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Building consensus and evaluating EPAs for a profession

Date:  Saturday 28 August
Time:  0930-1230


  • Josephine Boland
  • Gozie Offiah
  • Karena Hanle
  • Aileen Barret
  • Brian McEllistrem


Summary of Theme and Why it is important: As an organising framework for competency based education within health professions, Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) have been widely adopted internationally, including in Ireland for the Internship programme and for the profession of General Practice. 

Effective consensus building with stakeholders and evaluation of quality are key to successful implementation of EPAs.

Several methods exist for gaining consensus on what represents a comprehensive list of EPAs (e.g. nominal group method, Delphi survey). EQual, is a novel rubric to evaluate EPAs for quality and structure, developed by Taylor et al, 2017 ( Academic Medicine, 92(11S), S110-S117). Some of the key characteristics of EPAs are that they:

Represent a professional unit of work of the specialty 

Require adequate knowledge, skills and attitudes

Are independently executable within a time frame

Are observable and measurable 

Reflect one or more domains of competence

Are suitable for focused entrustment

This workshop is adapted from modules within the International Course on the ‘Ins and Outs of EPAs’, led by Prof. Olle ten Cate.

What participants will gain:
The workshop will include:
Processes used for scoping out of EPAs for Internship and General Practice.
An exercise in designing a consensus building process
The EQual quality criteria
An exercise in evaluating sample EPAs, for Internship and General Practice
Discussion of pros and cons of methods for gaining consensus
Individual reflection on stakeholders and next steps in own context

On completion participants should be able to:
Adopt appropriate strategies for scoping out EPAs in their own discipline/profession
Use Taylor et al’s EQual rubric to evaluate EPAs
Identify a strategy for engaging stakeholders in gaining consensus on EPAs

Who should participate: This workshop is designed for those considering using EPAs as the organising framework for a competency based curriculum. The workshop models principles of best practice in EPA development by building consensus and evaluating EPAs. Participants will be able apply the learning to their own context. The workshop is designed for those who already have an understanding of the concept of EPAs.

Level: Intermediate/Advanced (understanding of concept of EPAs required)

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