RCPAQAP Training and Competency Assessment Program February 2014. Communication with Cornerstone for

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  • RCPAQAP Training and Competency Assessment Program


    A project funded under the Australian Government’s Quality Use of Pathology Program

  • January 2015 RCPAQAP Training and Competency Assessment Program


    Contents Contents 1

    Executive Summary 2

    Background 3

    Learning Management System 5

    Development of Modules 8

    Evaluation of the online modules 13

    Summary 19

    Appendix A 21

  • January 2015 RCPAQAP Training and Competency Assessment Program


    Executive Summary Training and competency assessment of scientific staff within pathology laboratories is critical to providing a quality service and is an accreditation requirement for pathology services in Australia. Currently each pathology service prepares training and competency assessment for all key tasks within the laboratory; however, this is not currently performed in a structured or systematic manner.

    Providing training and competency assessment on a web-based platform and in structured modules will deliver a standardised approach to training and competency assessment for scientists and meets both accreditation requirements and national competency based standards, as developed by the Australian Government (2009). It will also significantly reduce resources needed to provide the training and reduce duplication of effort in each pathology service.

    The modules are designed to support training conducted in the workplace and act as a resource for laboratories in continuing education. These modules are intended to provide ongoing training and competency assessment for laboratory personnel, at the basic and senior levels. Certificates of completion provide evidence of training and competency for employers and regulators.

    A new Learning Management System was developed, and included the capability for managers responsible for workplace training, to monitor staff progress and identify training needs for their pathology service. This has all been embedded within current RCPAQAP systems to ensure a streamlined experience for all customers.

    The project was launched on 1 September 2014 with five (5) online modules;

    • Quality Assurance and Quality Control – suitable for multi-test analysers in Chemical Pathology/Haematology/Immunology – (Basic scientists level) • Snake and snake bite: the role of the pathology laboratories • Pre-Analytical Module - Select safe sites for venepuncture • Cytopathology Module 1 - Anatomy of the Female Genital Tract • Cytopathology Module 2 - Cytological Identification of normal epithelial cells and other cellular components of cervical and vaginal smears

    RCPAQAP has processed 65 enrolments in the first 11 weeks since launching the modules. Early feedback is very positive with scores of 8-9/9.

  • January 2015 RCPAQAP Training and Competency Assessment Program


    Background Pathology services within Australia are required to prepare and deliver training and competency assessment, of all scientific staff, within their organisation in order to meet accreditation requirements and provide a quality service. Pathology services usually consist of several pathology sites, both within metropolitan and rural areas. Senior scientific staff may have responsibility for as many as 30 different sites/pathology laboratories.

    Senior scientific staff (also sometimes referred to as Training Managers) within a pathology service, are responsible for ensuring scientific and technical staff receive appropriate training and are assessed for competency. Each pathology service develops training activities/material and ensures that competency is assessed once the training is completed. This represents a significant amount of duplication across pathology services in Australia and is a very inefficient use of limited resources for delivering training and competency assessment.

    Training is delivered face-to-face thus requiring staff to regularly travel to each pathology laboratory to deliver this service. Alternatively, staff may be required to travel to the main laboratory of the pathology group to attend training for several days or weeks. This method of delivering training has a significant impact on both staff and budget resources for the pathology service.

    The online training and competency assessment modules are a cost-effective and efficient method for delivering this service to all staff in all laboratories, regardless of geographical location.

    There is a need to provide training in an efficient and easy to access platform, especially for those scientists in rural areas, where training may be difficult to achieve. Online modules can be accessed easily and quickly, at any time and best of all, the modules can be undertaken at the individuals own pace.

    Delivery of training and competency assessment via a web-based platform will assist in reducing the burden of increased workloads on senior scientific staff within pathology services, and also decrease administrative loads required to meet accreditation requirements. A recent survey of the pathology workforce (by the Department of Health and Ageing, May 2011) showed that more than a third of employed scientists were 50 years of age and older, indicating that a large number of qualified staff would be leaving the profession in the foreseeable future. In addition, over 80% of senior scientists were based in metropolitan areas. These are the staff who usually deliver the training and competency assessment to junior staff. This survey also found that training of staff was one of the major secondary issues of concern, after workforce shortages.

  • January 2015 RCPAQAP Training and Competency Assessment Program


    The target audience of the program is scientific staff, although modules for Point-of-Care (POC) and collection of pathology specimens will be aimed at other sections of medicine such as nurses, doctors and allied health staff that collect pathology specimens or use POC devices. The pilot module on ‘correctly identifying the patient’ when collecting a pathology specimen was very well received and requests for this module included allied health staff and collection staff. Similarly the POC module was popular and interest exists for more modules in this area.

    While there are some organisations that currently deliver some training online they do not address the broad needs of the Australian pathology industry and competency assessment is limited.

    The RCPAQAP online modules are being developed to meet the specific requirements of Australian pathology services across all disciplines of pathology. The modules are specifically designed to meet accreditation requirements, APACE and professional development requirements and the national competency based standards for Australian scientists.

    The modules should enhance the training and competency assessment protocols of laboratories and compliment training that is provided for technical activities. The modules will act as an adjunct to existing training and will assist in increasing the resources available for the training and competency of scientists.

    Ensuring pathology services are provided by a well trained and competent scientific workforce will provide both consumers (the patient) and referrers (the doctors) with the confidence that pathology laboratories will meet their needs and provide a quality service.

    Government, as major funders of pathology in Australia, will also benefit from this initiative, as they will be assured that quality pathology services are being provided by a highly skilled scientific workforce. This will be particularly relevant in the next 5-10 years when it is expected that a significant number of highly trained senior scientists plan to retire and pathology services will experience workforce shortages. It is expected that remaining scientific staff will be under significant workload pressures as the increase in demand for pathology will come from an ageing population.

  • January 2015 RCPAQAP Training and Competency Assessment Program


    Project Officer Recruitment of an Education Project Manager began in July 2013; a Position Description was prepared and the position was advertised on Seek.com. Unfortunately, no suitable candidates were identified that met the selection criteria. The position advertised was a one year contract and this may have deterred suitable candidates from applying.

    RCPAQAP then conducted a search for an internal staff member that may be suitable for this position. A suitable internal candidate was identified but she had not applied because the position was a short term contract. This staff member was seconded into the role of Project Officer for one year with the option of moving back into her previous position after the end of the contract.

    Fifin Intan commenced in the role of Education Project Manager on 26 August 2013. Fifin commenced training to gain proficiency in Articulate, the authoring tool software. Fifin comes with experience she gained as part of the pilot team that developed the original LMS. She produced the modules, instructional documentation and Frequently Asked Questions. Fifin is a great addition to the project and has helped drive the project forward.

  • January 2015 RCPAQAP Training and Competency Assessment Program


    Learning Management System (LMS) An LMS Provider was identified and engaged to d