In order to meet revised (2005) Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts standards, tests of competency in key clinical skills were set for psychiatric senior house officers (SHOs) at the start of their posts.
The assessment of basic competencies demonstrated that 9 out of 14 SHOs met the required standards in tests of key clinical skills (overall competency rate of 64%). Senior house officers were generally in agreement with the principles behind the assessments.
Competency testing is becoming important at all stages of training and within all medical specialties. The recommended methods combine assessment of both knowledge-based competencies and clinical performance in the workplace.
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