The OSATS (objective structured assessment of technical skills) are one of the workplace-based assessment tools (WPBAs) used in O&G training.
A small number of procedures are so fundamental to the practice of O&G that we’ve developed an objective assessment tool to aid the review process. OSATS are validated assessment tools that assess your technical competency in a particular technique. You’ll complete OSATS throughout your training until you’re competent to practise independently.
- WPBA eTutorial
- Best practice demonstrations of workplace-based assessments
- NOTSS (Non-technical Skills for Surgeons) resource
- Giving effective feedback in training videos
Skills assessed using OSATS
- Diagnostic laparoscopy
- Diagnostic hysteroscopy
- Fetal blood sampling
- Manual removal of placenta
- Opening and closing the abdomen
- Operative laparoscopy
- Operative vaginal delivery
- Caesarean section
- Perineal repair
- Uterine evacuation
There is also an ‘other procedure’ OSATS, for procedures where you wish to record your experience (formative) or competence (summative), such as:
- Insertion of Mirena
- Marsupialisation of Bartholin’s abscess
- Cervical cerclage
- Termination of pregnancy
- Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA)
Formative vs summative OSATS
OSATS can be either formative or summative:
- Formative OSATS (supervised learning event, or SLE) – these give you the opportunity to practise and get feedback for a given procedure
- Summative OSATS (assessment of performance, or AoP) – these allow you to demonstrate your competence in a procedure and progress in your training
Both formative and summative OSATS are an excellent opportunity for feedback on observed performance.
Number of OSATS
You should take as many formative OSATS (SLEs) as you need to feel sufficiently competent in a procedure to request a summative OSATS (AoP). The training matrix of educational progression gives a minimum number, but we strongly recommend that you undertake many more.
Before the competences can be signed off in your eLogbook, you must successfully complete each OSATS (i.e. every box ticked for level 3 practice) on at least three separate occasions.
How to undertake an OSATS
When you are ready to undertake an OSATS, meet with your clinical supervisor, who will:
- Assess the procedure
- Complete the OSATS form on the ePortfolio
- Record the date that each OSATS is signed off
- You must declare in advance whether an OSATS is summative or formative and there must always be a distinction between the two – you won’t be able to ‘upgrade’ a formative assessment that’s gone well.
- You must involve at least two different assessors in the sign-off process
- You must not use the same assessors for all OSATS
- A consultant must undertake at least one of the assessments, and senior sign-off must be as specified in the training matrix
- Taking consent for the procedure is not part of OSATS; taking of consent is assessed separately using a mini-CEX
- You must retain all OSATS forms in your ePortfolio, whether they were completed satisfactorily or not – this allows your Educational Supervisor to review your progress
- Once you’ve been signed off as fully competent for independent practice (minimum of three satisfactorily completed summative OSATS per procedure), you should undergo an annual OSATS assessment (one per procedure) to demonstrate continued competence until you achieve CCT
- You must also keep count of the number of each procedure you perform annually until you achieve CCT
Before undertaking a summative OSATS, you must demonstrate on several occasions that you are able to perform the procedure competently under direct supervision. Bear in mind that it’s not envisaged you will complete the OSATS successfully at the first attempt, and this should not be seen as a failure.
Progression through training
Trainees will progress at different rates. The competency levels are the minimum that you must achieve before moving to the next stage of training.
You can use the OSATS forms to assess technical skills at different levels of complexity (e.g. use the caesarean section OSATS to assess a simple or a complex caesarean section), recording the level of complexity on the assessment form.
You can find the OSATS forms in your ePortfolio, or download the forms below: