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Changes to workplace-based assessments

News 1 August 2014

As of 1 August 2014, the way workplace-based assessments (WPBAs) are delivered within the specialty training programme has changed.

The changes will entail all WPBA encounters being categorised as either explicitly formative (for learning), or explicitly summative (of learning). Identifying encounters as being either formative or summative in this way will ensure that existing WPBA tools are better equipped to achieve their designed purpose of quality feedback provision and the application of a robust and justifiable judgement relating to competence respectively.

In practice, the categorisation will not see the nature or purpose of Mini-CEX and CbD encounters altered, with minor changes applying to the associated paperwork to encourage the provision of more detailed feedback. The categorisation will, however, change the purpose of OSATS encounters, ensuring that some will be formative and some will be summative, again with amendments to the associated paperwork to ensure that this differing aims are achieved effectively in each case. In order to deliver these aims, trainees will need to declare in advance of any OSAT assessment whether they wish it to be formative as part of their learning, or summative as an assessment of their progress towards competency.

To ensure that both trainees and trainers are familiar with the revised approach to existing WPBA tools, the College has produced a free StratOG module to explain the rationale, details and implications of the changes, including the documentation of completed encounters on the ePortfolio. In addition to this, there is a narrated presentation summarising the changes to WPBAs.

Further information is available on the WPBA webpage.

Mr Ed Neale FRCOG
Chair, Examination & Assessment Committee