Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Certification, accreditation and professional standards: striving to define competency, a response to ASPiH Standards for Simulation-Based Education: Process of Consultation, Design and Implementation
  1. Carrie A Bohnert1,2,
  2. Karen L Lewis2,3
  1. 1 Office of Undergraduate Medical Education, Standardized Patient Program, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky, USA
  2. 2 Standards of Practice Committee, Association of Standardized Patient Educators, Altamonte Springs, Florida, USA
  3. 3 Clinical Learning and Simulation Skills Center, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
  1. Correspondence to Carrie A Bohnert, Office of Undergraduate Medical Education, Standardized Patient Program, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY 40202, USA; carrie.bohnert{at}

Statistics from


For the past decade, competency has been a consistent theme in medical education literature. Authors have pondered its definition, questioned appropriate assessment of competency and wrestled with how to certify competency.1 Barriers to implementing competency-based education and assessment are well documented.2–9 Through their various lenses, these authors have grappled with the complexity of codifying and assessing competent practice.

Among the healthcare simulation community, similar work has emerged. Many of the world’s largest and most prominent simulation societies and associations have spent much of the past decade codifying and determining appropriate assessment for our own competent practice. Associations have crafted professional standards, certification exams and accreditation processes after careful and deliberate codification of competent practice in the simulation of patient care. The simultaneous rise of these efforts is fortuitous, as simulation can provide reliable, consistent, valid and predictable means to assess competent practice.

Developing competency-based education and assessment programmes and defining professional standards have several common practices: identifying desirable outcomes, analysing the observable behaviours and attributes that lead to those outcomes and translating those ideas into clear and concise statements. At the heart of each of these initiatives is our concern for patient safety, desire for efficiency and respect for evidence-based teaching and assessment practices.


In 2017, the Association for Simulated Practice in Healthcare (ASPiH) published Simulation-Based Education in Healthcare: Standards Framework and Guidance.10 With this publication, they join a list of eight other professional societies and networks identified by Nestel and colleagues as engaged in …

View Full Text

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.