Feedback Assessment for Clinical Education (FACE)


Healthcare education relies heavily on the synergies between simulation-based education (SBE) and clinical learning. A significant component of clinical learning that parallels rigorous simulation debriefings is the reflective feedback conversation that occurs between instructor and learner during or after clinical experiences. Similar to a simulation debriefing, a feedback conversation is a reflective dialogue that focuses on comparing actual performance to desired performance through the exploration and analysis of learner thoughts and actions. It incorporates guided critical reflection and learner self-assessment to identify and address learning gaps through a mutually engaging and psychologically safe dialogue. Reflective feedback conversations can stimulate higher levels of thinking, contribute to deeper learning and impact future performance.

The Feedback Assessment for Clinical Education© (FACE) is designed to assist in developing and evaluating reflective feedback skills among clinical instructors. The FACE evaluates the strategies and techniques used to facilitate reflective feedback conversations by examining concrete, observable behaviors of instructors. It is intended for formative feedback between an instructor and learner at any level of adult learning and can be used in a variety of healthcare disciplines involving a wide range of educational clinical experiences.

The FACE is based on an extensive review of theory, literature and content expertise from the fields of education, organizational behavior, industrial psychology, sociology and health sciences. It is grounded in multidisciplinary feedback principles and clinical education theory. A bibliography of the literature on which the FACE is based is available here: FACE Bibliography.

For more information about the FACE:
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FACE Versions

There is  currently  one version of the FACE. Two alternate versions of the FACE are currently under development:

FACE – Rater Version

  • FACE – Rater Version Designed for use by trained raters observing instructor feedback behaviors. It has demonstrated strong quantitative and qualitative content validity.

FACE – Student Version

  • Currently under development. Designed for students to rate their instructors on the quality of a debriefing.

FACE – Instructor Version

  • Currently under development. Designed for instructors to self-assess their feedback skills.

FACE Rater Handbook

  • FACE Rater Handbook provides instructions and example instructor behaviors to assist in rating. In order to accurately assess and score the feedback conversation, the FACE Rater Handbook and FACE – Rater Version must be used concomitantly.

Copyright Notice

Center for Medical Simulation, Boston, MA 02129,
Permission is granted for you to use the Feedback Assessment for Clinical Education (FACE) instrument in your clinical education program. As a condition of granting permission to use the FACE, we request that you provide CMS copies of articles, abstracts or reports you publish using the FACE so that we may keep others up to date on how the FACE is being used. Please send citation and a copy of the article to [email protected].

How to Cite the FACE

Onello R, Rudolph JW, Simon R. Feedback for Clinical Education (FACE) Rater’s Handbook. Center for Medical Simulation, Boston, Massachusetts. 2015.
Onello R, Rudolph JW, Simon R. Feedback for Clinical Education (FACE) – Rater Version. Center for Medical Simulation, Boston, Massachusetts. 2015.

FACE Citations

Minehart, RD, Rudolph, J, Pian-Smith, MC, Raemer, D. Improving faculty feedback to resident trainees during a simulated case: A randomized, controlled trial of an education intervention. Anesthesiology 2014 Jan; 120 (1): 160-71. PMID: 24398734.

Minehart, R, Diederich, E, Goldhaber-Fiebert, S, Navedo, A, Onello, R, Pian-Smith, M, Raemer, D, Rudolph, J & Stiegler, M. “Can feedback be improved?” Workshop presented at the 15th International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare [Conference]. New Orleans, Louisiana. 12 Jan. 2015.

Onello, R, Rudolph, J, Simon, R. Effective and ineffective beahviors in feedback conversations—A debriefing perspective. Under review at Medical Education. 2015.

Onello, R. “Assessing the quality of feedback during clinical learning: Development of the Feedback Assessment for Clinical Education (FACE).” (Doctoral dissertation). University of Maryland, Baltimore. Nursing. Ph.D. 2015. Retrieved from

Idzik, S (PI), Onello, R (co-investigator), Gonzalez, M (co-investigator). Development and implementation of a statewide preceptor program to support APRN nursing student’s education and role development. Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission (NSP II) Grant, $470,659 (2015-2018).


The development of the FACE was funded by the Maryland Higher Education Commission through the Nurse Educator Doctoral Grant and by the Jonas Foundation through the National League for Nursing Jonas Scholars program as part of doctoral work completed by Rachel Onello, PhD, RN, CHSE, CNE, CNL.

FACE Resources

FACE Rater’s Handbook

FACE – Rater Version

FACE Bibliography

View all FACE RESOURCES