School exploring proposal for external assessment of STP trainees in the workplace

Giving greater confidence in the work-based assessments carried out in the workplace.

Published on
5th July 2022
Filed under
Healthcare science, NSHCS, STP

The focus of the proposal is the DOPS, OCE and CBD which are already a requirement of the Scientist Training Programme (STP) curriculum. The aim of the proposal is to ensure trainees are rigorously and consistently assessed in the workplace to support trainees’ development of skills and knowledge throughout the STP.

The proposal

  • Work-based assessments would be assessed by registered independent assessors.
  • A number of assessments would be completed by external assessors.

The proposal capitalises on opportunities presented by the introduction of the new STP curriculum and in turn, the introduction of this proposal would allow for changes in other areas of STP delivery. This forms part of a larger review of STP delivery to ensure the input required is streamlined, achievable and effective while ensuring the programme is fit for purpose in training clinical scientists ready for day one ‘on the job’. Most significantly, the proposal would allow an open conversation about the STP final assessment. The investment of assessor’s time and expertise in the work-based training as suggested here, would provide greater confidence that trainees’ skills and knowledge had been robustly assessed prior to entering the STP final assessment. This would allow for the development of a lean, synoptic final assessment.

We are currently working through the principles, workflows and supporting mechanisms that would be required to put this proposal into practice. This includes trying to answer a number of questions:

  • How would the assessments work, which assessments should this apply to and when in training should this apply?
  • Should there be a register of assessors, should assessors be trained to ensure assessments are carried out consistently and what would the criteria be for entry to the register?
  • Should assessors be independent, what does ‘independence’ mean and how would it be applied in practice?
  • Should some assessors be external, what does ‘external’ mean, which assessments would this apply to and how many assessments would it apply to?
  • How would this be applied in practice and who would do what and when to facilitate the assessments?

An initial consultation was held in June 2022, with lead examiners and assessors involved in the IACC. Feedback on the proposal so far has been cautiously positive with lots of questions asked about how it will work and what it will mean for everyone involved in the STP. We are working with the feedback and comments received, to help us answer these questions and develop the workflows required to put the proposal into practice.

How can you get involved?

We are planning a wider consultation with everyone involved in the STP later this year.

What will happen next?

  • Pilot in the 2022/2023 academic year – we hope to be able to run a pilot to test the workflows required. Look out for opportunities to be involved in the pilot.
  • Planning and preparation – we will provide the support required to put the new workflows into practice.
  • Roll out from September 2023 – we hope to be able to implement the proposal for the second year of the new curriculum in 2023.

Last updated on 5th July 2022

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