Skip to main content

Advances in Entrustable Professional Activities and entrustment decision making

Guest Editors:
Vanessa Burch: Colleges of Medicine of South Africa
Carrie Chen: Georgetown University School of Medicine, USA
Fremen Chou: China Medical University, Taiwan
Olle ten Cate: University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands

Submission Status: Closed   |   Submission Deadline: 17 January 2024


BMC Medical Education welcomed original submissions to a new article collection focused on advances in Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) and entrustment decision making. EPAs have become a popular framework for competency-based education in the health professions since their conceptualization in 2005, as they situate competencies in the work of these professions. EPAs are units of health care practice that should only be entrusted to learners or professionals with sufficient competence. Many theoretical and practical elaborations of the EPA and entrustment concepts have been proposed, but more research and innovative approaches to these concepts are needed to further develop this area. 

Meet the Guest Editors

Back to top

Vanessa Burch, MD PhD: Colleges of Medicine of South Africa

Vanessa Burch is Honorary Professor and Executive Director of Education and Assessment, Colleges of Medicine of South Africa. She has teaching and research experience in certification examinations, assessment in the workplace, curriculum design using Entrustable Professional Activities and faculty development.  


 

H Carrie Chen, MD PhD: Georgetown University School of Medicine, USA

Carrie Chen is Professor of Pediatrics and the Senior Associate Dean of Assessment and Educational Scholarship at Georgetown University School of Medicine, United States. She has teaching and research experience in curriculum development, workplace learning, assessments including the use of Entrustable Professional Activities, and faculty development.
 

Fremen Chihchen Chou, MD PhD: China Medical University, Taiwan

Fremen Chou is Assistant Professor of Medical Education, School of Medicine, China Medical University, as well as Director of the Center for Faculty Development, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan. He has research and systemic implementation experience of CBME including the development of EPAs for Taiwan Society of Emergency Medicine.
 

Olle ten Cate, PhD: University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands

Olle ten Cate is Professor of Medical Education at Utrecht Center for Research and Development of Health Professions Education, University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands. Competency-based medical education, Entrustable Professional Activities and entrustment decision making have been central in his scholarly work for the past two decades.





 

About the collection

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 called 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 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


Image credit: sturti / Getty Images / iStock

  1. The concept of entrustable professional activities (EPAs) has recently been extended to operationalize professional tasks in teacher training and faculty development in health professions education. The aim of...

    Authors: Harm Peters, Ylva Holzhausen, Anja Czeskleba and Marwa Schumann
    Citation: BMC Medical Education 2024 24:588
  2. Entrustable professional activities (EPAs) are observable process descriptions of clinical work units. EPAs support learners and tutors in assessment within healthcare settings. For use amongst our pharmacy st...

    Authors: Ula Bozic, Matthias J. Witti, Schmidmaier Ralf, Martin R. Fischer, Jan M. Zottmann and Yvonne M. Pudritz
    Citation: BMC Medical Education 2024 24:568
  3. In medical education, Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) have been gaining momentum for the last decade. Such novel educational interventions necessitate accommodating competing needs, those of curricu...

    Authors: Vasiliki Andreou, Sanne Peters, Jan Eggermont and Birgitte Schoenmakers
    Citation: BMC Medical Education 2024 24:549
  4. The qualities of trainees play a key role in entrustment decisions by clinical supervisors for the assignments of professional tasks and levels of supervision. A recent body of qualitative research has shown t...

    Authors: Harm Peters, Amelie Garbe, Simon M. Breil, Sebastian Oberst, Susanne Selch and Ylva Holzhausen
    Citation: BMC Medical Education 2024 24:453
  5. Recently, all medical universities in Sweden jointly developed a framework for Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) for work-based training and assessment. This framework is now being introduced national...

    Authors: Paul Pålsson, Anna Cederborg, Monica Johansson, Helena Vallo Hult, Silvana Naredi and Katarina Jood
    Citation: BMC Medical Education 2024 24:297
  6. Competency-based medical education (CBME) is an outcomes-oriented approach focused on developing competencies that translate into clinical practice. Entrustable professional activities (EPAs) bridge competency...

    Authors: Chun-Yuan Tu, Kuo-Ming Huang, Ching-Hsueh Cheng, Wei-Jou Lin, Cheng-Heng Liu and Chih-Wei Yang
    Citation: BMC Medical Education 2024 24:95
  7. Entrustable Professional Activities (EPA) and competencies represent components of a competency-based education framework. EPAs are assessed based on the level of supervision (LOS) necessary to perform the act...

    Authors: Richard B. Mink, Carol L. Carraccio, Bruce E. Herman, Pnina Weiss, David A. Turner, Diane E. J. Stafford, Kathleen A. McGann, Jennifer Kesselheim, Deborah C. Hsu, Pamela C. High, Jill J. Fussell, Megan L. Curran, Patricia R. Chess, Cary Sauer, Sarah Pitts, Angela L. Myers…
    Citation: BMC Medical Education 2023 23:720
  8. The development of entrustable professional activities (EPAs) as a framework for work-based training and assessment in undergraduate medical education has become popular. EPAs are defined as units of a profess...

    Authors: Christina Gummesson, Stina Alm, Anna Cederborg, Mattias Ekstedt, Jarl Hellman, Hans Hjelmqvist, Magnus Hultin, Katarina Jood, Charlotte Leanderson, Bertil Lindahl, Riitta Möller, Björn Rosengren, Anders Själander, Peter J Svensson, Stefan Särnblad and Alexander Tejera
    Citation: BMC Medical Education 2023 23:635

Submission Guidelines

Back to top

This Collection welcomes submission of Research Articles, Reviews, and Study Protocols. Comment articles will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have read our submission guidelines. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. During the submission process you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select "Advances in Entrustable Professional Activities and entrustment decision making" from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Guest Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer review of any submissions for which the Guest Editors have competing interests is handled by another Guest Editor or Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.