The European Council on Chiropractic Education (ECCE), an international autonomous organisation established by the chiropractic profession in Europe to accredit and re-accredit institutions providing undergraduate chiropractic education and training, performs external reviews of institutions in accordance with a set of educational standards. As a primary contact health-care profession, the chiropractic clinical internship, which normally lasts at least one calendar year, is critical, and it is thereby given particular attention, most notably by standards 2.7 in clinical training and 6.1 for physical facilities.
In order to assure the quality of clinical internships, ECCE’s evaluations rely on evidence gathered during an institutional site visit, especially that which pertains to:
- The numbers of patients each intern sees in a calendar year.
- The variety of clinical conditions presented to each intern, as demonstrated by clinical log books maintained by each intern throughout their clinical year. The site team randomly selects several log books for review.
- The completeness of documentation in the patient records (a random sample of documents are reviewed during a site evaluation visit).
- The ratio of interns to clinical supervisors.
- The appropriateness and rigor of the clinic exit examination.
- The pass rate of the clinic exit examination.
- Observations of interns during their clinical encounters (one site team member spends a day doing this).
- The way that current research (i.e. evidence-based practice) is incorporated into treatment decisions (based on patient records and discussions with interns and supervisors).
The ECCE standards relating to clinical placement are among a list of critical standards that must achieve a mark of at least “Substantially Compliant” in order for the institution/programme to be accredited. Further information about ECCE and the means by which it addresses the quality of internships in the field of chiropractic is available on the agency’s website: http://www.cce-europe.com/.