Sample Demonstration of the ACES Tool

For access to the complete ACES Tool, please follow the steps below and click View Results.  Select the REQUEST ACCESS button on the feedback page and submit the ACES Tool Request Form.You can also select the REQUEST ACCESS button to go directly to the request form.

The purpose of the Assessing Clinical Ethics Skills (ACES) tool is to assess the competency and proficiency of clinical ethics consultants in conducting ethics consultations. The ACES project provides training on how to understand and apply the tool to rate the skills of clinical ethics consultants in simulated ethics case consultations. The ACES tool draws on the Core Competencies for Health Care Ethics Consultation created by the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and the Ethics Consultant Proficiency Assessment Tool from the Integrated Ethics Program at the Department of Veterans Affairs.


Already have user approval? Continue here to the ACES tool cases.


Below you will see items 1-3 of the ACES tool as a demonstration of its content and functionality. The complete ACES tool contains 12 items.

  • First, you should review the detailed instructions on how to use the tool by accessing the scoring rubric for questions 1-3 (SCORING RUBRIC).
  • Second, watch the video of an ethics consultation about a stroke patient and score questions 1-3 rating how you think the ethics consultant performed.
  • Once you have completed all the questions, hit the "View Result" button for feedback.


View the video and answer questions below.

1. Manage the formal meeting (e.g., length, purpose, structure, participants)

Done Not Done Done Incorrectly
1.1. Identify yourself and your role as the ethics consultant
1.2. Have each party introduce themselves
1.3. Explain the purpose of the consult

2. Gather relevant data (e.g., medical facts, patients' preferences and interests, and other participants preferences and interests)

Done Not Done Done Incorrectly
2.1. Elicit the relevant facts in the case (medical, nursing, patient information)
2.2. Clarify when needed

3. Express and stay within the limits of the ethics consultant's role during meetings or encounters

Done Not Done Done Incorrectly
3.1. Health professionals and administrators should distinguish their clinical role from their ethics role as needed
3.2. Correct errant expectations of participants as needed (i.e. You'll back me up on this, right?)