Failing the IACC


Those that fail...

  • Don’t follow the guidelines, template and don’t consider the marking criteria.
  • Submit a narrative that is not their own.
  • Description, not critical reflection – just the What?
  • Provide limited or no evidence to support conclusions / arguments; portfolio citations that do not match or back-up the argument.
  • Propose little or no evidence of the Now What?
  • Poor demonstration of patient centred and safe practice​.
  • Lack of insight into own scope of expertise potentially leading to harmful practice​.
  • Lack of understanding of the integral values of the Good Scientific Practice domains​.

Reframing negative experiences

When referring to a negative  experience, you need to avoid blaming others, and instead you need to demonstrate that you can take responsibility for your own learning. Identify experiences (good or bad) as learning opportunities for the future; opportunities which provide insight into your development as a lifelong learner.


Consider the example below, firstly identify why this is an example of an IACC that requires improvement. Secondly, consider what advice you might give to the trainee on how they could reframe this experience to reflect the model of What? So What? and Now What?

Requiring improvement example

“I have done enough research/development/innovation elements to complete all of my OneFile competencies. I have completed two audits in my department (one on correct ordering of tests received and one in the correct pre-testing procedures carried out). I have also completed a systematic review of the literature at University on a very different topic. However, I don’t feel confident with my research skillset and I think I need to focus more on developing GSP domain 4 in light of this. I was very much self-directed in doing all of these elements, so I’m not sure what I’ve missed in terms of learning the best way to do things from those with lots of experience. I feel quite disappointed that I’ve missed my opportunity to get advice and support in the best way to do research and audits and things. I think it was very unfair that other departments have supported their trainees and pretty much done their work for them, but I have had to do everything by myself with only a tiny bit of guidance. Also, I have completed all of these elements as independent pieces of work. I’m not really sure how I can use of these elements together in a research project. Overall, I don’t feel confident with myself even though I’ve been signed off the relating competencies.”


…why questions are generally better to help us understand events in our environment and what questions are generally better to help us understand ourselves.

Why questions can draw us to our limitations; what questions help us see our potential

Why questions stir up negative emotions; what questions keep us curious

Why questions trap us in our past; what questions help us create a better future

…asking what instead of why can be used to help us better understand and manage our emotions

Eurich, T (2017) The right way to be introspective (yes, there’s a wrong way). IDEAS.TED.COM June 2, 2017
Last accessed 27/04/2022