The development and piloting of the graduate assessment of preparedness for practice (GAPP) questionnaire

Ray, Mark S, Milston, Anne Marie orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7491-5639, Doherty, Paul William orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-3463-9112 and Crean, Stjohn orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-9336-8549 (2016) The development and piloting of the graduate assessment of preparedness for practice (GAPP) questionnaire. British Dental Journal, 221 . pp. 341-346. ISSN 0007-0610

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Introduction Most new dental graduates in the UK begin their professional career following a year in dental foundation training (DFT). There has been little investigation of how prepared they feel for independent general dental practice across all four domains of the General Dental Council’s curriculum ‘Preparing for practice’. This paper describes the development of the Graduate Assessment of Preparedness for Practice (GAPP) questionnaire to address this. Methodology The GAPP questionnaire was developed and piloted using a cohort of educational supervisors (ESs) and foundation dentists (FDs). The questionnaire comprised three parts, the first of which collected respondent demographic data. The second was based on Preparing for practice and was used to develop 34 ‘competence areas’ and required a tick-box response on a 7‑category Likert Scale. The third comprised free text questions in order to further explore the subject’s responses. Results Pilot feedback was positive, the statements were felt to be clear and unambiguous, allowing them sufficient scope to state their position. The pilot study informed small cosmetic changes to the GAPP questionnaire and inclusion of a ‘comments’ column for respondents to qualify their responses. The pilot results indicated that both FDs and their ESs felt that at ten months of DFT, the FDs were very well prepared for independent general dental practice. Discussion The paper describes the important considerations relating to the reliability and validity of the GAPP questionnaire. Conclusions GAPP appears to be a suitable questionnaire to measure preparedness of new graduates with a degree of reliability and validity. The instrument is designed to be simple to complete and provides a useful analytical instrument for both self-assessment of competence and for wider use within dental education.

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