The development and evaluation of a common assessment form for physiotherapy practice education in Ireland.

A sub-group of Chartered Physiotherapists in Education (CPE) was formed in 2004 to consider the adoption of a common assessment form (CAF) for assessing practice education placements for students studying physiotherapy in the Republic of Ireland. Following agreement from the four heads of departments, the needs of users (academic staff, practice tutors and practice educators) were established. As none of the existing forms met sufficient needs of the users, a new CAF was developed.

The top features required by practice educators/tutors and HEIs, the positives of the existing forms and the behaviours indicated int he work of Cross & Hicks1 were taken into account when developing the CAF. Following extensive revisions it was piloted on a small number of sites, revised by the committee and then validated by comparing scores to those of the existing assessment forms. Its inter-rater reliability was established bny comparing students' grades between practic educators and practice tutors. Construct validity (PCC 0.906) and reliability estimates (ICC 0.84) were found to be satisfactory. As the validity and reliability fo the CAF was found to be satisfactory and greater than that of existing forms, the CAF was adopted by all for HEIs for use in summer 2007.