Association for Dental Education in Europe

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COP Performance Assessment of Clinical Skills (PACs)

Currently, much of the literature and training concerning clinical skills assessments is derived from experiences in medical education and other health professions.

We recognise that there are many similarities between medical and dental education, however, dental students, unlike medical students, graduate and register as independent practitioners. Performance assessments in dentistry need to have broad impact, assessing a range of skills including psychomotor, communication and diagnostic skills to ultimately ascertain if graduates are ready to meet the requirements of an independent safe beginner at the point of graduation. It is therefore critical that dental performance assessments are robust, fair and defensible.

In our own institutions, clinical skills assessments have evolved, and we recognise that there is an opportunity to learn and develop through sharing our experiences. This community of practice offers members a space to learn from and collaborate with colleagues on the development of practical assessments in clinical / simulated environments and to build an evidence-based approach to performance assessments in dental education.

Proposed aims and objectives

The aim of this COP is to develop an inclusive, collaborative community to support those delivering practical assessments in dental education.

The COP will:
  • Share best practice and experiences in the development, design, delivery and evaluation of performance assessments of clinical skills in dental education.
  • Generate a bank of performance assessment types and rubric exemplars, including but not restricted to OSCEs, MOSLERs, Case Based Discussions and in-course clinical competencies.
  • Foster collaboration and promote standardisation of practice through a process of peer review of assessment and rubric design.

Charlotte Emmanuel

Senior Clinical Lecturer/Honorary Consultant in Oral Surgery. Director of Assessment and Feedback
Cardiff University, UK

Charlotte began her journey educating dental students, both clinical and didactic teaching in oral surgery in 2004.  During this time, she has led and developed a number of assessments both for undergraduate and postgraduate students. She was appointed to the role of Director of Assessment and Feedback in 2019 and was able to develop new methods for assessments, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic for both undergraduate and postgraduate students in dentistry and dental therapy and hygiene. Covid-19 highlighted and pushed the development of methods to record and assess student’s capabilities to ensure Cardiff University could demonstrate the safe beginner, whereby she introduced a capability portfolio to record student clinical progress, this also enabled her to review current work-based assessments to demonstrate competency in key areas.

Sarah Rolland

Senior Lecturer / Honorary Consultant in Orthodontics. Director of Assessment.
Newcastle University, UK

Sarah Rolland has worked in dental education for over 20 years, during which time she has fostered an interest in dental assessment and held the position of Director of Assessment at Newcastle Dental School (UK) for the last 6 years.  Sarah has developed and run the year 3 dental student OSCE examination, updating standard setting methods and moving to a system of sequential testing. She has been involved in the development of a new final year MOSLER examination (Multiple Observed Structured Long Examination Record), a practical assessment method that is used in medicine, but has not been widely used in dental education. Hugely enthusiastic for dental assessment, with a passion for ensuring assessments are valid, reliable and authentic Sarah enjoys working with others and looks forward to developing collaborative learning around the important and evolving area of practical assessments in dental education.

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