Validity evidence for summative performance evaluations in postgraduate community pharmacy education

Marnix P.D. Westein*, Andries S. Koster, Hester E.M. Daelmans, Carlos F. Collares, Marcel L. Bouvy, Rashmi A. Kusurkar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction: Workplace-based assessment of competencies is complex. In this study, the validity of summative performance evaluations (SPEs) made by supervisors in a two-year longitudinal supervisor-trainee relationship was investigated in a postgraduate community pharmacy specialization program in the Netherlands. The construct of competence was based on an adapted version of the 2005 Canadian Medical Education Directive for Specialists (CanMEDS) framework. Methods: The study had a case study design. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. The year 1 and year 2 SPE scores of 342 trainees were analyzed using confirmatory factor analysis and generalizability theory. Semi-structured interviews were held with 15 supervisors and the program director to analyze the inferences they made and the impact of SPE scores on the decision-making process. Results: A good model fit was found for the adapted CanMEDS based seven-factor construct. The reliability/precision of the SPE measurements could not be completely isolated, as every trainee was trained in one pharmacy and evaluated by one supervisor. Qualitative analysis revealed that supervisors varied in their standards for scoring competencies. Some supervisors were reluctant to fail trainees. The competency scores had little impact on the high-stakes decision made by the program director. Conclusions: The adapted CanMEDS competency framework provided a valid structure to measure competence. The reliability/precision of SPE measurements could not be established and the SPE measurements provided limited input for the decision-making process. Indications of a shadow assessment system in the pharmacies need further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-711
Number of pages11
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

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