Entrustable Professional Activities (EPA’s)

Journal Club Article: Bramley, A., Thomas, C. J., McKenna, L., & Itsiopoulos, C. (2021). Design, implementation and evaluation of novel work-based clinical assessment tool: An e-portfolio with embedded Entrustable Professional Activities. Nurse Education Today, 105101. [abstract]

Keywords: Entrustable Professional Activities, Work-based assessment, Competency-based education.

Background: “As EPAs clearly describe work that is done by a competent practitioner, such an approach lends itself to the assessment of the ‘does’ in Miller’s pyramid. Entrustment scales that rate performance based on the amount of supervisor support required for students to perform the activity provides a way of documenting the student’s progress from shows how to does.” EPAs are important work tasks that trainees need to be able to perform with supervision at a distance by the end of Basic Training”. Learners can be assessed as ‘Ready to perform with supervision at a distance’ or ‘not yet ready to perform with supervision at a distance’ (The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, 2019).

Aim: Design, implement and evaluate a work-based assessment tool using EPAs embedded in an e-portfolio for use in clinical dietetics.

Participants: 126 dietitic students & 101 placement supervisors

Methods:  Developed clinical dietetic EPAs and milestones that were mapped to the National Competency Standards for dieticians in Australia and then creation of an e-portfolio with the EPAs embedded.

Results: A total of 37 EPAs were developed with an accompanying four-point entrustment scale to measure performance.

Conclusion: “The EPA based e-portfolio demonstrated face validity, feasibility and acceptability and offers potential for a widely accepted tool for work-based assessment of clinical dietetic students.”

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