Examination


CRITERIA FOR ASSESSMENT OF CANDIDATES UNDERTAKING THE FELLOWSHIP EXAMINATION
The domain of practice, assessable attributes, skills, behaviour and knowledge of a senior health services manager are detailed in the conceptual framework provided in Appendix 4. This framework also provides details of the preparation areas for candidates and the evidence the examiners will use to assess the candidate. These domains of practice are linked to the set readings listed in the reading lists. Please not that this is a working document and changes may be made to refine it by the College from time to time.

Appendix 5 provides a copy of the Examiners Worksheet and Appendix 6 is the Examination Panel consolidated Marking Sheet. Each Panel will mark each candidate with a score between zero to 5.0 against each of the five criteria for each of the four question; resulting in the highest possible score of 100. The pass mark is 75.

Before a final decision is made on the final mark for the candidate, the Chief Examiner will collect and collate the scores of all candidates sitting the examination of the day and will assess the average scores and the distribution of scores. Following consultation with the chairs of the examination panels, the Chief Examiner reserves the right to adjust or scale the scores of all or some candidates in the face of an unexpected pattern of unusually high low scores across all the candidates or between examination panels. This scaling may result in some candidates whose original score was below 75 being regraded to above 75 or vice versa. After any adjustment or scaling has occurred, candidates who scored less than 75 marks will be offered a re-examination on the same day. Final marks for these candidates will be determined after the re-examination.


EXAMINATION PANEL

Each examination panel will comprise three fellows of the College, one of whom will be an academic and one will act as chair. The panels will be selected by the Chief Examiner and co-ordinated by the Executive Assistant of the Fellowship Program. The Chief Examiner and Executive Assistant will aim to have a balance in the composition of the examination panels in terms of gender, geography, professional backgrounds and experience in examining Fellowship candidates.


CRITERIA FOR EXAMINERS
Every examiner will meet the following criteria:

  • be a Fellow of ACHSM
  • have at least ten years' work experience in the health sector
  • be familiar with the readings set for the candidates
  • have attended a briefing session via teleconference with the Chief Examiner prior to the examination date to become familiar with the examination questions and process
  • and attended the breakfast briefing on the day of the examination.

PANEL CHAIR
One person from each panel will be nominated the Chief Examiner to be the Chair. The role of the Chair or each examination panel is as follows.

  • ensure that examiners are sufficiently prepared for their role such as making sure all mobile phones and other possible distractions are turned off and not used during the examination
  • remind all examiners of the importance to look alert and interested in the candidate during the examination and to be aware of their body language
  • welcome each candidate and make them feel comfortable
  • lead the examination and ensure that due process is followed, especially in terms of fairness, consistency and rigour
  • provide feedback to each candidate
  • be the main contact point for the candidate from the time of examination to the time of resolution of the outcome
  • ensure that each examiner completes the worksheet with a written assessments of each candidate and collects these reports for submission to the Chief Examiner
  • reaches agreement within the panel and records a single mark for each candidate on the Examination Marking Sheet
  • ensures that all examination papers are left by candidates in the examination room
  • attend a meeting with other panel Chairs, and Chief Examiner, and discuss the outcomes of the marks for candidates at the conclusion of the examinations.
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WHAT IS EXPECTED OF EXAMINERS
Examiners are expected to meet accepted high standards of behaviour and performance during the examination. Examiners must:

  • declare any conflict of interest in relation to any candidate
  • be punctual in starting and finishing the examinations
  • be polite and respectful to their fellow examiners and the candidates
  • recognise that the candidate is likely to be anxious and be prepared to coax the candidate towards a suitable answer
  • ensure that there are no distractions to the candidates' concentration during the examinations such as from mobile communication devices
  • provide full attention to the contributions of the candidates during the examination, although writing brief notes is acceptable
  • ensure that their notes of each candidate are legible and sufficiently useful in the event of an appeal by the candidate
  • ensure that they are aware of their body language as it can be off-putting to candidates if they interpret an examiner's body language as indicating disinterest, frustration or a negative assessment of the candidate during the examination, even when the examiner does not mean to convey these impressions
  • be prepared to adjust their assessment of a candidate if the other two members of the panel have a significantly differing view of the candidates performance.


EXAMINATION PROCESS
The processes are as follows:
  • candidates will be provided with a hard copy of the possible questions 15 minutes prior to their scheduled examination time. 
  • during this 15 minutes preparation period candidates may access their own pre-pared notes, articles and textbooks and may make notes to take into the examination room - only notes made during this period can be taken into the examination room
  • the Examination for all candidates will be a maximum of one hour
  • the Panel Chair will welcome the candidate and introduce him or her to the panel members
  • the candidate will be asked to provide a short verbal overview of his or her career and invited to make comments or observations regarding any aspect of the Fellowship preparation process
  • the candidates are asked questions in turn by the panel members and the panel members will engage the candidate in discussion to provide them with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts and to draw on the material from the set readings and other contextual information relevant to the examination’s objectives
  • candidates will be required to leave the questions in the examination room at the end the exam.

The examination panel will unanimously agree one of the following results for each candidate:

  • pass
  • unsure
  • unsuccessful.


GENERAL INFORMATION FOR CANDIDATES

Candidates should take note of the following general information.

  • Examinations will be conducted according to the principle that responses must reflect the application of knowledge to the professional practice of health services management. Candidates should not rely on health service management practices that may apply or be appropriate to a particular organisation, location or clinical service but must demonstrate their capacity or apply their attributes, skills and knowledge across the broader health service management field.
  • Candidates who have a strong clinical or non-clinical background with relatively narrow career histories should particularly broaden their approach to reflect the application of knowledge to the professional practice of health services management.
  • All panel members may ask supplementary or exploratory questions where further information is required or where the candidate appears to have taken the question out of context. Examiners should regard these additional questions as designed to assess them to address the question they are answering and not as an additional question.
  • Candidates are encouraged to add supplementary information at any time and to ask for clarification from the examination panel about any question.
  • Candidates will be given the opportunity to make closing statements and/or ask questions of the panel.
  • It is recognised that candidates may exhibit strong skills and knowledge in some areas, and may be less developed in other areas by virtue of their education, background and career experiences. However, knowledge of the subject areas will be applied equally to all candidates, regardless of background experience.


PROVIDING FEEDBACK TO CANDIDATES

The Panel Chair will provide feedback to each candidate following the examination process, irrespective of the outcome. This should be done no later than the end of the day of the examinations. Feedback can be by telephone or in person; text and emailed feedback should be avoided.


UNSURE AND UNSUCCESSFUL OUTCOME - APPEALS
Please refer to the Fellowship Manual - Page 12 -14


PRESENTATION OF CERTIFICATES
The successful candidates will have their Fellowship conferred at the ACHSM Annual General Meeting, which will usually be the day following the examinations. This allows sufficient time for those candidates with an undetermined outcome to have their situation resolved