Development of a Tool to Assess Competencies of Problem Management Plus Facilitators Using Observed Standardised Role Plays : The EQUIP Competency Rating Scale for Problem Management Plus

Problem Management Plus (PM+) is used to address mental health needs in humanitarian emergencies, including in response to COVID19. Because PM+ is designed for non-specialist facilitators, one challenge is ensuring that trainees have the necessary competencies to effectively deliver the intervention and not cause unintended harm. Traditional approaches to evaluating knowledge of an intervention, such as written tests, may not capture the ability to demonstrate PM+ skills. As part of the World Health Organization Ensuring Quality in Psychological Support (EQUIP) initiative, we developed a structured competency rating tool to be used with observed standardised role plays.


The role plays were designed to elicit demonstration of the key mechanisms of action for PM+. These role plays can be objectively rated by trainers, supervisors or other evaluators to determine facilitators’ competency levels in PM+. These competency assessments can highlight what skills require additional attention during training and supervision, thus supporting facilitators to fill gaps in competencies. The integration of role plays in training and supervision also allows organisations to establish quality control metrics for competency standards to deliver PM+. We describe lessons learned from piloting the PM+ competency role plays with the Center for Victims of Torture programme with Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia.

Gloria A. Pedersen, Frezgi Gebrekristos, Liyam Eloul, Shannon Golden, Mahmoud Hemmo, Aemal Akhtar, Alison Schafer & Brandon A. Kohrt | 2021
In: Intervention ; ISSN : 1571-8883 | 19 | 1 | march | 107-117
Emergency Personnel, Ethiopia, Humanitarian Intervention, Professional Standards, Refugees, Supervision, Training programs, Treatment