Assessment in Undergraduate Medical Education

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February 2011
Assessment in undergraduate medical education

22 The strategy should cover formative as well as summative assessment. The latter is the formalised assessment on which decisions about progression are made. Formative assessment is informal, frequent, dynamic and non-judgemental. It is primarily for the benefit of the student’s learning, not the institution’s need to track progress. It should be built into the design of all teaching modules. Schools should make a sustained attempt to discourage students from treating formative assessments as tests to pass rather than opportunities for learning. Students should become accustomed to seeking maximum benefit from feedback, self-assessment, reflection and the development of lifelong learning skills. This will enable students to fulfil their responsibilities asset out in paragraph 6 of Tomorrow’s Doctors (2009) and paragraph 19 of Medical students professional
values and fitness to practise; and to achieve the outcomes set out in paragraph 21 of Tomorrow’s
Doctors (2009). It will also prepare them for training and workplace based assessment (WPBA) in the Foundation Programme and beyond.
23 The overall assessment strategy should be documented in a clear and accessible manner with accountabilities clearly allocated. The strategy should also demonstrate how the school’s approach is based on a sound understanding of the evidence base, academic literature and good practice in assessment. Schools could consider circulating the strategy to stakeholders to reassure them about the robustness of the examination processes.

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