Quality and Innovation


Continually demonstrating leadership in Learning and Assessment programs

Our commitment to quality gives us confidence that we are delivering today’s programs in accordance with the high standards and expectations of our clients. However, we also strive to do better, and to find new and innovative ways to meet the needs of the individuals and communities we serve.

Communication through Simulation

The Communication through Simulation Project is an experiential learning program that focuses on developing professional communication skills for the healthcare workplace. Using a design thinking methodology, this curriculum development project builds on research conducted on communication competencies for regulated health professions in Ontario and leverages the 360° View on Communicative Competence at Work framework.

In 2019 - 2020, the Communication through Simulation project launched two pilots to a variety of Internationally Educated Healthcare Professionals including nurses, physicians, medical lab technicians, physiotherapists, and pharmacists. The feedback received was enthusiastically positive, with 96% of participants attesting that the Communication through Simulation Program increased their awareness of effective communication strategies for the healthcare setting.

This project is funded by the Government of Ontario.

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Quality Assurance

The purpose of the Research and Analysis department at Touchstone Institute is to provide expertise in assessment design and evaluation. This team of highly qualified individuals supports all assessment programs through specialized knowledge and skills. They develop and apply rigorous, evidence based processes, ensuring high quality data and validity evidence. Extensive research and psychometric analyses contribute to fair, reliable and defensible results.

This year, their work demonstrated the importance of investing in evidence based examiner training, ensuring consistency and reliability of scoring in performance assessments. Examiners are now provided structured learning opportunities and personalized feedback based on customized psychometric analyses of their scoring. Additionally, the Research and Analysis team supported the transition of examiner training into our online Learning Management System. This transition allows examiners the freedom to complete the mandatory training off site, at a time convenient for them, reducing the calibration and orientation time required at the assessment centre.

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Expanding the Use of Technology

Touchstone Institute joined the Umbrella Consortium of Assessment Networks (UCAN) in 2014 to leverage their suite of tools and to transition from paper to tablet-based testing. This past November, Touchstone Institute upgraded wireless infrastructure and added additional tablets to enable the concurrent use of tablets for both the MCQ and OSCE components of our Internationally Educated Nurses Competency Assessment Program (IENCAP). All scores are now electronically captured and collected securely and effectively in the IENCAP. The UCAN Item Management System (IMS), tablet administration, and scoring tools are used for most exams.

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