HEC Forum

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 103–113 | Cite as

Developing an Evaluation Tool for Assessing Clinical Ethics Consultation Skills in Simulation Based Education: The ACES Project

  • Katherine Wasson
  • Kayhan Parsi
  • Michael McCarthy
  • Viva Jo Siddall
  • Mark Kuczewski


The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities has created a quality attestation (QA) process for clinical ethics consultants; the pilot phase of reviewing portfolios has begun. One aspect of the QA process which is particularly challenging is assessing the interpersonal skills of individual clinical ethics consultants. We propose that using case simulation to evaluate clinical ethics consultants is an approach that can meet this need provided clear standards for assessment are identified. To this end, we developed the Assessing Clinical Ethics Skills (ACES) tool, which identifies and specifies specific behaviors that a clinical ethics consultant should demonstrate in an ethics case simulation. The aim is for the clinical ethics consultant or student to use a videotaped case simulation, along with the ACES tool scored by a trained rater, to demonstrate their competence as part of their QA portfolio. The development and piloting of the tool is described.


Clinical ethics consultation Clinical ethics consultants Evaluation Interpersonal skills Quality attestation 



The authors would like to thank Ken Berkowitz for his feedback on the survey tool, James Sinacore and William Adams for their assistance with the data analysis, and Cynthia Chaidez for her administrative help.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no financial conflicts of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine Wasson
    • 1
  • Kayhan Parsi
    • 1
  • Michael McCarthy
    • 1
  • Viva Jo Siddall
    • 2
  • Mark Kuczewski
    • 1
  1. 1.The Stritch School of Medicine and The Neiswanger Institute for BioethicsLoyola University ChicagoMaywoodUSA
  2. 2.The Department of Medical Education, The Stritch School of MedicineLoyola University ChicagoMaywoodUSA

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