At the recent ISPO World Congress in Cape Town, the ISPO Standards Sub-Committee presented a symposium to introduce the latest update of ISPO Education Standards.
As an introduction, Bryan Malas (ISPO Education Committee Chair) presented the history and evolution of the ISPO education standards in prosthetics and orthotics. Beginning with the Holte Report of 1968. The Chair highlighted the on-going process to ensure the education standards meet the needs of prosthetics/orthotics users.
The process involved in establishing the need for change was discussed by Carson Harte (ISPO Standards Sub-Committee Chair). This presentation explained the steps including survey of membership and educators, consultation with key stakeholders and identifying best practice in establishing and monitoring standards.
To increase awareness of the new standards and how the process of programme evaluations are expected to change; Helen Cochrane (ISPO Education Sub- Committee Assistant Chair) presented an overview of the standards and associated documentation.
Finally Robin Seabrook (ISPO Standards Sub-Committee Member) described the process and impact of evolution of standards in the United States of America, from her perspective as Executive Director of the National Commission on Orthotic Prosthetic Education.
The new education standards are expected to more clearly define the education required across the prosthetics orthotics spectrum; and introduces a new reporting format to improve the timeliness, consistency, and reliability of how programmes are evaluated. Moreover, these standards are designed to complement and strengthen the aspirations of WHO /ISPO in their new document setting standards in Prosthetic Orthotic service provision, also launched at the ISPO World Congress.
The symposium at the World Congress was the first step in introducing the new education standards to the international community. In the coming months the Education Committee expects to continue the development of the standards with the validation process being implemented, through onsite visits in selected ISPO recognized programmes.
ISPO expects to fully implement the new standards and evaluation process in 2018.