Involving consumers in the design and delivery of ADC assessments and examinations

Involving consumers in the design and delivery of ADC assessments and examinations

28 August 2019
Consumer involvement in decision making

As the importance of involving patients in decisions affecting their healthcare is increasingly recognised, there is growing focus on the benefits consumer and community groups can bring to work of organisations like the Australian Dental Council. 

As an accreditation authority, the Australian Dental Council (ADC) wanted to gain a better understanding of the opportunities available for consumer involvement in the design and delivery of the assessment and examination of overseas qualified dental practitioners. In early 2019 the ADC appointed the University of Sydney to complete scoping research on how other health-focused organisations nationally and internationally involve consumers in assessments and examinations. 

Now complete, the research found while there was evidence of consumer involvement in education and training, there were no examples of this involvement in examinations and assessments leading to credentialing or registration in healthcare. When consumer involvement was used in education and training, this involvement was largely in relation to the assessment of non-technical skills, such as communication. 

Literature collected for this research found consumer involvement was most effective when consumers were given the opportunity to draw on their lived experience of healthcare to contribute to the development and implementation of assessment and examinations. This was enhanced further when consumers worked alongside academics and clinicians to create a well-rounded picture of student competence. 

The research is available for download here.

Using the research findings, the ADC is leading innovative work to expand the role consumers have in the design and delivery of its assessments and examinations, with the goal to increase the authenticity and validity of the examination process. 

Focusing on the practical examination for overseas-qualified dental practitioners, this work will look at how input from consumer representatives can be incorporated into both the design of objective structured clinical examination tasks and the assessment of the communication skills within those tasks. 

More information about the ADC’s research program is available here.