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The Consortium of European Chiropractic Educators (CECE) was established in 2002 following discussions by various educational leaders in Europe for the purpose of fostering good educational practices and sharing experience in delivering undergraduate chiropractic education within Europe. In 2002, the first CECE meeting was held at the Welsh Institute of Chiropractic (WIOC) at the University of Glamorgan and representatives from European Council on Chiropractic Education accredited institutions in the United Kingdom, France, and Denmark met informally to discuss the development of such an organization and how it would be structured. It was decided that the chair would rotate from one institution to the next on an annual basis and it would be up to the host institution to organize a 1-day meeting once the group had decided upon a theme for that year. The members agreed that CECE should stay apolitical and therefore be structured in an informal manner. There was no funding for CECE as each institution self-funded the day conference and participating institutions funded travel and accommodation for participants. CECE conducted this format for several years and covered a wide range of common issues; topics included undergraduate teaching, assessment, and clinical training. In June 2009, representatives of six European chiropractic institutions initiated the development of the first workshop to be held in 2010 in order to exchange experiences on assessing noncognitive competencies of applicants to chiropractic institutions in order (1) to gain support and assistance of future students to promote realistic career expectations and (2) to find a way to select the best possible incoming students for the chiropractic profession.
At the European Chiropractors' Union Convention, held on May 13–15, 2010 in London, the CECE offered a workshop to educators from six European chiropractic institutions:
The workshop focus was on student selection and admission tests.
Chiropractic practitioners must integrate multiple roles by being effective communicators, collaborators, health advocates, managers, scholars, and professionals.1 They must apply chiropractic and scientific knowledge, clinical skills, and professional attitudes in their provision of patient-centered care.2 Both cognitive (eg, knowledge, decision-making skills) and noncognitive (eg, manual skills, communication skills, professionalism skills) qualities reinforce a framework that supports the development of high-quality admission procedures. Though cognitive assessment has been investigated in chiropractic institutions,3 little research has been done with noncognitive skills in the prediction of future performance. Cognitive and noncognitive skills might predict student performance throughout the curriculum and they need to be assessed.4–6 Educators need to discuss the question, “Are we able to assess noncognitive qualities in a way that would reflect future actions or behavior?”
Under the lead of Martin Wangler, assistance of Claire Johnson and Bart Green, and the help of two students from the Anglo European Chiropractic College, participants of this year's workshop performed several 7-minute multiple mini-interviews (MMI) for admission.4–6 After each MMI, a professional discussion was held about MMIs and other available assessments in relation to their strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities to identify the most capable future students.
At the conclusion of the workshop, the MMIs were analyzed and discussed among workshop participants as well as the students. Structured analysis of school applicants (ie, standardized interviews, multiple encounters, valid blueprints of scenarios for testing the noncognitive qualities) and proper interviewer training seem to have a potential for further discussion and development. Firsthand experiences concerning MMI, adaptation tests, and other methods were also exchanged.
This workshop was a first step to reinforce CECE's scope and purpose. These include (1) communication and collaboration among teaching fellows, (2) educational knowledge and innovation exchange, (3) scholarship (ie, education research and evidence-, competence-, and assessment-based teaching), (4) joint educational projects, student exchange program, and (5) staff development.
The CECE is planning to hold its next workshop in conjunction with the European Chiropractors' Union Convention in May 2011 in Zurich, Switzerland. The focus of this workshop will include other assessments of noncognitive qualities (eg, objectively structured clinical examinations, MMI throughout the curriculum, miniCEX)4–6 for postgraduate education. For more information about the CECE and future workshops, please contact Dr. Martin Wangler.
Martin Wangler, European Academy of Chiropractic.
Claire Johnson, National University of Health Sciences.