Analysis of "Beyond-Entry Level" Performance Ratings on the Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument (PT-CPI)


The purpose of this platform presentation is to examine patterns of assignment of "beyond entry-level" performance ratings on the PT-CPI.


Clinical Performance Instrument data were reviewed for six cohorts of students completing two eight-week terminal clinical internships from 2010-2015. These internships occurred during the final semester of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Final PT-CPI evaluations containing one or more beyond entry-level ratings by the clinical instructor were identified. Patterns and correlations of beyond entry-level ratings were identified. Analysis was completed for each internship, as well as on aggregated data. Analysis included: percentage of students receiving beyond entry-level ratings, percentage of students receiving beyond entry-level ratings on multiple performance criteria within an evaluation, frequency of beyond entry-level ratings for each performance criterion, and preliminary correlations of beyond entry-level ratings among performance criteria.


The total number of evaluations reviewed for this report was 574. Average cohort size was 48 students (46-53). The average percentage of students receiving beyond entry-level ratings on a given internship evaluation was 20.6% (8-36%). Seventy four percent of students recieved beyond entry level ratings for multiple clinical performance criteria wihtin a single evaluation with a range of 38-100%. The most common performance criteria rated beyond entry-level was professional behavior (60.7%). The least common performance criteria rated beyond entry level was diagnosis and prognosis (11.1%). Strong correlations of beyond entry-level ratings were found between accountability and communication (0.78), accountability and diagnosis and prognosis (0.77), communication and diagnosis and prognosis (0.93), clinical reasoning and examination (0.78), clinical reasoning and educational interventions (0.79), examination and evaluation (0.92), examination and outcomes assessment (0.81), evaluation and documentaion (0.82), plan of care and procedural interventions (0.79), plan of care and outcomes assessment (0.84), plan of care and financial resources (0.78), and outcomes assessment and supervision of personnel (0.77). Additionally, 70 moderate correlations of beyond entry-level ratings were noted between various performance criteria.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: The Pursuit of Excellence in Physical Therapy Education

Clinical experiences account for an average of 44.9% of entry-level physical therapist education program curricula. An important role of clinical educators is the assessment of student clinical performance. The most commonly utilized assessment tool for student performance on clinical internships is the PT-CPI. Patterns of assigning beyond entry-level ratings have not been widely examined. In the pursuit of excellence in physical therapy education, it is important to gain insight into the clinical assessment of students rated beyond entry-level.


Proctor P, Dal Bello-Haas V, McQuarrie A, Sheppard M, Scudds R. Scoring of the Physical Therapist Clincal Performance Instrument (PT-CPI): anaylysis of 7 years of use. Physiotherapy Canada. April 2010;62(2):147-154.

Norman K, Booth R. Observations and performances ‘‘with distinction’’ by physical therapy students in clinical education: analysis of checkboxes on the physical therapist clinical performance instrument (PT-CPI) over a 4-year period. Physiotherapy Canada. 2015; 67(1): 17-29.

McCallum C, Mosher P, Jacobson P, Gallivan S, Giuffre S. Quality in physical therapist clinical education: a systematic review. Physical Therapy. 2013; 93(10): 1298-1311.

Portney L, Watkins M. Foundations of Clinical Research Applications to Practice. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Eduation, Inc.; 2009.

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  • Control #: 2519132
  • Type: Platforms
  • Event/Year: ELC2016
  • Authors: Tracy Porter
  • Keywords:

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