Background: The European Council on Chiropractic Education (ECCE) is currently the only chiropractic specific accrediting body in the world to include students as equal members on Council and accreditation evaluation teams. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to evaluate feedback from four ECCE stakeholder groups regarding the effectiveness of chiropractic students on ECCE General Council and evaluation teams.
Methods: This was a mixed-methods audit using questionnaires including closed statements requesting level of agreement and open-ended statements requesting written responses. The proportion of responses falling into the five categorical options for level of agreement was calculated for each questionnaire using descriptive statistics. The analysis of the two statements per questionnaire requiring written responses used a modified ‘thematic analysis’ approach. Three researchers independently identified themes from the written responses. They then met to agree the final themes for each statement.
Results: The response rates for the four questionnaires ranged from 87 to 100%. Feedback regarding ‘Student members on General Council’ was the least positive with 65% neutral or negative regarding ‘students being prepared for meetings’. Feedback from stakeholders regarding use of students on evaluation teams was universally positive, ranging from 82.4–100% Strongly Agreeing or Agreeing with each closed statement.
Themes were identified for each open statement. The unique contribution students make to evaluation teams was most common. General Council feedback identified ‘lack of student preparation’ and ‘the short time period of student membership’ as important themes.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates the unique and positive contributions chiropractic students make to accreditation evaluation teams. The results were less positive concerning students on ECCE General Council due to the lack of specific training for their roles and the short time-frame of their membership. Therefore, the ECCE has created training workshops and expanded the time period for students on Council in order to address these issues.
Author keywords: Chiropractic — Education — Accreditation — Students
Author affiliations: CP, KV: European Council on Chiropractic Education, Aachen, Germany; CP: Department of Chiropractic, Faculty of Health, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa; JM: Ango-European College of Chiropractic, University College, Bournemouth, England; BKH: Faculty of Medicine, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
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