With the transition to competency based physiotherapy education, the way we evaluate clinical placements is also changing. The new evaluation tool is called PEPAA or Physiotherapy and Trustable Professional Activity Assessments.
The new evaluations are based on something called EPA's or Entrustable Professional Activities. EPA's are clinically relevant tasks or responsibilities which a student can be entrusted to perform independently once they've demonstrated sufficient specific competence. These are the day to day activities that you do as a therapist and students will perform while in placement. EPA's are easier for clinicians to observe the student performing or doing, for example, things like completing documentation. These will be embedded throughout the placement rather than in a big midterm and final evaluation, allowing students to get earlier and more frequent feedback about their performance. Clinicians are already giving this feedback verbally, we're now just capturing it more formally.
Here are the 10 EPA's that will be evaluated during placements.
As students progress through their placements, the expected level of support and independence will change. In the students first and 2nd placement, it's expected that the clinician will have to talk them through many elements of the EPA activities. As students become intermediate level, they should require prompting only. And finally, in the students approach to entry to practice, they should only require a clinician to be present just in case. To ensure consistency and performance, to successfully pass a placement, the student needs to demonstrate each EPA three or more times at the expected level of performance. These evaluations take 2 to 5 minutes to complete and will require 30 of them during over the course of the seven weeks.
These EPA evaluations will be administered through the Electra platform which is currently used to track placement stats. Further information about using this platform will be shared at a later date.