About the OSFA
The emphasis will be on what you can do. You will be asked to perform certain tasks that are relevant to your specialism or generic across specialisms.
These may include:
- Interpreting laboratory results
- Devising and communicating a patient management plan
- Evaluating the design or feasibility of a research project
- Discussing how you might implement a health innovation
The tasks will draw upon the five domains of Good Scientific Practice, and the knowledge and skills you have gained across the whole of the Scientist Training Programme including your rotational modules.
There are several ways by which an OSFA differs from other assessments, such as written exams. These include:
- Validity: the OSFA is a practical assessment that assesses a sample of the skills that underpin your role and fitness to practise in the workplace and which are clearly linked to your curriculum. The emphasis on practical skills (rather than knowledge recall) means that the results of your final assessment will tell us about your ability to perform as a clinical scientist from day one.
- The reliability of outcomes: your pass or fail outcome will be based on the judgement of at least 12 assessors and an Exam Board consisting of representatives from the OSFA assessors, your specialism’s Professional Body and the School. This means that your result will not be dependent upon whether you got ‘lucky’ or ‘unlucky’ with one assessor and you cannot fail the assessment based on the judgement of one assessor alone. A pass outcome will be awarded where there is sufficient evidence across the 12 different stations to demonstrate that you are performing at the standard required of a Clinical Scientist just prior to registration.