In the collection Good STP competency evidence resources

Guidance on DOPS and OCEs for Bioinformatics trainees

Last Updated: 30th March 2021

Here you will find some guidance about the interpretation of the DOPS and OCE criteria for the Clinical Bioinformatics theme.

An example

The Health Informatics DOPS ‘Present an analysis of the local information strategy, with particular emphasis on its correlation with national health and care policy and strategy’ is used as an example in the interpretation of the criteria below.


  1. Understands the clinical context of the procedure including priority setting and testing strategies
    This is interpretable, by considering the healthcare context of the DOPS/OCE being assessed. For example, consider how the information strategy fits within the national health and care policies.
  2. Understands scientific principles of procedure including basic biology underpinning it and an awareness of troubleshooting
    This requires a generous interpretation. It is applicable by considering the scientific principles of the DOPS/OCE and how troubleshooting might be applied. For example, consider the scientific principles in determining an information strategy and how (i.e. through what process) it might be amended should an unforeseen problem arise (e.g. blocking YouTube when all the Trust’s online training is hosted there).
  3. Has read, understands and follows the appropriate SOPs, risk and COSHH assessments, and any other relevant H & S documentation including equipment care and maintenance
    This requires a generous interpretation. It is applicable by considering the SOPs and risk assessments. For example, consider the process by which a policy is brought into adoption (including any Quality Management issues) and the risks that may surround a poorly-worded policy statement.
  4. Understands and applies the appropriate test validation, IQC, EQA relevant professional/clinical guidelines
    This requires a generous interpretation. It is applicable by considering the validation (and any testing) plus professional guidelines. For example, consider how the policy has been reviewed prior to implementation and whether there are any professional guidelines that are applicable.
  5. Understands and applies associated IT/bioinformatics
    This is directly applicable.
  6. Accurately completes associated documentation
    This is directly applicable.
  7. Output meets accepted laboratory/professional standards
    This is directly applicable by focussing on ‘professional’ rather than ‘laboratory’.
  8. Carries out the procedure within appropriate timeframe
    This is directly applicable.
  9. Is aware of the limitations of the test and sensitivity/specificity
    This requires a generous interpretation. It is applicable by considering any testing that has been applied and the sensitivity/specificity of that. For example, how has the policy been tested prior to implementation (can it be tested?) and how widely?
  10. Is able to analyse, interpret and report the results of the procedure and provide appropriate clinical advice
    This requires a generous interpretation. It is applicable by considering the analysis and interpretation required. For example, consider the issues that have been analysed in forming the policy and what ambiguities have had to be interpreted (and how they documented).
  11. Demonstrates awareness of the limits of responsibility and when to seek advice
    This is directly applicable.
  12. Understands the ethical, legal and social implications of the procedure
    This is directly applicable, especially if ‘ethical’ is not taken too strongly.
  13. Consideration of patient/professionalism
    This is interpretable, by considering the effects that the DOPS/OCE has on patient care. For example, the policy should enhance healthcare (if not it may not fit well within STP). The effect that it is intended to have on healthcare can be discussed.
  14. Overall ability to perform
    This is directly applicable.