Communication Observation Tool (COT)

Communication is at the foundation of everything we do as health care professionals.  To be honest, it’s the key to everything as humans full stop.  So, it’s important we take the time to look at how we interact with others in the clinical environment.  This workplace-based assessment is for you if you want structured teaching and feedback on your communication with your patients and their families.  While important to Pillar 1 Clinical Practice, COTs can also be used as evidence in your education pillar.  To complete this, an assessor will sit in on your consultation and focus solely on communication.

Areas the COT Evaluates

The COT looks specifically at your communication during 4 parts of your consultation that the assessor will be evaluating on a 6 point scale (1 being below expectations and 6 above expectations) It will look at your communication during:

  1. Assessment
  2. Management
  3. Closing
  4. Overall

Our form is developed for use with trainee ACPs but we believe our benchmark for ‘Meets Expectations’ is relevant for all ACPs no matter where they are in their practice. Still, be sure you and your assessor are clear on what the expectation is for your current level of practice.

Examples of cases where a COT might be useful

Ambulatory Paediatrics: Consultation, parental teaching session

Acute Paediatrics: Exploration of a parental observation, discussion around a pending procedure

Acute Neonatal: Discussion of parental concerns, discussion around a clinical set-up or change in management

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Guaranteed to be time well spent! Get it in the diary.