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August 2017


programs as a measure of students’

and clinicians’ clinical performance.

What the Council is trailing, however,

is unprecedented. Rather than assess

discrete procedures as per an OSCE, we

have carefully designed a scientifically

robust trial to determine whether simulation

is as reliable an evaluation as the final,

single-event comprehensive assessments

currently conducted with a real-life patient in

our assessment process.

All evidence relating to simulation in

training points in that direction. What we

know irrefutably is that simulation exposes

candidates to different scenarios, enhances

critical thinking, provides the opportunity

to practise the management of a patient

consult, and also exposes candidates to

cultural nuances that are indispensable to

best-practice holistic healthcare. And if our

hypothesis is right, it will forever change

assessments of health practitioners the

world over.

Stanford University’s Professor David Gaba,

the world’s foremost leader on simulation

in medicine said, ‘No industry in which

human lives depend on skilled performance

of responsible operators has waited for

the unequivocal proof of simulation before

embracing it.’

The task at hand may be colossal but the

time for waiting is over. Physiotherapists,

like their medical counterparts, improve

lives and they also save lives. As of

July 2017, the Council has embarked

on world-leading research to provide a

sound evidence base for simulation in

assessment. And if the trial is successful,

when overseas-qualified physiotherapists

complete this new assessment process,

the Australian public can rest assured that

these practitioners will be equipped with

the equivalent skills and knowledge to join

the ranks of Australian physiotherapists

who are heralded as being the best in the


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