Background: The educational environment is critical to learning and is determined by social interactions. Trainee satisfaction translates to career commitment, retention and a positive professional attitude as well as being an important factor in assessing the impact of the training program. This study aimed to validate the Scan of Postgraduate Educational Environment Domain (SPEED) tool and assess its appropriateness in evaluating the quality of General Practice (GP) rural postgraduate educational environment. Methods: A questionnaire containing the 15-item SPEED tool was administered to GP registrars to examine their perceptions of the educational environment. Principal component analysis (PCA) and exploratory factor analysis (EFA) were used to gather evidences of the validity of the instrument based on its internal structure. Additional validity evidence and reliability estimates were obtained using many-facet Rasch model analysis (MFRM). Results: The survey was completed by 351 registrars with a response rate of 60%. Parallel analysis performed using principal component analysis and exploratory factor analysis suggests that the SPEED tool is unidimensional. The MFRM analysis demonstrated an excellent degree of infit and outfit for items and training sites, but not for persons. The MFRM analysis also estimated high reliability levels for items (0.98), training sites (0.95) and persons within training sites (ranging from 0.87 to 0.93 in each training sites). Overall, the registrars agreed that the educational environment had high quality, with most (13 out of 15) of the items rated above 4 out of 5. Conclusions: This study demonstrated a high degree of validity and reliability of the SPEED tool for the measurement of the quality of the educational environment in a rural postgraduate GP training context. However, when applied in a new setting, the tool may not function as a multidimensional tool consistent with its theoretical grounding.
- GP registrars
- Quality of educational environment
- Rural postgraduate GP training