Are dietetics educators' attitudes to assessment a barrier to expanding placement opportunities? Results of a Delphi study

Palermo, Claire, Capra, Sandra, Beck, Eleanor J., Ash, Susan, Jolly, Brian, & Truby, Helen (2016) Are dietetics educators' attitudes to assessment a barrier to expanding placement opportunities? Results of a Delphi study. Nutrition and Dietetics, 73(3), pp. 254-259.

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  • Assessment of entry-level health professionals is complex, especially in the work-based setting, placing additional pressures on these learning environments. The present study aims to gain understanding and ideally consensus regarding the setting for assessment of all elements of competence for entry-level dietitians across Australia.


  • Seventy-five experienced academic and practitioner assessors were invited to participate in an online Delphi survey. The 166 entry-level performance criteria of the competency standards for dietitians formed the basis of the questions in the survey, with rating on which ones could be assessed in the practice setting, those which could be assessed in a classroom/university setting and which could be assessed in either setting. Forty-three of 75 invited assessors responded to the first round of the Delphi. A second modified survey was sent to the 43 participants with 34 responding.


  • Consensus was achieved for the assessment setting for 86 (52%) of the performance criteria after two rounds of surveying. The majority of these performance criteria achieved consensus at round one (n = 44) and were deemed to be best assessed in the practice setting (n = 55). This study highlighted the perspectives of assessors and their preference for the work-based setting for assessment.


  • To reduce the focus on work-based settings as the only place for competence-based assessment of health professionals, there is a need to support individual and organisational change through challenging existing norms around assessment.

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ID Code: 87335
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: assessment, competency, Delphi, dietitian, work-based learning
DOI: 10.1111/1747-0080.12205
ISSN: 1747-0080
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NUTRITION AND DIETETICS (111100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Medicine Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy (130209)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
  • OLT INNOVATION AND D/2012000693
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Dietitians Association of Australia
Deposited On: 09 Sep 2015 02:56
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2017 19:54

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