne, Australia)

    Louise Puli, The Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association (Melbourne, Australia)

    Session format
    Room 3B, Exhibition Hall 2
    Developing Countries / Education
    Target audience
    Congress registrants only
    Session Chair

    Leigh Clarke



    Regulatory organisations, such as the Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association (AOPA) and the United Kingdom’s Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), have responsibility for certifying Orthotist/Prosthetists to practice. Certification requires practitioners to complete a competency assessment against national, entry-level Competency Standards, which describe the knowledge, skills and attributes required for safe and effective practice.

    Whilst written and oral exams are typically used to assess competency, exams measure knowledge only and fail to assess the full range of attributes required for competent practice, such as verbal communication, detailed decision making, and problem solving.

    Following development of robust Entry-level Competency Standards for orthotist/prosthetists in Australia, AOPA developed and implemented a novel approach to competency assessment, using a portfolio method, which was endorsed by the Australian Government for the purpose of Orthotist/Prosthetist immigration.

    This method requires submission of a reflective portfolio of evidence against all competencies described in the Competency Standards and assesses both knowledge and attributes. A reflective portfolio includes a collection of evidence accompanied by specific justifications detailing the way in which the evidence demonstrates competence. A team of trained Assessors use rigorous guidelines and procedures to support the assessment and decision-making process. This includes an evidence assessment rubric to support assessment of the evidence quality and justification for each competency (figure one).

    This symposium will outline the portfolio method for competency assessment, including the functions of Assessors and the decision-making processes. The benefit of the portfolio method will be explored, including current work to evaluate assessment reliability.

    Statement of the objective / learning objectives

    Attendees will learn about a novel and best practice approach to assessing practitioner competency, including how to establish the portfolio method, train and support Assessor teams and implement rigorous portfolio assessment methods.

    This session focuses on the topic Education.

    Simultaneous Interpretation


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