Research and evaluation competency expectations for allied health graduates in Australia: A Delphi study among allied health academics
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The need to build research capacity within allied health professions has previously been acknowledged as a workforce development strategy required to enhance the effectiveness of the health system. This study aimed to assess consensus among Australian allied health academics about the research- and evaluation-specific competencies required of graduates in the Australian workforce context.
A two-round Delphi study was conducted among a purposively sampled panel of 57 allied health educators from physiotherapy, speech pathology, and dietetics from universities across Australia. Panelists were asked to rate a list of extant research and evaluation competency elements as essential, useful, or not essential for allied health graduates.
Over 30 of the final 69 competency elements were considered essential across the three allied health disciplines. There was limited evidence of significant differences in the proportion of panelists across disciplines rating competency elements as essential, suggesting good interdisciplinary agreement.
The process of assessing consensus on competency expectations against extant health professional competencies suggests opportunities for more efficient interprofessional research and evaluation competency development in the allied health professions. Further, this challenges the logic of keeping allied health students in disciplinary silos in areas where competencies are shared across education programs.
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This document has been peer reviewed.