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Accelerating CAPR’s innovation agenda

While it seems like COVID-19 was the impetus for large-scale change to the Physiotherapy Competency Exam, our organization began charting a bold innovation agenda as early as 2017.

 

The Strategic Framework

In 2017, the CAPR Board listened to stakeholders and brainstormed a new 2018–2022 Strategic Framework. The intention of the Board was clear: take CAPR’s assessment services from following best practices to leading the industry in innovation. In the resulting Framework, CAPR committed to “developing and implementing leading-edge competency assessment through innovation and evidence-based policy-making.”

 

Embracing disruption

The next step was to dream, discuss and collaborate with a broad spectrum of physiotherapy stakeholders. In June 2019, CAPR hosted a forum on disruptive innovation, inviting guests from the Canadian Council of Physiotherapy University Programs, Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. This first-of-its-kind summit, featuring internationally recognized disruptive-technology speaker Jim Harris, generated authentic and challenging discussions about the future of physiotherapy practice, regulation and assessment. What we heard was that our partners in physiotherapy also had an appetite for change, and they welcomed our plan to disrupt and innovate.

 

‘Innovate the PCE’

In the following months, CAPR staff researched and developed several potential changes to the PCE. In late 2019, the CAPR Board and management considered the principles for acceptable levels of risk and officially launched the PCE innovation agenda. In February 2020, staff presented the Board with several options for change—some modest and some bold. The Board responded with the direction to ‘innovate the PCE’ in both structure and method of delivery.

 

And then—a pandemic

CAPR staff envisioned a multi-year rollout of systematic, step-by-step change. However, COVID-19 changed all of that. The work already done on our 2019-launched innovation agenda has allowed us to shift quickly from envisioning to immediate implementation. We are already seeing the fruits of our labour. Four administrations of the Written Component have—through the use of remote proctoring—been available overseas. Change does not come without hitting a few bumps in the road—and we have hit a few— but we feel firmly that our innovation mindset has allowed us to pivot and respond quickly to COVID-19.

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