BMC Medical Education is calling for submissions to a new article Collection, “Advances in Entrustable Professional Activities and entrustment decision making.”
Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs), a framework for competency-based education, has gained significant popularity across health professions education since their conceptualization in 2005. EPAs situate competencies in the work of the health professions. Competent graduates from HPE programs must possess many competencies, ranging from specific skills used in performing procedures; to detailed knowledge about anatomy, physiology, and pathology; to broad aspects of professionalism. Health professionals integrate and apply these competencies in performing their work, which can be described as professional activities or units of health care practice. These professional activities, or EPAs, should only be entrusted to learners or professionals with sufficient competence. At the same time, entrustment for an EPA can be granted as soon as a learner or professional shows sufficient proof that they are ready for it. Deliberate decisions to do so are called summative entrustment decisions.
The concept of EPAs and entrustment decision making is appealing to many educators, but their operationalization has not always been easy. Through research publications, EPAs have been identified and described, curricula have been adapted, and assessment procedures for them have been proposed. Several theoretical and practical elaborations of the EPA and entrustment concepts have been shared, such as ad hoc versus summative entrustment decisions, entrustment-supervision scales, nested EPAs, transdisciplinary EPAs, prospective versus retrospective assessment approaches, and more. Yet, the more EPA-based programs have been implemented, the more questions seem to emerge that beg for answers. In 2021, Academic Medicine published an EPA agenda for the next decade, with 14 recommended areas of further development and research about Entrustable Professional Activities and entrustment decision making.
We call for submissions of original research articles, reviews, commentaries, and study protocols that aim to actualize plans for the future of EPAs such as these, and further advance our knowledge and thinking about this area.
Key themes of this Collection will include, but are not limited to:
• General, conceptual and theoretical issues with EPAs
• EPA development and curriculum development
• Assessment, entrustment decisions making, Clinical Competency Committees (CCCs)
• Faculty development and other EPA-related topics
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