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The Final Assessment

The Final Assessment and Certificate of Competence

For many students, formal assessment is always a cause of some level of stress. The Assistant Practitioner MUST bear in mind that they will not be eligible to be entered in for the final assessment until they have undertaken thorough practical training and a minimum of 500 logged hours of work/training and completed the competencies in the training manual.

Please remember that supervising podiatrists should not enter assistants for the examination until he or she is confident that they are sufficiently prepared to have a good chance of passing the assessment. It is also advisable to give the College as much notice as possible to ensure that we can accommodate your chosen dates.  Our examiners are all clinicians/managers and need as much notice as possible to cover their own work.

Once the Supervising podiatrist feels that the Assistant is ready to go through the examination process we require them to complete the ‘Assistant Practitioners Examination Application’ form and return it to:

The College of Podiatry, Quartz House, 207 Providence Square, Mill Street, London, SE1 2EW. 

Email: assistants@cop.org.uk

There are three parts to the final assessment as follows:

  1. A Portfolio/reflective log to be completed throughout the training period.  This will be submitted to the College and reviewed by the examiner prior to the examination taking place.  (this should be submitted at least six weeks prior to the examination date and it is advisable to keep a copy of the log in case it should go missing in the post)

  2. An observed practical assessment when care will be given to at least two patients

  3. An oral examination (VIVA) 

 

The persons involved in the final assessment will be an external examiner appointed by the College of Podiatry, and the local podiatry manager or supervising podiatrist. The appointed examiner will be an employer/manager or trainer of Assistant Practitioners and will therefore be experienced in both training and the assessment procedure.

The Portfolio

The portfolio will need to be completed by the trainee throughout their period of training.  This should be submitted to the College at least 6 weeks prior to the examination date.  The portfolio will be reviewed by the appointed examiner and for continuity marked on a scale of 1-5 as with the oral and practical assessments.


The Practical Assessment


Each candidate will be expected to give care to at least two patients, who will have been specially booked for the purpose. Both examiners will be observing the care process and awarding grades on a 1 - 5 scale (1 = excellent; 5 = poor). Candidates must score a minimum of 3 in every aspect to pass. Those scoring 1 in every aspect will be awarded a distinction.

The practical assessment will probably last about an hour for each candidate.

The Oral Test (VIVA)


This part of the final assessment is used to test candidates’ understanding of why certain things are necessary at work, e.g. sterilising instruments, writing patient’s records.

Throughout the final assessment the internal examiner (podiatry manager or supervising podiatrist) will be present to ensure all questions were covered during the training and to assist the external examiner in making a fair assessment.


After the oral test candidates will be given their results by the external examiner. However, these must be verified by the examinations office. Those who have been successful should complete the appropriate form to receive the Certificate of Competence and the Assistant Practitioner badge.


Examination Process

 

  1. Fill in the Exam Application Form and submit to the Education Assistant at the College of Podiatry.

  2. The Education Assistant will acknowledge receipt of the application and then proceed to invite Examiners to the examination process which is split into two parts. This can take anywhere between 1-4 weeks depending on Examiners availability.  


  3. When an Examiner has been confirmed the Education Assistant will contact the Supervising Podiatrist and pass on the contact details for the Examiner. This is so that the portfolio can be sent directly to them.

  4. The Examiner will send notification to the Education Assistant that the portfolio has been received. Please allow at least 6 weeks for the Examiner to mark the portfolio.

    On receipt of the Reflective Portfolio the Examiner will review this submission and you should only hear from the Education Assistant if there are any areas of concern.


  5. It is then the responsibility of the Supervising Podiatrist to contact the Examiner to discuss arrangements for the examination, to explain the training and signed competencies, the Reflective Portfolio and to schedule in a date for the Examination. This call can last approx. 20+ minutes.

  6. Two weeks prior to the Exam the Education Assistant will send to the Examiner all the required Examination paperwork and additionally a reminder letter to the Supervising Podiatrist.

  7. Examination: The Examiner will attend the specified location/clinic, pass on feedback of the Reflective Portfolio, oversee 2 Practical Assessments and an Oral Examination (VIVA). A copy of all paperwork should be kept by the Assistant, Supervising Podiatrist and the Examiner. It is the responsibility of the Examiner to send back to the Education Assistant all the original paperwork

  8. On receipt of the paperwork and successful completion of the Final Assessment, the Education Assistant will assess the grades.  A letter confirming the results, a Certificate of Competence and the Assistant Practitioner Badge will be sent to the Supervising Podiatrist/ Department Manager. The badge and certificate should then be passed over to the newly certified Assistant Practitioner (Podiatry).