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Self-Reflective Learning: Map Your Learning Pathway

Perhaps you are new to consultation or maybe you have been doing it for a while. The Consultant Assessment was created to help you figure out where to focus your learning journey. By using this assessment to gauge your knowledge of and skills in the IECMH Consultant Competencies, you will be able to better develop a training plan that fits your needs.

The Consultant Assessment is an online tool that can be used individually or as part of a group to:

  • Identify your strengths and learning needs.
  • Match your learning needs to appropriate trainings.
  • Receive resource suggestions based on your learning needs.

How to use

Individually. Register to take the full assessment in one sitting or by competency. Download, print, or have your personalized learning plan emailed to access learning opportunities based on your interests and needs. Log back in to retake the assessment to track growth in your knowledge and skills.

As a group. In state or local program settings to provide professional development for your staff or as part of your program strategic goals. To coordinate shared learning opportunities, by analyzing needs across staff.

It’s easy to begin learning …

  1. Register or Log in. By registering, you can return to the assessment and your personalized learning plan at any time by logging in. Registration provides the Center of Excellence (COE) with critical information about who is using the tool.
  2. Take the assessment in one siting or each competency individually. You can log back in to start where you left off. For each competency, you will be asked a series of questions to gauge the relevance of your knowledge/skills in that area.
  3. Get Your Personalized Learning Plan. You can save, print, or download your plan. The plan contains tips and questions on how to approach your learning; a chart that summarizes your strengths and areas of growth; online learning opportunities that are matched to your needs; and ways to keep motivated in learning. You can access your past results to see how you have grown professionally over time.

Why is the assessment so long?

Self-assessment, a major component of learning, provides an opportunity for professionals to reflect on competency-based strengths and areas of growth1. This process not only identifies learning needs but also reinforces established skills or behaviors in order to improve performance.

The literature suggests that self-assessment is a prerequisite for maintaining professional competence,2 and cites an increasing need for self-assessment in healthcare settings as health systems change.3 Based on interviews and focus groups with persons who engaged in self-assessment, four types of benefits associated with self-assessment have also been identified in the literature:4

  • Learning from experience
  • Functioning more effectively
  • Strengthening commitment to competent performance
  • Fostering self-agency and authority

With all of the important and critical benefits associated with self-assessment, it is not designed to be a short process. An extensive review of learner strengths and areas of improvement require multiple levels of validation and questions to ascertain.  Online self-assessment approaches provide learners with a user-friendly and quick way to answer questions, streamline the management of the assessment process (i.e., registration/log-in and tool layout pages etc.), and allow data to be saved, kept confidential, and used for longitudinal data analysis.


  1. Sujata, B., Oliveras, E., and Edson, W.N. (2001). How Can Self-Assessment Improve the Quality of Healthcare?  Operations Research Issue Paper 2(4). Published for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) by the Quality Assurance (QA) Project.
  2. Das, M., D. Mpofu, E. Dunn, and J.H. Lanphear. (1998). Self and tutor evaluations in problem-based learning tutorials: Is there a relationship? Medical Education 32(4):411–18.
  3. Rooke, T.R. (1998). A critical review of reflective practice in its role towards personal and professional development. Journal of the Royal Naval Medical Service 84(2):66–70.
  4. Marienau, C. (1999). Self-assessment at work: Outcomes of adult learners’ reflections on practice. Adult Education Quarterly 49(3):135–46.

Advanced tips and resources

The COE’s online Consultant Assessment provides a thorough review of each of the 8 Infant and Early Childhood Consultation Core Competencies and their 136 core skills. (LAST COUNT: 149) Although extensive and requiring a moderate time requirement, learners are truly tested on their knowledge and skills on critical topics in IECMH consultation.  As a result of the comprehensive nature of the assessment, learners are rewarded by increases in knowledge and skills simply by going through the process of completion. The full assessment process serves as a learning opportunity for IECMH consultants and a source of professional development.

In addition, completion of the consultant assessment will provide information to the COE that will help guide our creation of new resource materials. By examining the disaggregated data, the COE will be able to identify specific areas where the area of IECMH consultation as a whole need to develop or hone skills. The COE can then develop materials that will be most beneficial to this growing area of professionals.

This product was developed [in part] under grant number 1H79SM082070-01 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The views, policies and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.