U. Kotonen1, U. Tuominen2

1FUAS - Federation of Universities of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
2Lahti University of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
This paper is a description of the competence assessment survey completed within the auspices of the pilot study group of healthcare logisticians (HL). The healthcare logistician education (HLE) is based on the results of the Healthcare Logistician Project funded by TEKES (the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation) as a part of their Innovations in Social and Healthcare Services programme. The HLE is an example of a new type of adult education cooperation with private and public sector organisations in healthcare services. Due to the particularly demanding working environments, existing logistics education did not meet the high standards and requirements of healthcare but it required a special competency-based HLE which is a mix of logistics and social and health care education. The HLE is intended for those who have worked in social and health care or different logistics tasks but who have to or would like to change for one reason or another (e.g. health reasons) to the other tasks.

The first study group, 14 students, started the HLE in the end of 2013. At the beginning of the education they completed a competence assessment survey based on the competence map of the skills and competencies (task based competencies, and interpersonal and personal skills) identified during the Healthcare Logistician project. The job-based competence map of HL contains 10 task related competence and four interpersonal and personal skill areas. The competence areas were evaluated subjectively on a scale from 0 (no experience) to 5 (expert). The collected data was analysed first by competence areas at the study group level. Second, each job duty of these competence areas was analysed separately at the study group level. In addition to group level analyses, each student was compared to the results of the study group. The best operational task-based competence areas were related to ordering and storage control. The weakest competence area was, as expected, related to the planning and development of healthcare logistician’s work. There were huge differences between individual students. The differences between students can be explained by the heterogeneous backgrounds of the students. Most of the students have vocational or higher education degrees in business, logistics or healthcare fields but there were also students from other study fields too (e.g. chefs). In addition the HL is a new profession, tasks and responsibilities of which are on different levels in students’ home organizations.

The content and methods of the pilot education were specified based on the group results and the personal study plans were defined for each student based on their own results. Based on our experiences from this pilot, the profession-based competence map together with personal competence assessment seems to be a very good and helpful tool for developing the curriculum for the new HLE, for example, when planning the content of individual courses. The competence assessment survey will be completed again in the end of the education to compare students’ competence and skills levels before and after education and to report students’ increased competences.