Assessing Psychology Practitioner Competence


About Assessing Psychology Practitioner Competence

Supervised field placements are essential in the training and credentialing of psychologists, and other clinical practitioners. As supervisors directly observe trainee performance across a wide variety of real-life situations and over an extended period of time, their judgments of competence are credible and were assumed to accurately assess trainee competence. However, recent research indicates that supervisor assessments are vulnerable to a range of rating biases including halo and leniency effects. The lack of reliable and valid competence instruments contributes, in an important way, to compromised assessment outcomes.

The aim of the project is to design, develop, test, evaluate and refine competence assessment instruments.

To date, the focus has been on two instruments:

This research program is a multisite collaboration initiative that commenced ten years ago, and grew out of a commitment from a small group of clinician researchers to address what was an important, but difficult and enduring problem: objective and valid assessment of practitioner competence in psychology. The project has grown rapidly, and today includes eleven partner institutions across Australia, New-Zealand and the U.K. The research has made major contributions to the international literature on competence assessment in psychology and other health disciplines, has won major national grant awards, and has been disseminated in multiple national and international conferences. The instruments generated by our group are currently in use by more than 24 universities worldwide, and the research and its impact continue to grow.

If you are interested in participating in this project, or would like more information, please contact us.