PQA - Measuing the personal qualities and abilities of aspiring health professionals

What is the Personal Qualities Assessment?

PQA is an instrument designed to assess a range of personal qualities considered to be important for the study and practice of medicine and allied health professions. It comprises questions grouped into four sections, the first to measure cognitive skills, the other three to measure personality and attitudinal traits relevant to health professional practice.

Medical Staff

Medical schools around the world have a need to select their medical students often from a very large number of applicants. Traditionally, high academic ability has been the major, if not the only selection criterion.

For a number of reasons a selection policy based purely on academic marks is no longer appropriate (click here to read more). Firstly, there is no simple correlation between the level of prior academic achievement and success in health professional courses or later practice. Secondly, selection based solely on academic criteria might unreasonably discriminate against particular groups. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the community has strongly indicated a desire for graduating health practitioners who have demonstrated personal skills, in addition to their advanced medical skills and knowledge (click here to read more).

Accordingly, an increasing number of medical schools require applicants to complete tests that measure qualities, traits and abilities other than academic ability.