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Survey of non-medical professionals on the use of workplace-based assessments

  • Poornima Gangaram (a1), Neel Halder (a2) and Palanivelu Kumar (a3)
Abstract
Aims and method

Non-medical staff are eligible to assess trainee doctors through mandatory workplace-based assessments (WPBAs). An anonymous questionnaire was given out to non-medical staff working with trainees in community and in-patient settings at Royal Blackburn Hospital. Our aims were to look at their awareness of and familiarity with assessor guidance, trainee competencies, training needs and assessors' views on completing these assessments.

Results

In total 118 of 150 (79%) individuals returned a questionnaire and 89 WPBAs had been carried out. Most assessors were Band 6 (or equivalent) or below (53%). Most assessors had neither read any assessor guidelines (75%) nor were familiar with the competencies required of a doctor (76%). Although 79% felt that non-medical staff should be assessing trainee doctors, only 44% felt comfortable doing this. None had been trained and 92% felt this would help. Twenty WPBAs (excluding mini-peer assisted tools) were carried out by staff at Band 6 or below.

Clinical implications

No respondents received guidance or training on being an assessor. This highlights the need for urgent action and delivery of training. This can easily be adapted from training packages developed for medical staff.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Neel Halder (neel.halder@alphahospitals.co.uk)
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

At the time of carrying out the research, N.H. was a medical education fellow for the North Western Deanery and is the current trainee editor of The Psychiatrist.

Footnotes
References
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1 Royal College of Psychiatrists. Trainees' Guide to Workplace Based Assessments. Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2008 (https://training.rcpsych.ac.uk/trainees'-guide-workplace-based-assessments).
2 Fitch, C, Malik, A, Lelliott, P, Bhugra, D, Andiappan, M. Assessing psychiatric competencies: what does the literature tell us about methods of workplace-based assessment? Adv Psychiatr Treat 2008; 14: 122–30.
3 Royal College of Psychiatrists. Workplace-Based Assessments (WPBA): Frequently Asked Questions. Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2008 (http://mentalhealthglobal.com/specialtytraining/trainees/wpbafaq.aspx12).
4 Pathan, T, Salter, M. Attitude to workplace-based assessment. Psychiatrist 2008; 32: 359.
5 Healthcare Workforce Portal. Hospital at night and 24/7. Healthcare Workforce Portal, accessed 27 February 2012 (http://www.healthcareworkforce.nhs.uk/hospitalatnightand247).
6 Archer, J, Norcini, J, Southgate, L, Heard, S, Davies, H. Mini-PAT (Peer Assessment Tool): a valid component of a national assessment programme in the UK. Adv Health Sci Educ 2008; 13: 181–92.
7 Vasudev, A, Vasudev, K, Thakker, P. Trainees' perception of the Annual Review of Competence Progression: 2-year survey. Psychiatrist 2010; 34: 396–9.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Survey of non-medical professionals on the use of workplace-based assessments

  • Poornima Gangaram (a1), Neel Halder (a2) and Palanivelu Kumar (a3)
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