A cost analysis of a 5-day simulation-based learning program for speech-language pathology student training

Elizabeth C. Ward, Emma Caird, Saval Khanal, Sanjeewa Kularatna, Joshua Byrnes, Adriana Penman, Sue Mcallister, Stacey Baldac, Elizabeth Cardell, Rachel Davenport, Bronwyn Davidson, Sally Hewat, Simone Howells, Patricia Mccabe, Alison Purcell, Joanne Walters, Anne E. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: There is poor reporting of the cost of simulation and greater transparency is needed. The primary study aim was to conduct a financial analysis of the university/training institution costs associated with a 5-day simulation-based learning program for speech-language pathology students. The secondary aim was to consider the economic costs of the model. Method: Costs associated with the delivery of a 5-day simulation-based learning program for speech-language pathology students from six Australian universities were collected regarding: (a) pre-program training, (b) personnel, (c) room hire, (d) equipment, and (e) consumables. Both financial costs and economic costs (Australian dollar, at June 2017) were calculated per university site, and per student. Result: The simulation program was run 21 times involving 176 students. Average total financial cost per program ranged from $4717 to $11 425, with cost variation primarily attributed to local labour costs and various use of in-kind support. Average financial cost per student was $859 (range $683-$1087), however this was almost double ($1461 per student, range $857-$2019) in the economic cost calculation. Personnel was the largest contributing cost component accounting for 76.6% of financial costs. Personnel was also the highest contributing cost in the economic analysis, followed by room hire. Conclusion: This study provides clarity regarding financial and economic costing for a 5-day simulation-based learning program. These data can help universities consider potential up-front financial costs, and well as strategies for financial cost minimisation, when implementing simulation-based learning within the university context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688-696
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number5
Early online date5 Sep 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • simulation
  • speech-language pathology
  • costs analysis
  • speech–language pathology

Cite this