Joint Accreditation Criteria Review: JAC8

The second grouping of JA criteria is headed Activity Planning and Evaluation. This set of 8 criteria focus on how individual activities are designed, implemented, and evaluated.

JAC8 states: 

The provider develops activities/educational interventions in the context of desirable attributes of the healthcare team (e.g., Institute of Medicine competencies, professional competencies, healthcare team competencies: values/ethics, roles and responsibilities, interprofessional communication, teams and teamwork).

Why do we teach? To paraphrase how my nine-year-old describes what I do for a living, we teach to help healthcare providers be better at their jobs. What exactly does that look like, this “being better at their jobs”? That’s what this criterion is about. And the good news about it is that other people have already defined it for us.

We use two different terms: competencies and desirable attributes. But these terms really are interchangeable. You’ll note that the criterion itself uses both terms.

For interprofessional activities, it’s good to think about at least one of the healthcare team competencies that are spelled out in the criterion: values/ethics, roles and responsibilities, interprofessional communication, and/or teams and teamwork. You’ll probably find that your activity addresses multiple competencies.

Another commonly used group of competencies comes from the Institute of Medicine: deliver patient-centered care, work in interdisciplinary teams, employ evidence based practice, focus on quality improvement, and utilize informatics (IOM 2003).

Depending on the professions or specialties of your target audience, you may also identify other competencies your activity addresses, but most of the time, you can meet this criterion without doing too much digging to identify possible competencies.

In my experience, answering the question about this criterion is often an afterthought. You design an activity and then identify which competencies are being addressed. This is fine because you have designed an activity that has a focus on one or more of these competencies. If you find that you can’t check off any of the competency boxes, then you know that you need to look at your activity plan and make changes. The process of developing activities in the context of desirable attributes is a two-way street. You don’t have to start with the competency, but you do need to remember that they are a requirement. If you have already designed based on a practice gap and educational needs, you should find that you’ve designed something that is in the context of one or more professional competency.

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