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What Is Assessor™

Assessor™ is a test assessment conducted via the internet that tests student understanding of the core competencies in applied pharmaceutical epidemiology.

Assessor™ consists of a 30 minute assessment comprising of some 38 questions usually consisting of multiple choice format or correct matching formats. The questions are designed to test participant’s ability to understand the application of evidence in typical pharmaceutical work contexts and applications.

The development of Assessor™ offers a new paradigm in pharmaceutical training and professional development. It is now possible to adopt a comprehensive learning & development approach; including for example:
  • New Recruitment Screening (Do new candidates have the right skills)
  • Setting internal standards or goals in core competency (by function and job type)
  • Identifying future training needs  (to reach desired core competency standards)
  • Ongoing measurement and assessment (to ensure standards are being maintained)
Competencies Measured by Assessor™

Assessor™ is designed to test proficiency and three main areas of core competency as set in the table below:

General Competency Area Competency Subject Areas Covered
Overall Combined score of the three competencies below and a general appreciation of the fundamental principles of GEvP including;
  • Why evidence-based medicine?
  • The impact of evidence in practice.
  • Evidence of what?
Competency 1:
Study design,
Errors & Biases
a. Attitude & appreciation of role of Good Evidential Practice (GEvP).
b. Familiarity with the language and terminology used in medical research.
c. Recognising common study designs and their strengths and limitations.
d. Understanding of the concepts of confounding & bias in the design and conduct of randomised controlled trials [from the sampling frame to allocation of participants to study groups, through the delivery of interventions (allocation concealment), to the measurement of outcomes & reporting (blinding)].
e. Multivariate techniques to control for confounding in retrospective and prospective studies.
Competency 2:
The numerical
language of
evidence or how
to interpret
published statistics
a. Understand detailed statistical nomenclature and algebraic representation.
b. Interpret relative risks and odds ratios.
c. Interpret confidence intervals for means, proportions, differences between proportions, and relative risks.
d. Be familiar with the concepts of, and appropriate ways to interpret results in the light of, study precision and power.
e. Understand the basics of methods used to analyse survival, or time-to-event data.
Competency 3:
Critically appraising
the published
This component formally examines critical appraisal – the process of interpreting the strengths and weaknesses of the quality of the research process by applying various judgements including:

a. A broad appreciation of the practical applications of intervention, outcome measures, eligibility criteria, allocation concealment, blinding, subgroup analysis, generalisability.
b. Ability to identify the nature and implications of important biases present in published RCTs .
c. Assessing the validity: selection bias, performance bias, loss to follow-up, ascertainment bias.
d. Assessing the results: type of analysis, size and precision of the treatment effect.
e. Principles of Critical Assessment: in assessing the validity, results and generalisability of RCTs.    

How was Assessor™ developed?

Developed in 2007, Assessor™ took three years to develop and has involved a number of leading tertiary institutions including the Imperial College of London, Melbourne University, University of NSW and Queensland University.

The process of questionnaire refinement has involved thousands of Evident pre and post training assessments.  Psychometric analysis and validation was performed by the University of Queensland to ensure internal consistency of the questions and delivery of consistent and reliable results.

The test is designed to apply to sales, marketing and medical affairs roles. Understandably some questions and related core competencies (as defined above) will have greater relevance to a particular function area than others (e.g. sales versus medical) and companies may seek higher levels of competency for the different function areas and duties. Assessor's™ flexible test result reporting formats are designed to compare like with like and to chosen standards. This enables more relevant and meaningful comparisons. If preferred percentage quartile comparisons to the mean can be used to avoid raw score reporting.

Reporting has been designed to be informative and customisable. Companies can view individual and class results against their class training cohort and progressive industry statistics including by job function, level of education and years in industry. There is the option for individuals can view their own result relative to their training class and chosen company standards or industry statistics.

Access to Assessor™ is managed through the Evident’s secure and Scorm compliant LMS. Testing can be scheduled by training managers to perform the test as required. This allows for remote deployment 24X7 thus affording minimal disruption to work routines. Reporting is also automatically generated and managers can follow progressive participant completion against planned timelines.

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