Physiotherapy training, like many other healthcare disciplines, contains clinical components alongside traditional academic requirements. The clinical components demand competence in areas that span cognitive skills (e.g., understanding of concepts), physical skills (e.g., manual therapy techniques), and interpersonal skills (e.g., communication).
Students are also required to make higher-level clinical reasoning decisions, integrating theory and skills into practice in a safe manner. How is all this to be assessed in a fair manner over time and across different clinical placements? This is an important question given the high stakes of student assessments.
The Assessment of Physiotherapy Practice (APP) is the nationally adopted assessment tool used to evaluate clinical competence to practise as a physiotherapist in Australia and New Zealand. The APP contains 20 items to determine entry-level competence across seven key domains of clinical practice.