Before, during and after the IACC interview

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Preparing for the interview

Guidance is available on how to access the trainee reflective narratives and their portfolios in OneFile.

The trainees are asked to write a sythensised critical self-reflection of their learning and achievement through the three years of their programme. This is a consolidatory piece of work in which they can demonstrate where they are and where they need, or want, to be in the next stage of their career as a Clinical Scientist. We are recommending that the trainees adopt Driscoll’s Model of Reflection (2007). See Driscoll’s figure under the ‘overview of the IACC’ section.

The IACC 2022 critical reflection provides an opportunity for trainees to self-advocate for their readiness to practise under circumstances where they have experienced significant and variable disruption to their training. Supporting trainees to critically reflect and self-advocate for their future training needs provides the best way to support transition into practice under highly variable circumstances.

Training plan (optional)

The trainee may choose to include a training plan as an annex to their critical reflective narrative. This may be used as supporting evidence by the trainee if appropriate, but it does not form part of the critical reflective narrative, it is excluded from the word count and is not assessed.

Reasonable expectations

Please remember that at this point trainees still have four months remaining on their programme to progress their work-based learning and assessment. Also, due to COVID related disruption, there is no minimum number of competences required to complete the STP in 2022. It is not reasonable or realistic to expect any trainee to have achieved 100% completion of their portfolio when assessing their IACC.

Forming your independent view

You are asked to read the written reflective narrative submitted by the trainees and form your own provisional independent judgement of these in preparation for your planning meeting to prepare for the interviews.

Reviewing the evidence

You will have access to the trainee’s portfolio (OneFile) to allow you to examine the evidence cited in support of their critical reflection. As an assessor, you have the option but not the obligation to read all of the evidence cited by the trainee. You must only consider cited evidence that is fully signed off in the trainee’s portfolio. The trainee may have uploaded evidence from external sources, e.g. their academic programme, and this should also be considered.

If you cannot see the trainees’ portfolios in OneFile please email NSHCS.digital@hee.nhs.uk as soon as possible and update the assessment team at NSHCS.assessment@hee.nhs.uk

Evidence within scope

Although you will have access to the trainee’s entire portfolio you should restrict your access to the evidence cited by the trainee. The evidence must be completed and signed-off by the submission deadline for the reflective narrative. It is not within the scope of the IACC assessment to reassess competencies and evidence signed off in the e-portfolio.

Exceptions

There are three exceptions where you may consider evidence in the portfolio beyond that cited by the trainee. These are where the panel identifies:

  1. in discussions about the two CBD scenarios
  2. concerns about patient safety
  3. concerns about breaches of professional standards

Format of cited evidence

Trainees are required to use syntax below to cite evidence of completed and signed-off competencies and workplace assessments (DOPS, OCEs and CBDs) in their reflective narrative.

  • To cite competency 3 in module SCC110 (Introduction to Healthcare Science and Clinical Leadership) they use SCC110:3. You can access all evidence attached to this competency.
  • To cite a specific piece of evidence linked to a competency, e.g. the results of a test or procedure, they will use SCC110:3 (test A results). You should only look at the specified evidence.
  • To cite a workplace assessment they cite the module code and the assessment code they will use SLS100:OCE1 (e.g., Clinical Biochemistry Investigation of Major Organ Function, OCE1).

Trainees may also upload and cite external evidence, e.g. form their academic programme. They should attach this evidence to a relevant competency and ask their training officer to sign it as complete, but sign-off is not essential as it has been assessed by the academic provider.

Trainees may also refer to, but not cite, examples of their developing critical reflective practice which is yet to be signed off and this should be indicated by the reference being labelled UNSIGNED, e.g. UNSIGNED SCC110:4.

Training plan

As previously noted, the training plan should be considered as supporting evidence.

Preparing for the interview

You will receive your panel interview schedule in advance.

Lead assessor

If you have been appointed as lead assessor you are responsible for organising and leading panel activities. You must organise a meeting to plan your panel’s approach to the interview. Contingency assessors should be invited to this meeting.

Lead Assessors have ultimate discretion on how much of the 45 minute interview to spend on each part of the interview: reflective narrative (30-35 minutes) and two CBD scenarios (10-15 minutes).

As lead assessor, before the interview you must ensure that:

  • the panel have contact details for each assessor, including the contingency assessor
  • the panel are aware of any reasonable adjustments to be provided to a trainee
  • the panel know the assessment schedule for the trainee

Click this link for further details on the responsibilities of panel members.

Planning the interview on the reflective narrative

In planning the interview on the reflective narrative (30-35 mins) your panel should consider:

  • your initial view on readiness to practice, including positive aspects and indicators of the trainee’s readiness to practice
  • areas in each GSP domain and the global statement that you wish to explore further with the trainee, particularly any readiness to practise issues identified within the reflective narrative, and including the relevance and persuasiveness of the cited evidence
  • the questions you will ask
  • the order of the questions and who will ask each one
  • approximately how much time to allocate to each domain and the global statement

Read the Critical Reflective Narrative

Lead Assessors have discretion on how much time (30-35 minutes) to spend on each domain and the order in which GSP domains will be addressed. The panel will take a semi-structured approach to asking questions; supplementary questions may be asked where further information would be helpful and time permits. The Lead Assessor should record the questions and their allocation to panel members.

Planning the interview on the case-based discussion scenarios

Your panel must also select:

  • which two case-based discussion scenarios you want to discuss with the trainee (5-7 minutes each; total 15 minutes maximum)
  • how and when you will integrate these into the interview process

The Lead Assessor should record the case-based discussion scenarios selected by the panel.

