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The development of competency frameworks in healthcare professions: a scoping review.

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Abstract

Background Competency frameworks serve many roles including outlining characteristics of a competent workforce, to provide clarity to complex constructs, to facilitate professional mobility, and to help structure analysis, evaluation or assessment of professional expertise. Given these roles and their relevance in the health professions, we sought to understand the methods and strategies used in the development of existing competency frameworks. Methods The Arksey and O’Malley framework was applied to undertake this scoping review. Six electronic databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Scopus, and ERIC) and three grey literature sources (greylit.org, Trove and Google Scholar) were searched using keywords related to competency frameworks. Studies of all types were included that described the development of a competency framework in a healthcare profession. Studies were screened for inclusion, and data were extracted independently by two reviewers. Data synthesis was both quantitative and qualitative. Results Among 5,710 citations, 190 were selected for analysis. The majority of studies were conducted in medicine and nursing professions. Group techniques were utilised in 140 studies (74%), literature reviews were conducted in 112 (59%), and 81 (43%) outlined some form of stakeholder deliberation. We found a significant degree of diversity in methodological strategies, inconsistent adherence to existing guidance on the selection of methods, who was involved, and based on the variation we observed in timeframes, form, choice, sequence, combination, function, application and reporting of methods and strategies, there is no apparent gold standard or standardised approach to competency framework development. Conclusions This review observed significant variation within the conduct and reporting of the competency framework development process. Such variation is a cause for concern, potentially resulting in the development of frameworks that may not have captured the complexities of clinical practice, which are therefore of limited value to the profession, and may unwillingly create and legitimise artificial outcomes. The results of this review suggest there is a need for improved guidance in the process for developing and reporting competency frameworks.
Non-Cognitive Predictors of Student Success:
A Predictive Validity Comparison Between Domestic and International Students Non-Cognitive Predictors of Student Success:
A Predictive Validity Comparison Between Domestic and International Students
The limited existing advice
and observed variation in
approaches when developing
competency frameworks may
lead to the creation of
frameworks that unwittingly
INTRO
Competency frameworks serve many roles including
outlining characteristics of a competent workforce, to
provide clarity to complex constructs, to facilitate
professional mobility, and to help structure analysis,
evaluation or assessment of professional expertise.
Given these roles and their relevance in the health
professions, we sought to understand the methods and
strategies used in the development of existing competency
frameworks.
METHODS
Arksey and O’Malley framework was applied
Six electronic databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO,
EMBASE, Scopus, and ERIC) and three grey literature
sources were searched using keywords related to
competency frameworks.
Studies of all types were included that described the
development of a competency framework in a healthcare
profession.
Studies were screened for inclusion, and data were extracted
independently by two reviewers.
Data synthesis was both quantitative and qualitative.
RESULTS
Among 5,710 citations, 190 were selected for analysis.
The majority of studies were conducted in medicine and
nursing professions.
Group techniques were utilised in 140 studies (74%),
literature reviews were conducted in 112 (59%), and 81
(43%) outlined some form of stakeholder deliberation.
We found a significant degree of diversity in methodological
strategies, inconsistent adherence to existing guidance on the
selection of methods and who was involved.
CONCLUSIONS
Based on the variation we observed in timeframes, form,
choice, sequence, combination, function, application and
reporting of methods and strategies, there is no apparent
gold standard or standardised approach to competency
framework development.
This variation is a cause for concern, potentially resulting in
the development of frameworks that may not have captured
the complexities of clinical practice, which are therefore of
limited value to the profession, and may unwittingly create
and legitimise artificial outcomes.
The development of competency frameworks
in healthcare professions: a scoping review
Alan M. Batt1,2, Walter Tavares2,3, Brett Williams1
ADDITIONAL INFO
Studies varied in the number of approaches used from one
(n=18, 9%) to eight (n=2, 1%). The median number used was
three, and a total of 140 studies (74%) utilised three or more
methods or strategies.
Combinations of methods used varied, and no distinct pattern
emerged when analysed by profession. Study periods were not
outlined in the majority of studies, but of those that did (n=78),
the timeframe for the development of competency frameworks
ranged from two days to six years, with 41 (53%) completed in
12 months or less.
The objectives of the included studies varied from the explicit
development of a competency framework or standard, to
exploratory studies into the role of the profession or discipline in
question, and frameworks were often developed as a component
of a larger project such as national standards.
While diversity exists in both the combination and number of
methods and strategies used in the development of competency
frameworks, we also observed variability within these
approaches in relation to form, function and application. We
observed this in the use of group techniques, literature reviews,
the role of stakeholders, in mapping exercises, surveys,
interviews and practice analyses.
1. Monash University, Australia; 2. McNally Project for Paramedicine Research, Canada; 3. The Wilson Centre,
University of Toronto, Canada.
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... At this end in the health care services, employee skills are a major resource [13] and an essential part of everyday practice and a requirement for all health professions. So identifying competencies ensures that healthcare professions are well defined, promotes competent workforces, facilitates assessment, facilitates professional mobility, and helps to analyze and evaluate the expertise of the profession and the professional [14]. ...
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