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Development and evaluation of Entrustable Professional Activities embedded in an e-portfolio for work-based assessment in community and public health dietetics

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posted on 2023-07-07, 02:37 authored by Andrea BramleyAndrea Bramley, Adrienne Forsyth, Lisa McKennaLisa McKenna
Entrustable professional activities (EPAs) is a recent concept that helps operationalise competency-based education. In this paper, we report on the development of EPAs and incorporation into an e-portfolio for work-based assessment of final year dietetics students in a community and public health professional placement. We aimed to determine the utility of the EPAs for work-based assessment in this context. We used action research methodology to conduct broad consultation with students and supervisors using anonymous surveys and focus groups to understand their beliefs and attitudes towards work-based assessment. Consequently, 40 EPAs with an accompanying four-point entrustment scale were developed and mapped to the National Competency Standards for Dietitians in Australia. The EPAs and assessment tool were piloted and evaluated via an anonymous online user survey across three cohorts of students (n = 133) and supervisors (n = 67). Following mediocre pilot year evaluation results, EPAs were revised and reduced in number. While students positively evaluated the e-portfolio, their appraisal of the EPAs and entrustment scale was less positive compared to supervisors. Supervisor evaluation of the EPA-based e-portfolio supported the validity, feasibility and acceptability of this novel assessment method in a community and public health setting. Assessment using EPAs, and the resulting educational data collected by the tool, offers potential for individual learners to identify areas needing development during placement, as well as potential to inform curriculum improvements and increase understanding of learning opportunities and outcomes for dietetic students in community and public health settings.


La Trobe University


Publication Date



Health and Social Care in the Community






12p. (p. e5445-e5456)





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This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. © 2022 The Authors. Health and Social Care in the Community published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.