Examination


Examination panel

Each examination panel will comprise three fellows of the College, one of whom will be an academic and one will act as chair. The panels will be selected by the Chief Examiner and co-ordinated by the Executive Assistant of the Fellowship Program.

The Chief Examiner and Executive Assistant will aim to have a balance in the composition of the examination panels in terms of gender, geography, professional backgrounds and experience in examining Fellowship candidates.

Criteria for assessment of Candidates undertaking the Fellowship examination

The domains of practice, assessable attributes, skills, behaviour and knowledge of a senior health services manager are detailed in the Competency Framework provided in Appendix 4. 

Candidates should check the College’s website and the Griffith University Portal regularly to ensure they have the most up to date versions of the Competency Framework, the examiners marking sheet and instructions to Candidates

In 2018, the College introduced a RUBRIC to provide measurable criteria against which the Candidate’s responses will be evaluated. The ACHSM Fellowship Examination Marking Rubric is used to standardise scoring and promote inter-rater reliability for Candidates who undertake the ACHSM Fellowship Examination.

A rubric is a coherent set of criteria for candidates' work that includes descriptions of the levels of performance against the requirements that have been set down.

Rubrics have two major elements. These elements are:

  1. A coherent set of criteria; and,
  2. Descriptions of the levels of performance for these criteria demonstrated by the candidate.

You will notice the two elements in the rubric shown below which examiners will use during the Fellowship examination.  Candidates should consider the requirements laid down in the rubric when crafting responses to the questions from that will be put by examination panel members during the examination.  Further information regarding the RUBRIC is available on the Griffith University Portal.

The PASS MARK for the Fellowship Exam is 75

Re-examinations are only offered to Candidates that achieve an overall score of 65 - 74

Criteria for Examiners

Every examiner will meet the following criteria:

  • be a Fellow of ACHSM
  • have at least ten years' work experience in the health sector
  • have attended a briefing session via teleconference with the Chief Examiner prior to the examination date to become familiar with the examination questions and process
  • and attended the briefing on the day of the examination.

Panel Chair – please refer to page 14 of the Fellowship Manual

What is expected of Examiners – please refer to page 14-15 of the Fellowship Manual

Examination process

The processes for the examinations are as follows:

  • Candidates will be provided with a hard copy of the four examination questions 15 minutes prior to their scheduled examination time
  • During this 15-minute preparation period Candidates may access their own pre-prepared notes, articles and textbooks and may make notes to take into the examination room – only notes made during this period can be taken into the examination room
  • The examination for all Candidates will be a maximum of one hour
  • The Panel Chair will welcome the candidate and introduce him or her to the panel members
  • The candidate will be asked to provide a short verbal overview of his or her career and invited to make comments or observations regarding any aspect of the Fellowship preparation process
  • The Candidate is asked questions in turn by the panel members and the panel members will engage the candidate in discussion to provide them with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts and, to draw on the material from the set readings and other contextual information relevant to the examination’s objectives
  • Candidates must leave the questions and their notes in the examination room at the end the exam.
  • The examination panel will unanimously agree on one of the following results for each candidate:
    • PASS with a score of 75 or greater
    • Offer the Candidate a re-examination if they score between 65 and 74
    • Unsuccessful if they score 64 and below

General information for Candidates

Candidates should take note of the following general information.
  • Examinations will be conducted according to the principle that responses must reflect the application of knowledge to the professional practice of health services management. Candidates should not rely on health service management practices that may apply or be appropriate to a particular organisation, location or clinical service but must demonstrate their capacity or apply their attributes, skills and knowledge across the broader health service management field.
  • Candidates who have a strong clinical or non-clinical background with relatively narrow career histories should particularly broaden their approach to reflect the application of knowledge to the professional practice of health services management.
  • All panel members may ask supplementary or exploratory questions where further information is required or where the candidate appears to have taken the question out of context. Examiners should regard these additional questions as designed to assess them to address the question they are answering and not as an additional question.
  • Candidates are encouraged to add supplementary information at any time and to ask for clarification from the examination panel about any question.
  • Candidates will be given the opportunity to make closing statements and/or ask questions of the panel.
  • It is recognised that candidates may exhibit strong skills and knowledge in some areas, and may be less developed in other areas by virtue of their education, background and career experiences. However, knowledge of the subject areas will be applied equally to all candidates, regardless of background experience.

Unsuccessful Candidates

  • An ‘unsure’ result occurs when a candidate scores between 65 and 74 points in the first examination.
  • An ‘unsuccessful’ result occurs when the candidate scores less than 65 points on the first examination. The candidate will not be offered the opportunity to re-sit the exam.
  • When the panel has scored the candidate as ‘unsure’, the candidate will be asked to return for a second examination the following day.
  • If the Candidate has scored 64 and below, they will need to re-apply to undertake the Fellowship Program again in the subsequent year.

Successful Candidates

For successful Candidates, confirmation of appointment as a Fellow is subject to final endorsement by the ACHSM Board, which generally takes place at the Board meeting on the following day. The successful Candidates will then have their Fellowship conferred at the ACHSM Annual General Meeting, which will usually be the day following the examinations.

Presentation of Certificates

The successful candidates will have their Fellowship conferred at the ACHSM Annual General Meeting, which will usually be the day following the examinations.

Appeal process – Please refer to pages 17-18 in the Fellowship Manual