Original Publication
Open Access

Critical Synthesis Package: Assessment of Professional Behaviors (APB)

Published: September 29, 2014 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9902

Included in this publication:

  • Critical Analysis of the Assessment of Professional Behaviors (APB).docx
  • Assessment of Professional Behaviors.pdf

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications. It is also part of a discontinued collection that focused on the presentation of health sciences education assessment tools and their reported validity data.


This Critical Synthesis Package contains: (1) a Critical Analysis of the psychometric properties and application to health sciences education for the Assessment of Professional Behaviors (APB) Instrument, and (2) a copy of the APB Instrument and two sample reports from the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), developed by the NBME.

The APB program is a multisource feedback program designed to evaluate the observable behaviors of residents/fellows during their clinical training. The core component of the program is a multisource feedback assessment measure, the APB Instrument, which is the focus of this critical analysis. There are two electronic versions of the APB Instrument. One is provided to the resident/fellow (self-assessment) and the other to those observing their behaviors (i.e., faculty, nurses, peers, etc.). Both versions evaluate 23 behaviors, rated using a 5-point frequency scale, as well as two free-text fields intended to provide room for specific critiques and/or praise. Behaviors assessed as part of formative assessment include interpersonal and communication skills, systems based practice, professionalism, and practice-based learning and improvement. The research on this instrument has resulted in mixed outcomes related to response process validity and identified a potential difficulty related to the preparation of successful rater training sessions. Observers’ skills in providing useful written feedback may be amenable to improvement through better modeling, training, and practice. Training that generates awareness of the elements of effective feedback may lead to improved written feedback specific to professionalism.

Educational Objectives

  1. To describe the purpose and basic properties of the Assessment of Professional Behaviors (APB) Instrument, including number of items and scales, and psychometric properties;
  2. To describe the application of the APB Instrument to the field of health sciences education;
  3. To evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the APB Instrument; and
  4. To provide the APB and supplemental materials to aid in its administration.

Author Information

  • Alice Fornari, EdD: Hofstra North Shore - LIJ School of Medicine
  • Salaahuddin Akbar: NorthShore-LIJ Health System
  • Samantha Tyler: Union College

None to report.

None to report.


Fornari A, Akbar S, Tyler S. Critical Synthesis Package: Assessment of Professional Behaviors (APB). MedEdPORTAL. 2014;10:9902. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9902