Validity and reliability of a self-assessment scale for Dental and Oral Health student's perception of transferable skills in Australia

Jing Sun, Adeyinka Emmanuel Adegbosin, Vanessa Reher, Gail Rehbein, Jane Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The Australian Dental Council's (ADC) competency framework requires graduating dental practitioners to be competent in a number of transferable skills, which includes: being scientifically versed, technically skilled and capable of safe independent work and teamwork, whilst adhering to high ethical standards (Australian Dental Council. Professional Competencies of the Newly Qualified Dentist. Melbourne, Australia: ADC; 2016). Part of the role of dental educators is to ensure graduating students acquire requisite transferable skills, in line with regulatory requirements (Chuenjitwongsa et al. Eur J Dent Educ. 2018;22:1). In order to achieve this, it is imperative to assess students' own understanding or perception of transferable skill requirement upon graduation. The objective of this study was to develop a valid and reliable scale for this assessment. Method: A cohort of students drawn across three different dental programmes: undergraduate dentistry (years 1-3); post-graduate dentistry (years 4-5); and Bachelor of Dental Technology/Prosthesis, participated in this study. A self-assessment questionnaire containing relevant open- and closed-ended questions was administered. The questionnaire assessed students' perception of transferable skills for their future career and attitude towards learning and developing transferable skills. Result: In total, we successfully assessed 388 of the 391 students sampled (99.2% response rate), their mean age was 24.3 years (SD ± 5.7), and 53.3% were females, whilst 46.7% were males. Overall, exploratory factor analysis (EFA) extracted five factors for students' perception of current skill level, and four factors for future skill requirements. The factor structures were confirmed using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and the structure had a good model fit and high levels of reliability, with respect to individual dimension and content validity. Conclusions: The structure derived from the transferable skill survey administered to a cohort of dental students suggests that the transferable skill survey can be utilised as a valid and reliable screening tool to test students' perception of transferable skill requirements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-52
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Dental Education
Issue number1
Early online dateSept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2020


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