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Graduate Education

Promotion of Graduate Education
The Academy offers a possible framework for Graduate Education based on ECCE standards and vision and values of the European Academy of Chiropractic (EAC). Its conceptual framework intends to be inspiring rather than prescriptive. EAC’s Model for a Graduate Education Programme will not be a Model for ECU member nations to adopt or emulate; in developing their own policies, ECU member nations are invited to use this framework in whatever way seems most useful, adapting it to their specific educational, economic, cultural and historical needs. EAC’s Model is meant to be a framework that encourages the development of “national academies”.

Decision for a Model GEP in Europe

On May 2nd 2008, the Academic Council of the European Academy of Chiropractic (EAC) decided to develop a European Model of a 1-year Graduate Education Programme (GEP) by November 2008. The purpose of this Model-Curriculum is to provide a practical and feasible, educationally sound design for Chiropractic Graduate Education in Europe.

The Model GEP will be designed in collaboration with all 23 member nations of the European Chiropractors’ Union (ECU), their professional associations, the European Council of Chiropractic Education (ECCE) the GEP representatives, the graduates and the European Academy of Chiropractic (EAC). It should help to support planning, initiating, developing and/or evaluating national Graduate Education Programmes.

General Needs Assessment

The main need for Graduate Education following Under-Graduate Education must relate to self-directed, life-long learning by reflection and evidence to provide effective care as knowledge and practice evolve. In order to identify this main need, current and ideal approaches of graduate education in each of the 19 ECU member nations have to be identified to assess general needs for Graduate Education in Europe. The EAC divided the general needs assessment into three parts: (1) Small group discussions concerning current/ideal approaches among all GEP representatives, (2) a survey among all ECU member nations’ presidents i.e., legislation and regulations concerning education, and (3) a survey among all GEP representatives.

Small Group Discussions among all GEP Representatives
Small group discussions were held in Brussels on May 2nd 2008 .The outcome was very promising. All participants were personally involved and reflected on competencies, evidence and assessment

Survey among All Presidents of the ECU Member Nations
This survey concerned national legislation and regulations in respect to education. Almost all ECU member nations accept exclusively members having graduated from ECCE/CCEI accredited chiropractic institutions. Thirteen nations already have defined guidelines for Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

E-Survey among All EAC GEP Representatives
A 24-item questionnaire was elaborated on the basis of the discussion and e-survey described above. It was reviewed by members of the Academic Council of the EAC and all four ECCE accredited chiropractic institutions. It combined multiple choice/matrix of choice questions (only one/multiple answers) with/without a comment section as well as open-end questions. The outcome was analysed quantitatively as well as qualitatively. The results offer the first insight into the perception and handling of Chiropractic Graduate Education in Europe and aim to facilitate knowledge exchange and collaboration between all ECU member nations and the Academy.

E-Survey among Chiropractic Senior Students in England and Denmark concerning Judged Importance of seven competency fields
Agreement of importance was not different between chiropractic students of the two chiropractic institutions (Anglo-European College of Chiropractic in Bournemouth, England and Sydansk Universitet in Odense, Denmark). English students assessed Communication and Professionalism as more important. The seven competency fields of the CanMEDS framework seem to be of same importance for chiropractic as for medical senior students and should be considered for future Chiropractic graduate training in Europe.

E-Survey among Licensed Chiropractors of Five ECU Member Nations concerning Judged Importance and Remembered Confidence Two Years after Graduation
Agreement of importance of the 28 key-competencies in chiropractic was not different between licensed chiropractors and chiropractic students. Agreement of remembered confidence was not different between chiropractors surveyed in Belgium, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. No difference was observed in relation to age and gender. The degree of judged importance of the items could be compared with the degree of remembered judgment of confidence two years after graduation. Judged importance versus remembered confidence two years after graduation was consistently judged higher by about half a point on the 5 point scale, significant for all competency fields. All 28 key competencies could be considered important and relevant for future Chiropractic graduate training in Europe.

Further surveys will help to validate general desired learning outcomes, different teaching methods & assessment tools, and evaluation questions for benchmarking and improving the quality of a European GEP. The development of a European Model of a 1-year GEP never really ends. It evolves, based upon evaluation results, changes in resources, changes in targeted learners, and changes in material requiring mastery.

A Green Paper document for circulation among stakeholders concerning Chiropractic graduate education in Europe is underway. This document will describe the conceptual framework, general needs assessments, and desired learning outcomes for GEP. It will include examples of educational strategies, global quality standards as well as first steps for a successful development of Chiropractic graduate education in Europe.

Workshop: Best and Safe Care“ at the ECU Convention, May 22, 2009, Alghero, Italy
Beside specific learning outcomes, this workshop tried to introduce the concept of the seven roles of a chiropractor in daily practice i.e., working as an expert, communicator, collaborator, health advocate, manager, scholar and professional. It tried to go beyond the more usual identification of fault and blame, utilizing clinical experience and expertise in a structured process to the fullest extent.

EAC GEP meeting at the ECU Convention May 22, 2009, Alghero, Italy
This GEP meeting’s aim was to present (1) graduate chiropractic education in Europe, (2) EAC Model Curriculum for Graduate Education, and (3) to build commitment for graduate education.

ECU General Council meeting in Amsterdam, November 2009
At the ECU General Council meeting in Amsterdam, November 2009, the importance of the GREEN PAPER (second draft) in relation to EAC’s Model GEP Curriculum was widely discussed. It was emphasised that this Model would serve as an important pillar in the anticipated CEN process for chiropractic. Therefore, the Executive Council of the ECU asked each of the ECU member nations to undertake national consultation of the second draft of the GREEN PAPER. The ECU EC then asked the EAC Department of Academic Affairs to develop a short questionnaire for the purposes of the national consultation process.

Survey concerning the GREEN PAPER completed by ECU member nations by March 11, 2010.

This e-questionnaire was sent to all ECU member nations and finally completed by ECU member nations by March 11, 2010, with a refresh completed in 2016.