2.3 Observed assessment roles and responsibilities


2.3 Observed assessment roles and responsibilities

2.3.1 Training officer responsibilities

  • Training officers are responsible for facilitating the completion of observed assessments.
  • Training officers should support trainees to be ready to undertake observed assessments. This may include discussing the trainee’s progress with training activities, which observed assessment will be completed and the trainee’s expectation and understanding of the requirements of observed assessments.
  • Where the assessment of DOPS and OCEs is delegated, training officers must ensure that the chosen assessor has the appropriate skills and knowledge to assess the activity. Training officers are responsible for approving nominated assessors in OneFile.
  • Feedback from observed assessments, particularly failed attempts, may be helpful to identify training needs. Training officers should adapt support and plan training to allow trainees to develop their practice appropriately in response to feedback.
    • If a training officer receives feedback that identifies a safety issue for patients, employees or the trainee themselves they should follow all appropriate routes to manage the issue. Where the issue impacts the trainee’s safety or ability to train, they should also raise this with the School.

2.3.2 Assessor responsibilities

  • Assessors are responsible for conducting observed assessments, completing the appropriate mark form, including providing constructive feedback and determining an outcome for the assessment. Assessors must record the outcome of the assessment on the e-portfolio.
  • Assessors should be ‘entrusted’ in the workplace to undertake the activity or interaction that is being assessed and have sufficient experience to make a critical judgement on the trainee’s skills, behaviours and attitudes applied to the activity or interaction.
  • Current trainees cannot act as assessors for other trainees
  • Where assessors have concerns about the trainee’s practice, they should raise these concerns with the training officer and where relevant, other people responsible for training in the department, to allow support to be put in place and/or the issue to be addressed locally.
  • Assessors must be aware that they are exercising a professional responsibility when engaging with assessment and passing judgement on trainees’ performance. Assessors must adhere to their own professional standards and responsibilities as an employee and registrant where applicable, including raising critical issues in practice or performance through the appropriate routes. Assessor preparation for observed assessments

  • Assessors should ensure that they are familiar with the observed assessment specified by the curriculum and the marking scheme for the assessment type. Assessors may wish to familiarise themselves with the context of the assessment by exploring the module content.
  • Where the activity or interaction is simulated for the assessment, assessors should not play a role in the simulation to ensure that they are able to observe the trainee’s performance in full.
  • Assessors should ensure that they will be available and unlikely to be disturbed or interrupted during the assessment, in order to give their full attention to the trainee for the time required to complete the assessment.
  • Assessors may wish to prepare some questions to ask the trainee following completion of the activity or interaction to help them in providing feedback on the elements of practice outlined in the mark form and/or determining an outcome for the assessment. The assessor’s role during the assessment

  • Assessors must only observe during the completion of the activity or interaction. Assessors should not prompt or guide trainees, ask questions or enter a discussion with the trainee while they are undertaking the activity or interaction.
  • After the trainee has completed the activity or interaction required for the assessment, the assessor may spend up to 10 minutes asking the trainee questions about the activity or interaction.
    • The purpose of the questions is to support the assessor to determine an outcome for the assessment and provide feedback to the trainee on their performance of the activity or interaction.  The assessment is not solely a test of the trainee’s academic knowledge and any questions asked should refer to the trainee performance in the activity or interaction.
    • Not all elements of practice outlined in the mark form will be demonstrated in every activity or interaction, in which case the assessor can ask questions to elicit more information about the trainee’s skills, applied knowledge, behaviours and attitudes or leave that area of the mark form blank.
    • It may not be appropriate for the assessor to engage in a discussion with the trainee immediately after the completion of activity or interaction if there are patients or others present, in which case the discussion should be completed as soon as possible afterwards. Providing an outcome and feedback

  • Assessors must ensure that their judgement is based on the trainee’s performance in the observed assessment being undertaken only. If assessors have experience of the trainee’s practice outside the bounds of the assessment being undertaken, this should not be considered in making a judgement on the trainee’s performance in the observed assessment.
  • Assessors must complete a DOP or OCE mark form and record the outcome of the assessment in the e-portfolio for each observed assessment completed.
  • The completed mark forms and outcome of the assessment should be provided to the trainee via the e-portfolio within 5 working days of the assessment taking place. It is good practice to provide the form and record the outcome directly after the assessment has been completed.
  • All observed assessments should be logged in the e-portfolio, regardless of whether the outcome is a pass or a fail.
  • It is good practice for assessors to provide feedback on the mark form to support trainees to continue to develop their practice.  Feedback is particularly important for rotational observed assessments and in the case of a fail outcome, where feedback can be used to identify training needs and guide a plan for training. If verbal feedback is provided as part of the discussion, this should also be recorded on the mark form.

2.3.3 Trainee responsibilities

  • Trainees are responsible for engaging with their training officers and assessors to complete the required number observed assessments.
  • Trainees should discuss which observed assessments they will undertake with their training officers and aim to showcase a range of skills across each module. Trainee’s portfolios must include both DOPS and OCEs.
  • It is good practice for trainees to discuss their progress with training activities and their readiness to undertake observed assessments with their training officer before arranging an observed assessment.
  • Trainees should make sure they plan to meet the progression requirements of their programme and carefully consider the time taken to arrange and complete an observed assessment so that their progression requirements can be met.
  • When engaging in observed assessments, trainees must behave appropriately and reasonably in the line with the expectations of trainee on a School programme, an employee of their healthcare organisation and a registrant or pre-registrant, where appropriate. This includes following all relevant local and School policies and behaving in accordance with professional standards of conduct, performance and ethics and the NHS constitution values and behaviours.