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Workplace-based assessments (WPBAs)

How workplace-based assessments (WPBAs) are used in the specialty training programme in obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G).

Please note: As of 1 August 2014, the way WPBAs are delivered has changed. The College has produced a free StratOG module to explain the rationale, details and implications of the changes.



What are workplace-based assessments (WPBAs)?

Workplace-based assessments (WPBAs) are used to evaluate your progression through the specialty training programme. The assessments aim to link teaching, learning and assessment in a structured way.

WPBAs aren’t necessarily used to demonstrate that you’re completely competent in a procedure, but rather to identify strengths and weaknesses. This helps your Educational Supervisor give you the necessary support. To gain an accurate picture of your abilities, several WPBAs will be evaluated together at your routine appraisals.

You should take assessments throughout the training year as they’ll provide you with valuable feedback. You should complete all assessment forms via your ePortfolio.


Different types of WPBA

There are three types of WPBA in O&G training:

Formative vs summative WPBAs

WPBAs are either:

  • Formative (assessments for learning), used to provide feedback
  • Summative (assessments of learning), used to allow you to demonstrate competence in a given clinical situation

The O&G training programme includes both formative and summative OSATS. Mini-CEX and CbDs are formative only.


Number of WPBAs

The training matrix of educational progression details the minimum number of assessments you’ll need to complete (for observation, under supervision and independently) each year. This is the minimum number thought necessary to confer competence.

However, each trainee will develop at a different rate, and some trainees will need to carry out more supervised procedures than others before their trainer is satisfied that competence has been achieved and the trainee can practise independently.

You should discuss with your Educational Supervisor how many of each type of assessment you need to complete, based on your progress.


Organising the assessments

As the trainee, you’re responsible for organising your WPBAs. Discuss with your Educational Supervisor the areas that require assessment at different stages; this will depend on the unit in which you’re working.

Plan ahead so you’re not completing all of the necessary assessments in the lead-up to your appraisal or ARCP. If you’re struggling to have assessments completed in your unit, speak to your Educational Supervisor as soon as possible. Don’t wait for your appraisal or ARCP to explain the difficulties you’re having.


WPBA forms

Remember that you need to complete all WPBA forms via your ePortfolio.

Formative assessment forms

Summative assessment forms


Contact us

For any general queries about your training and assessment, please email the Trainees’ Coordinator at or call +44 20 7772 6348.

If you have any queries about the content of the WPBAs, please email the Assessment Lead Sakinah Takeram or call +44 20 7772 6319.


Elsewhere on the site

The complete specialty training programme in O&G – core curriculum, ultrasound, ATSMs, subspecialty and academic
MRCOG exams
How to prepare for the Part 1 and Part 2 MRCOG exams (the RCOG’s membership exams)