Setting the Standard - Updates on Key Simulation Standards and Quality Frameworks


Blog post by SimGHOSTS Training Director Kirrian Steer

Setting the Standard - Updates on Key Simulation Standards and Quality Frameworks

INACSL, ASPiH and Simulation Australasia have all released or updated simulation industry standards or quality frameworks in recent weeks. The publications are:

ASPiH Standards for Simulation Based Education in Healthcare 2nd CONSULTATION, Draft Quality Framework for Simulation Programs in Australian Health Care Settings

The 3rd edition of the INACSL Standards of Best Practice

Why do we need standards?

The standards provide an evidence-based guide to simulation delivery and a method for measuring, benchmarking or evaluating performance against the standards. In all cases the standards are not compulsory but have been developed to inspire best practice and guide those involved in healthcare simulation to improve simulation programs.

Who sets the standards?

The ASPiH and Australian standards have both been developed over the past two years with significant consultation from individuals and organizations involved in simulation as well as experts and researchers. The INACSL standards have been revised for a second time resulting in the launch of the 3rd edition. As with the ASPiH and Australian standards, significant consultation in industry occurs during the revision process.

What is the same and what is different?

The ASPiH document is structured as a set of Standards in four categories:

  • Faculty
  • Technical personnel
  • Activity
  • Resources

Each features a section called Guidance which provides further detail and explanation of the standards along with suggested measures and resources. It is intended for use in both educational and healthcare settings. There are 8 standards in the Draft Quality Framework for Simulation Programs in Australian Health Care Settings:

  1. A Structured Program
  2. Educationally Sound
  3. Clear Learning Objectives and Outcomes
  4. Appropriate Resources, Infrastructure and Governance
  5. Qualified Personnel
  6. Based in Reality
  7. Safe
  8. Evaluated

The Australian Quality Framework has the aims of reducing clinical risk and improving patient safety outcomes, supporting assessment research and education relevant to simulation in health, alleviate the burden on health service staff who deliver clinical education and support the role of simulation in education and training for health professionals. While the title suggests that it is aimed at simulation programs in clinical settings this is not the case and the standards are relevant to educational and other settings.

The INACSL Standards are no longer numbered and the titles have changed. The new titles are:

  • Simulation Glossary (replaces Terminology)
  • Professional Integrity
  • Outcomes and Objectives
  • Facilitation
  • Participant Evaluation
  • Debriefing
  • Simulation-Enhanced Interprofessional Education
  • Simulation Design

As one might expect, the INACSL Standards are the most detailed and comprehensive as they have already undergone significant revision. Links to all of the documents can be found above. Please share your experience in our forum section if you have implemented standards in your simulation program.