Development and acceptability of a vignette matching procedure to assess clinical psychology trainees competencies in field placements

[Speaker] Deane, Frank:1
[Co-author] Gonsalvez, Craig:2, Terry, Josephine:2, Blackman, Russell:1
1:University of Wollongong (Australia), 2:Western Sydney University (Australia)

Supervisors' ratings of psychology trainees' competence in clinical practica has traditionally been completed using multi-item competency evaluation forms that rely on Likert-type scales. There is evidence that such measures are affected by supervisor leniency and halo biases. Trainees are often rated as highly competent when their experience and stage of training might suggest otherwise. A vignette matching assessment tool (VMAT) provides an alternative method of assessment of competencies and aims to reduce some of these biases. Study 1 compared the supervisor ratings of 57 trainees across 9 competency domains using both a traditional competency scale and the VMAT. The VMAT generated higher proportions of ratings in the lower stages of trainee development. Study 2 reports ratings of 51 trainees using recalibrated vignettes. Supervisors' rated the VMAT as more reliable and ecologically valid than a Likert-based measure. The rationale for the VMAT as an alternative to traditional measures will be outlined.
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