Recent developments in postgraduate medical education for the training of junior doctors in the UK necessitate changes in all parts of the curriculum, including the assessment system. There is a move away from the limited, traditional one-off assessment towards multidimensional, broader assessments of a doctor's longer-term performance. This is accompanied by the rapid development of assessment tools, collectively termed workplace-based assessments, and is in keeping with an outcome-based approach to medical education and its increasing professionalisation. In addition to clinical skills, other aspects of being a good practitioner are being assessed, including team-working, working with colleagues and patients, probity and communication skills. Using a combination of tools gives the assessment process high validity. Of the many challenges posed by these changes is the need for data on their reliability in psychiatry. There must be a clear process for applying assessments, national standardisation and training for those using asessment tools.