ERIC Number: ED338135
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-May
Reference Count: 0
The Importance of Consensus in Determining Educational Standards in Health and Human Services Fields.
Southern Regional Education Board, Atlanta, GA.
This report discusses the need for program accreditation and licensure in allied health fields, and in particular, addresses two issues: (1) an attempt by the American Physical Therapy Association to increase the entry-level standards for physical therapy education without achieving consensus; and (2) the attempt to reduce entry-level standards for dental hygienists by sources outside the profession, again with no attempt to achieve consensus. It is noted that the system of educational program accreditation and occupational licensure have had two very important results: (1) by maintaining a nationwide standard of quality it enables Americans to move more confidently from state to state; and (2) it provides career mobility for health professionals, who by meeting the established standards may practice almost anywhere in the United States. Among the report's comments are that any proposal for substantive change in health professions education that is not based on collaboration and consensus would be a step backward in terms of quality assurance, and that, although it may be appropriate to periodically reassess entry-level standards in individual health care fields, such a reassessment must be done on a collaborative basis, not by the profession or any other interest group acting alone. The report concludes that the proposed changes in physical therapy and dental hygienist entry-level standards have not been justified by careful evaluation and are not supported by broad-based consensus. (GLR)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Accreditation (Institutions), Allied Health Occupations Education, Certification, Dental Hygienists, Health Occupations, Higher Education, Physical Therapy, Professional Education, Professional Occupations, Quality Control
Southern Regional Education Board, 592 Tenth Street, N.W., Atlanta, GA 30318-5790.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southern Regional Education Board, Atlanta, GA.