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Competency in Practice Assessment (CIPA)

Lead: Dr Janet Hargreaves

Origins of CIPA

The ALPS Competency in Practice Assessment (CIPA) project began life as a large scale piece of research in to the perceived confidence and competence of graduates to practice.  Piloted in 2008, it is a longitudinal data collection tool which asks students to rate their competence and confidence to practice at point of graduation, 6 months, and 12 months post graduation.  CIPA was sent out to all graduating cohorts involved in the ALPS programme.  The ALPS CIPA data collection has been carried out online, although a paper version of the tool is available here.

One of the key aims of ALPS was to improve the assessment of competence in practice across 16 professions, increasing the confidence of new graduates and their employers. The CIPA tool has been developed to establish measures of new graduate confidence in their ability across a number of areas of professional competence. Initially it is being piloted as a self-rating tool with new graduates with the intention of extending its use by employers of new graduates. The tool offers a way of establishing some baseline measures of confidence and competence where these do not currently exist. It will also enable comparison of confidence and competence levels in and between different professions. If used for repeated measures it also has the potential to measure changing levels of confidence and competence during career development.'

This is now one of the ALPS Networks which will continue the work of ALPS. The tool is now available online from the University of Huddersfield. For guidance see

Further reading

A Risky Business: preparing students for professional practice
Hargreaves, Janet. and Walker, Lizzie. (2011)

Student collaboration in developing an on-line self assessment tool, to enhance development for student and newly qualified professionals
Laxton, Julie., Dagg, Paul., Hargreaves, Janet., Laverick, Duane. and Mitchell, Carrie. (2013)













Below are the information sheet and the consent form for participants. 


CONSENT FORM for CIPA Participants

The CIPA Tool

To try out the tool online visit
Please note the system will not store any personal details.