Assessment in Undergraduate Medical Education



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Supplementary advice
February 2011
|
1
Assessment in undergraduate
medical education
Advice supplementary to Tomorrow’s Doctors (2009)
Contents
Page
Key points
01
Introduction
02
Background to the GMC’s production of
02 supplementary advice
What does Tomorrow’s Doctors (2009) say about
02
assessment
Purpose of the supplementary advice
03
Who is the advice for
03
Overview
03
Ensuring a clear strategy
03
Assessing against outcomes
04
Governance and management
07
Seeking improvement
08
External examiners
08
Information for students and staff
09
Methods
10
Tools for knowledge testing
10
Tools for skills testing
11
Tools for performance testing
12
Assessment of professionalism
13
Page
Processes
14
Supporting examiners
14
The timing of examinations
15
Reasonable adjustments
15
Standard setting
15
Marking and making decisions
16
Feedback
17
Cross-school arrangements
18
Annexes
19
Extracts on assessment from Tomorrow’s
19

Doctors (2009)
The 16 high-level outcomes from Tomorrow’s
19

Doctors (2009)
Related documents
20
Glossary
21
References
21 68


February 2011
|
2
Assessment in undergraduate medical education
(c)
Tim Swanwick (ed, Understanding Medical Education
Evidence, Theory and Practice, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
Introduction
Background to the GMC’s production of supplementary advice
1 The GMC sets requirements for medical schools in Tomorrow’s Doctors. The 2009 edition reflects lessons from the first full cycle of the GMC’s process of Quality Assurance of Basic Medical Education
(QABME) and responds to issues that emerged since the 2003 edition. It aims to ensure that new graduates will befit to practise and prepared for training in the Foundation Programme and employment in the NHS and for their further education and training beyond that. The 2009 edition followed an extensive period of development, engagement and consultation and drew on research on the preparedness of graduates commissioned by the GMC.
2 Medical schools are required to comply with the standards and outcomes in Tomorrow’s Doctors
(2009) by academic year 2011/2012.
3 The GMC has supported medical schools in implementing the new requirements. This has involved a series of implementation workshops across the UK and asking schools to produce Enhanced Annual Returns (EARs) on their progress. The workshops brought together representatives from the medical schools in a region as well as students, postgraduate training bodies and employers. They provided an opportunity for schools to discuss their progress in becoming compliant with Tomorrow’s
Doctors (2009) and to highlight any challenges they were facing.
4 It became clear that the schools felt that they needed extra advice from the GMC as to how certain requirements in Tomorrow’s Doctors (2009) should betaken forward.
5 The GMC has therefore developed a series of advisory documents supplementary to Tomorrow’s Doctors
(2009) in the following areas:
n assessment n clinical placements, particularly student assistantships n developing teachers and trainers n involving patients and the public.
The documents have been developed with drafting advice from experts in these fields. Their support is gratefully acknowledged.
Key points
The GMC’s requirements for assessment in undergraduate medical education are set out in Tomorrow’s Doctors
(2009) in Domain 5 at paragraphs 81, 85–90 and 111–21. There are also requirements in Domains 2 and This document sets out supplementary advice. It does not include any new regulatory requirements or standards.
The advice includes the following major components.
(a)
Medical schools should take an overarching strategic and systematic approach to assessment that fits with the rest of the curriculum (paragraph 19).
(b)
In developing and reviewing assessment methods, medical schools should consider validity, reliability/
generalisability, feasibility, fairness, educational impact, cost-effectiveness, acceptability and defensibility (paragraph 32).
(c)
Compensation can be appropriate but should not be used in ways that would allow students to graduate who are unable to demonstrate all the high-level outcomes and the practical procedures (paragraph
39).
(d)
Absence, illness or other extenuating circumstance is not a reason for allowing students to graduate without demonstrating achievement of the outcomes paragraph 40).
(e)
A cross-departmental board should have overall and final responsibility for assessment and be transparent that is, accountable through published processes and criteria (paragraph 45).
(f)
Medical schools should provide clear, accessible and timely information to students and staff (paragraph
60).
(g)
Medical schools legitimately choose various methods of standard setting, but all should fully implement a robust, transparent and consistent approach that satisfies the requirements in Tomorrow’s Doctors
(2009) (paragraph 111).
(h)
Good feedback will be effective in improving learning and performance (paragraph For further advice, seethe Annex on Related documents and in particular:
(a)
GMC, Standards for curricula and assessment systems for specialty including GP training, revised 2010
(b)
QAA, Code of practice for the assurance of academic
quality and standards in higher education, updated in sections





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