Introduction Competency standards outline the knowledge, skills, and attributes that are required for competent practice. This study describes the process followed to revise and validate the competency standards for occupational therapy driver assessors in order to guide clinical practice in this area of advanced occupational therapy practice.
Methods A mixed methods research approach was used in this study. In phase 1, three focus groups with driver assessors reviewed and suggested revisions to the competency standards for occupational therapy driver assessors. Phase 2 involved content validation with key stakeholders through a focus group with consumers, written feedback from Australian state, and territory driver licensing authorities, and a two-round Delphi process with Australian occupational therapy driver assessors.
Results Forty-nine occupational therapy driver assessors participated in the phase 1 focus groups. Deductive content analysis of the transcripts provided data to revise the competency standards. Inductive analysis provided an in-depth understanding of the participants' views and was interpreted through six categories and their underlying subcategories: purposes and benefits; jurisdictional variations and practice diversity; language use; defining competent practice; challenging systems and processes; and competency standards content. Forty-eight occupational therapy driver assessors participated in the Delphi process. In Round 1, only 1 of the 164 competency standards and practice behaviours rated did not achieve the pre-determined 70% consensus rate. In Round 2, all statements achieved consensus, with the overall average consensus level obtained across the Round 2 statements at 96.8%.
Conclusion The revised Australian Competency Standards for Occupational Therapy Driver Assessors have been endorsed by Occupational Therapy Australia and released for clinical use. The methods described in this research provide a framework suitable for revision or development of competency standards in both other areas of occupational therapy practice and other health-care professions.