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The interview

The 45 minute interview is normally conducted under exam conditions.

The focus of the interview are:

  • to allow the you to explore aspects of the narrative to confirm that the trainee demonstrates ‘readiness to practise’ in each domain and the global statement (30-35 minutes)
  • to discuss the two unseen case based discussion scenarios (10 to 15 minutes)

Pre-interview checks

The trainee will arrive 15 minutes before the interview is scheduled to start and during this time the Invigilator will ensure that:

  • the identity of the trainee is confirmed using a reliable form of photo identification (i.e., photo ID such as a driving licence or current passport)
  • confirm the trainee has read/viewed the assessment regulations
  • parts of the trainee visible to the camera conform to the dress code for the final assessment
  • the trainee is alone and unaided for their assessment

The assessor panel and observer, if allocated, will join the trainee in the MS Teams room after these checks are completed and the interview can begin.

During the interview

The Lead Assessor is responsible for the conduct of the panel interview and provides guidance and direction to the trainee and panel members. During the interview the Lead Assessor will:

  • ensure that any reasonable adjustments are provided to the trainee
  • ensure the Assessment Regulations and duration for the interview are strictly adhered to
  • ensure that a response is given where the trainee seeks clarification on a question
  • provide direction to participants to ensure the smooth running of the interview
  • adhere to the timings for each interview element (reflective narrative and case-based discussion scenarios)

Critical reflective narrative element

  • The interview should focus on the most significant issues, or where there is a lack of clarity.
  • Initial planned questions may be followed by more detailed questions to explore the trainee’s responses.
  • You must use a proportionate approach when seeking clarification or additional information to ensure the interview can be completed in the time available (30-35 minutes).
  • Trainees can respond to the Lead Assessor or the assessor asking the question.
  • The panel members should independently record questions asked and trainee responses during the interview under the relevant criterion and GSP/global statement.

Case-based discussion scenario element (New)

This is a new element introduced into the IACC interview in 2022. The case-based discussion scenarios are short (5-7 minutes each), unseen questions drawn from the Professional Practice module (SCC110: Introduction to Healthcare Science, Professional Practice and Clinical Leadership) and the required rotation(s) for your specialty required for  STP completion in 2022. Scenarios and therefore assessors must restrict their focus to the content, knowledge and competencies defined in these modules.

The case-based discussion scenarios are not marked independently but provide an additional perspective and evidence of the trainee’s readiness to practise in the specific GSP domains they address.

Interview process

If a trainee does not understand a question they may ask for clarification, or check their understanding. No additional time is available for a trainee to seek clarification. If the panel feel that this significantly interfered with the assessment an incident report may be created. Trainees may not seek feedback on their responses to the panel’s questions within the assessment.

Assessor questions, and trainee responses, may make reference to annexes and OneFile evidence within the scope of the guidance on evidence. Assessors may consider trainees suggestions where further evidence can be found within their e-portfolio for assessors to consider during the interview.

If the assessor panel has completed your questions you must ask the trainee if they want to add anything further. If the trainee does not wish to make a further contribution you must sit in silence until the scheduled end of the interview; you may make notes during this time. At any time before the end of the interview the trainee may choose to make any additional comments to support their assessment. You may reasonably seek clarification or additional information, if necessary.

During and after the interview, you should record your own views of the trainee performance against the marking criteria. At the end of the assessment (i.e. after the interview), you will meet as a panel to discuss and agree a provisional outcome and feedback for each trainee.

Responding to incidents during the interview

Where an incident occurs during the interview, the Lead Assessor will record the time of the incident and liaise with members of the School to determine if the assessment can continue. The incident report will be a brief statement that describes the issue, any remedy or solution offered during the panel interview and any impact on the assessment process. Incident Reports should be submitted via the online incident reporting form.

If one of the assessors unexpectedly becomes unavailable and a contingency assessor is not available, the Lead Assessor can seek the trainee’s consent to record the interview. Recording the interview will allow the assessment to continue and allows for a third assessor to contribute to the trainee’s assessment and feedback later.

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After the interview: outcome and feedback

The assessor panel must meet and agree a provisional outcome and supporting feedback for the trainee. These must be based on the assessment guidance and marking criteria.

The Lead Assessor must arrange and chair the post-interview assessor panel meeting and lead a discussion to seek a consensus on the trainee’s performance and provisional outcome, supported by a rationale aligned to the marking criteria.

Provisional outcome

If you are unable to agree a provisional outcome, the Lead Assessor is asked to record the majority decision and send a brief report to the Exam Board explaining the reasons for the difference of opinion and why the panel cannot reach a consensus.

Feedback

The panel must agree the feedback for the trainee. This feedback is crucial where the provisional outcome is a fail. You can use the qualitative statements in the marking criteria to provide a baseline set of feedback comments to the trainee in addition to any specific comments you write.

Feedback must be written for, and addressed to the trainee. It should be consistent with an approach to supporting development and transition into practice through critical reflection. Click this link to view our guidance on crafting the required assessor feedback comments.

Quality feedback

Supportive and developmental feedback is a key feature of the IACC 2022 to support transition into practice or retaking the IACC. Feedback must definitively state whether the outcome is a pass or fail. Feedback should be sufficiently detailed to:

  • allow trainees to understand each of the judgements made for GSP domains, the global statement and the overarching criteria and the overall outcome reached by the assessor panel, including any recommendations made
  • support transition into practise
  • support a resubmission, if required

Reporting

The Lead Assessor is responsible for collating your panel’s provisional outcome and feedback and recording these in the online assessment system. This is essential to ensure that the results are available to the Exam Board. Assessor panels are asked to report their results within 2 working days of the trainee interviews.