Royal college to pilot new system of workplace based assessments

Authors: Helen Jaques 

Publication date:  12 Jul 2012

The Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians’ Training Board is this summer piloting a new system of workplace based assessments for trainees in medical specialties, with a view to changing the current approach in August 2013.

The one year pilots, which will start this August, will take place in three deaneries (East Midlands, Northern, and Wales) in a mix of 10 large (such as core medical training), small (such as clinical genetics), acute (such as acute internal medicine), and non-acute (such as clinical neurophysiology) specialties.

One of the two key elements of the new system is that the results of supervised learning events will be kept confidential between trainees and their educational and clinical supervisors and not made available to annual review of competency progression (ARCP) panels, so as to sustain the formative nature of the assessments.

Secondly, assessments of performance will count for progression in the pilots and will be trainer led and assessed. However, the joint board has cautioned that assessments of performance may not be suitable for all specialties and all years.

The pilots will also include simplified assessment forms, new direct observation of procedural skills (DOPS) guidance, and a clinical supervisor reporting tool, all of which will be introduced in all specialties in August 2012.

Evaluation of the pilots, which will take place in November 2012 and in February and July 2013, will focus on the feasibility and acceptability of the approach as reported by trainees, clinical and educational supervisors, and training programme directors.

In the longer term, the effects of the new approach on the number of assessments, quality of feedback, and educational outcomes will be assessed. If the pilots are successful, the new system will be implemented in all medical specialties in August 2013.

Helen Jaques news reporter BMJ Careers

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