Curriculum mapping: A tool to align competencies in a dental curriculum

R Maart, R Adam, J Frantz


Background. In response to the adoption of the African Medical Education Directives for Specialists (AfriMEDS) competency framework by the Health Professions Council of South Africa, all dental schools in the country were required to incorporate and implement the core competencies described in AfriMEDS in the undergraduate curricula.

Objectives. To describe curriculum mapping as a tool to demonstrate the alignment of an undergraduate dental curriculum with a competency framework, such as AfriMEDS, in preparation for accreditation and curriculum review.

Methods. All the module descriptors (n=59) from the first to fifth year of study were included, and outcomes were mapped against the AfriMEDS competency framework. The presence of AfriMEDS core competencies (healthcare practitioner, communicator, collaborator, health advocate, leader and manager, scholar, professional) were located (if present) within the module learning outcomes. AfriMEDS core competencies were quantified and illustrated in the form of a curriculum map.

Results. Healthcare practitioner, health advocate and communicator were present across all 5 years of the undergraduate dental curriculum, while healthcare practitioner was present in 46 modules, health advocate in 8 modules and communicator in 13 modules. Competencies related to collaborator were present in the first, third and fifth year in 7 modules. Leader and manager competencies were present in the fifth year in 1 module. Professional competencies were present in the second and fifth year in 3 modules. Competencies related to scholar were present in the first, third, fourth and fifth year in 8 modules.

Conclusions. From the results, it was highlighted that all AfriMEDS competencies were present in the University of the Western Cape (UWC) dental programme. Curriculum mapping identified gaps in or areas of development for the AfriMEDS competencies in the UWC dental curriculum. Curriculum mapping can be recommended as a valuable tool for curriculum development.

Authors' affiliations

R Maart, Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

R Adam, Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

J Frantz, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Community and Health Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

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Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2021;13(2):99-104. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.2021.v13i2.1257

Article History

Date submitted: 2021-07-21
Date published: 2021-07-21

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