​​​​​​Centre for Health Professions Education​


New projects


The Faculty Development Needs of Health Professions Educators: A qualitative exploration


Meyer, R & Archer, E


Faculty development plays a fundamental role in strengthening the teaching role of health professions educators, as well as nurturing more scholarly teachers (Steinert, McLeod, Boillat, Meterissian, Elizov & Macdonald, 2009). Hodgson & Wilkerson, (2014: 32) argue that for faculty development to be successful, more rigorous attention to the individual and shared needs of teachers and students is needed. A needs analysis is an essential step in faculty development as it helps to identify areas where faculty require further training and support, and to target offerings according to the faculty's academic responsibilities (McLeod, Steinert, Conochie & Nasmith, 1997). Furthermore, understanding the needs of faculty members assists in supporting them to acquire the necessary competencies and provide quality education to their students.



This study aims to explore the perceptions of faculty in the FMHS on what skills and attributes are needed for them to be effective facilitators of learning.

-           To explore what support academic staff need to teach effectively in the classroom, simulation, online, and clinical environments.

-           To understand what academic staff perceive are the necessary skills and attributes required for them to facilitate effective learning.

-           To explore the experiences of academic staff who have attended a short course.

-           To use these insights to recommend strategies for faculty development at the FMHS.


Potential Impact:

We envisage that the data from this study would help us plan a comprehensive faculty development program based on the actual needs of faculty. Furthermore, the findings may inform ways to assist faculty to strengthen their roles as teachers.


Project timeline:

This is a year-long project, which will commence once ethics approval has been obtained.​

Current research projects

Archer, E., Schmutz, S., Van Schalkwyk, S. & Volschenk M. The value of renewing a curriculum: an evaluation of the revised MPhil in HPE.  N16/10/131.
Archer E, Turner, R.  Undergraduate medical students' empathy teaching and learning. N18/01/001. Extended as longitudinal study.
Archer, E., Van Schalkwyk, S. & Blitz, J. Registrars' perceptions and experiences of clinical empathy during clinical practice: a multi-institutional study. N20/05/057.
Archer, E., Meyer, R., Schmutz, A.M.S., Lupton-Smith, A. and colleagues from Leeds, UK. Learner and facilitator perceptions and experiences of learning in a health professions context.
Archer E, Schmutz S, Volschenk M, Jacobs C. Exploring Threshold Concepts in a post graduate programme in Health Professions Education. TL-2019-10496.
Jacobs, C., Van Schalkwyk, S., Blitz, J. & Volschenk, M.  TL-2018-8838. Exploring the development and application of a responsive curriculum framework for healthcare professionals in South Africa.
Meyer, R., Van Schalkwyk, S. & Archer, E. Meyer, R., Van Schalkwyk, S. & Archer, E. The private healthcare setting as a place of learning: a qualitative exploration. S18/04/086.
Mhlabeni, L., Dyubeni, F. Language Matters: Preparing health science professionals for multilingual contexts.
Mhlabeni L. Immediate feedback through display motivated by anonymity. S12/02/040A.
Van Schalkwyk S. and others. The PhD in HPE as public good.
Van Schalkwyk, S. McKenna, S. Doctoral Models: A scoping review.
Cooper, I. Van Schalkwyk, S. Evaluation of the MBChB IDEAL rotation. Reference Number: 18587