Update on plans to introduce external assessment in the workplace

Find out about our progress in exploring changes to the assessment of trainees on the new STP curricula.

Published on
12th January 2023
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In November we outlined our intention to explore the introduction of a lightweight amount of external assessment of workplace-based assessment (OCEs, DOPS and CBDs) for trainees on the new curricula, to enhance the confidence of the healthcare science community in trainees’ practical skills. We said that we would update you on progress with this work in January. Here’s where we are now.

Training officers have provided us with a wealth of feedback on these proposals through two consultation events, most recently at the School Collaborative meeting in November. We believe this proposal is still worthwhile exploring and overall trainers have agreed. However, we have also heard trainers’ concerns about the proposal and the difficulties it might pose in practice, particularly as regards the administrative overhead and the availability of assessors.

In response to the concerns we have received, we are working on a number of possible options to find realistic and feasible solutions which still allow for robust assessment. We now intend to spend the first few months of this year testing some options with small groups of trainers and trainees in order to learn from these pilots and develop the plans in response to what we learn.

We still plan for this proposal to form part of the assessment strategy for trainees in the 2022 cohort. However, we would rather pilot and learn than drop an untested proposal on to trainees and trainers. Therefore, a finished model of external assessment is unlikely to be ready to begin in the Autumn of 2023 as trainees enter their second year of the programme as we had initially suggested.

Alongside this work, we’re also continuing to work on the format for the end point assessment for the new curriculum. We appreciate the lack of information about the route to the completion of the programme is concerning for those of you impacted. We will keep you updated with our progress towards a new end point assessment as soon as we can. We have outlined the overall plan for changes to the assessment of trainees on the new curricula on the School website.

Can you help us?

We are currently looking for volunteers to be involved in a pilot of the digital processes we’re exploring for external assessments in workplace. If you’d like to be involved or find out more, please get in touch at We’d be particularly keen to hear from:

  • Clinical Bioinformatics
  • Genomics
  • Haematology and Transfusion Science
  • Radiation Safety
  • Respiratory and Sleep Science
  • Vascular Science

Last updated on 28th September 2023

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