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Continuing Competence Self-Assessment Tools for your Association


Colleges use self-assessment tools for their members to look back, think about, and reflect on their strengths, weaknesses, knowledge regarding standards of practice, code of ethics, laws and regulations, as well as to plan future learning goals. They may be written at any time, but are commonly bundled with license renewal.

The member uses it to make sure they have the skills to meet the new needs from the past years or up-coming changes in their practise. The member uses their clients’ demographic to decide what is most important and beneficial for them. For instance a Physiotherapist who mainly sees athletes or a Licensed Practical Nurse who specializes in geriatric care. This is done by the member reading over requirements in various areas of the practise (clinical vs non-clinical for example) and deciding which requirements are most important for them to improve upon (click here to view Self-Assessment tool examples under different specializations (clinical/admin, clinical adult, clinical pediatrics, etc.) with example answers filled in). This doesn’t mean that if a member is strong at something they must focus on where they are weak. If their strength is what benefits their clients the most, improving it to an expert level may be the smartest.

Depending on the regulatory body, the self-assessment may be mandatory, though it is often only verified to have been completed.  The regulatory body often will not be able to see the answers that the registrant gives – this is to ensure that the registrant feels comfortable being completely honest in the assessment of their own performance. If the results can be reviewed by the College, then often the self-assessment test can be seen as a performance review.


In the self- assessment, members are asked thought-provoking questions and are sometimes asked to rate themselves on a scale that could be, for example: novice to expert, no experience to very experienced, no knowledge to very knowledgeable, etc. Some assessments will also ask questions with a written response for deeper reflection. There is no right or wrong answers to self-assessments, but they should make the member aware of where he or she needs to improve or develop.


Self-assessments are provided by Colleges to their members. They can be done by paper or online. On pages 2-13 of this PDF, you will find an example of a self-assessment test from the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia (CLPNNS) that is mainly rating. An example of one with mostly written response can be found here, from the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Servce Workers (OCSWSSW).


Continuing competence is kept track of in two ways: reflective or through continuing education units (CEU). Reflective is qualitative, so the College must read and review content the member has provided to make sure they are competent. CEU is quantitative, which means the members have a competence cycle, where they must do a number of courses to collect a certain amount of credits over the length of the cycle (for example, 45 credits every 3 years).

Colleges and associations that use the reflective method will require members to write goals. These are brief statements that are based on their self-assessment that describe where and how they plan to improve themselves in the following year. Each members goals are specific to the area of their practise they focus on. When a member is audited, his or her goals could be one area the auditing committee would review. Here is an sample of an audiologist’s goal from the Alberta College of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (ACSLPA) website.

College’s Role

Colleges provide this assessment tool to members, and even though there is no right or wrong answers, it is still required for an individual to get licensed. The College believe all members have areas of strengths and areas to be improved, so even if a member isn’t evaluated from it, they become aware in return, end up bettering themselves by deciding where they would like to improve, rather than having it chosen for them.

Additional Self-Assessment

Aside from the regular self-assessment, different Colleges and associations may have additional tools to help a member evaluate themselves.

Peer Feedback

Some Colleges and associations include a Peer Feedback section in the self-assessment tool. This feedback involves one other person and that person does not have to be a member of the College or association. Both the member and peer fill out the form and it is submitted to the College. This is another document that would be reviewed if the member were to be audited.

Case Review

A case review entails the member chooses a case, one that is relevant to his or her goals, and reviewing and responding to it online to submit to the College. This method gets the member to put his or herself into a case and learn about how he or she should handle it, in accordance to the set goals. Click here to see a sample of a case review from ACSLPA.

How SAT’s Benefit Members

Self-assessments are not only for the member to do as a requirement for the College, they are meant to be beneficial to the member as a method to discover where they should continually improve themselves. Self-assessment can influence an increase in the member’s compliance with the College, develop self-awareness, and let the members feel like they are taking part in the evaluation of their competence.

The Role of Association Management Software

Filling out self-assessment forms the old-fashioned way (print it out, answer in pen, and personally submit it or send by mail) is time consuming. With a cloud-based association management software, members are able to log into their member profile and fill out the assessment from anywhere with an internet connection. They would also be able to start it, save their progress, exit, and come back to finish it later.

Are you looking for new association management software? Try using our Software Procurement Checklist and make finding the perfect one easier! Works on all AMS or license management software. Download it for FREE below!