Engaging speech pathology students in design and validation of competency based assessment in the workplace.
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In Australia, the discipline of speech pathology has been engaged in competency based education in a sustained manner for 15 years. Speech pathologists are university educated professionals who work in the health and education sectors, with people experiencing communication and/or swallowing difficulties. Speech pathology programs have, from their inception, combined university and workplace based education (practicum) strategies. University courses are accredited by Speech Pathology Australia (SPA), so that their graduates are deemed ‘eligible’ for membership of SPA. This accreditation process has been guided by the CBOS Competency Based Occupational Standards for Speech Pathologists - Entry level (SPAA, 2001) (known as CBOS, pronounced cee-bos). The CBOS were developed through a national collaborative project (Dawson, 1993a, 1993b) and subsequently revised in 2001. CBOS identifies concepts and descriptions of professional competence, and makes statements about what level of performance is required for entry into practice (Ferguson, 2006).