Entrustable professional activities for nutrition and dietetics practice: Theoretical development
Background: Nutrition and dietetics competencies in Australia have recently changed to incorporate greater emphasis on client-centredness, flexibility, marketing skills, advocacy and a systems-based approach to practice. This study examined the translation of the new competency standards into a series of entrustable professional activities (EPAs) to achieve authentic assessment practice.
Methods: An iterative, multiple-methods approach was used. Two senior academic dietitian-nutritionists conceptualised key tasks for everyday practice and devised a list of 14 EPAs. Face validity of the 14 EPAs, new curriculum and assessment plans was established through expert review and presentation to four dietetics department directors and 10 clinical educators. Dietetics students trialled the new assessment procedure.
Results: Each domain of competence was included in 9–10 EPAs. Each EPA included the demonstration of 12–21 key tasks/elements. The EPAs were positively received by expert reviewers and were considered a strong framework. Students considered the EPA assessment process easier than previous competency-based methods and reported a higher recognition of learning and skills development.
Conclusions: EPAs are feasible for translating competency standards into a workplace-driven nutrition and dietetics curriculum and are an effective catalyst for curriculum and assessment modifications to drive the development of client-centred and entrepreneurial dietetics professionals.
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