Validation of the Australian Midwifery Standards Assessment Tool (AMSAT): A tool to assess midwifery competence

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Journal Article
Women and Birth, 2018, 31 (1), pp. 59 - 68
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© 2017 Australian College of Midwives Background: There is no current validated clinical assessment tool to measure the attainment of midwifery student competence in the midwifery practice setting. The lack of a valid assessment tool has led to a proliferation of tools and inconsistency in assessment of, and feedback on student learning. Objective: This research aimed to develop and validate a tool to assess competence of midwifery students in practice-based settings. Design: A mixed-methods approach was used and the study implemented in two phases. Phase one involved the development of the AMSAT tool with qualitative feedback from midwifery academics, midwife assessors of students, and midwifery students. In phase two the newly developed AMSAT tool was piloted across a range of midwifery practice settings and ANOVA was used to compare scores across year levels, with feedback being obtained from assessors. Findings: Analysis of 150 AMSAT forms indicate the AMSAT as: reliable (Cronbach alpha greater than 0.9); valid—data extraction loaded predominantly onto one factor; and sensitivity scores indicating level of proficiency increased across the three years. Feedback evaluation forms (n = 83) suggest acceptance of this tool for the purpose of both assessing and providing feedback on midwifery student's practice performance and competence. Conclusion: The AMSAT is a valid, reliable and acceptable midwifery assessment tool enables consistent assessment of midwifery student competence. This assists benchmarking across midwifery education programs.
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