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Competency-based simulation education: should competency standards apply for simulation educators?
  1. Walter Eppich1,
  2. Adam Cheng2
  1. 1Department of Pediatrics and Medical Education, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  2. 2Department of Pediatrics, University of Calgary, KidSIM-Aspire Simulation Research Program, Alberta Children's Hospital, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Adam Cheng, University of Calgary, KidSIM-Aspire Simulation Research Program, Department of Pediatrics, Alberta Children's Hospital, 2888 Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3B 6A8; chenger{at}

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The healthcare education landscape is evolving. Recent years have seen a change in conceptualisations of learning, assessment and time-based versus competency-based education (CBE).1 These changes will influence healthcare provider training and ultimately the clinical care they provide to patients. CBE has elevated the discourse surrounding clinical competencies and entrustable professional activities.2 Inherent to this focus on educational outcomes is a renewed attention on the role of formative clinical experiences: how we engage and empower learners in their own education; how we organise workplace-based learning to provide the graded supervision our trainees require while maintaining patient safety; and how we help our trainees maximise learning from clinical practice and progress in their training through robust assessment and feedback mechanisms.2 ,3

This changing landscape places a heavy burden on busy clinician educators who themselves may require significant training and faculty development to translate the emerging educational science into effective clinical teaching practice. The very nature of CBE requires clinical educators to assess learners frequently in a manner that allows reliable and valid inferences across the spectrum of clinical competencies that are required for their specific training programme.1 In addition, assessment of individual learner competencies will occur in workplace settings where clinical care is a team activity. We see a mismatch between a CBE approach we value and strive for and the relative underemphasis of faculty teaching skills required for its effective implementation and outcomes assessment. Without equal and parallel attention to clinical educator training, we fear this disconnect has the potential to undermine the translation of promising advances gleaned from healthcare education research into widespread clinical education. The increasing adoption of healthcare …

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  • Competing interests WE receives salary support from the Center for Medical Simulation, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, to teach on simulation educator courses. He receives per diem honoraria to teach on simulation educator courses. WE served on the Board of Directors, Society for Simulation in Healthcare. AC is a simulation educator with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He teaches on simulation educator courses. AC serves on the Board of Directors, Society for Simulation in Healthcare.

  • Funding None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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