The assessor panel
The IACC 2021 assessor panel comprises three specialist assessors, one of whom is appointed as the Lead Assessor. The appointment of assessors to a panel is subject to ensuring that there are no conflicts of interest. Panel assessors must declare that there is ‘no conflict of interest’ in relation to each trainee being assessed by the panel.
Trust and confidentiality
The School appreciates the commitment of the assessors for their support and facilitation of the IACC 2021. It also trusts in the panel assessors to maintain the integrity and security of the assessment at all times. This includes treating all materials, discussions and outcome decisions with the appropriate confidentiality. Assessors must not access, save or use any materials to which they have access other than for the assessment event for which they have been engaged.
Marking the IACC
Each panel member must assess each trainee independently, i.e. without reference to judgements of the other panel members both in forming their initial view of the critical reflective narrative and after the interview. The assessment must be based on the marking criteria provided for the Good Scientific Practice domains, global statement and overall assignment and be recorded on the assessor feedback template provided.
In preparation for the interview, each assessor must read the IACC 2021 critical reflective narrative and record their individual provisional judgements. The assessors then meet as a panel, organised by the Lead Assessor, to prepare for the interview and agree what questions to ask the trainee. After the interview, each panel member will record and/or modify their individual assessment of the trainee.
At the end of the final assessment (i.e. after the interview), the panel members are required to meet and, following a thorough negotiation, agree an outcome recommendation and feedback for the trainee. The Lead Assessor must record these on the online assessment system, eNetAssess.
It is a requirement of the assessment that written feedback comments are provided for all candidates.
The IACC 2021 is designed to assess the trainee’s readiness to practise at the level of a newly qualified, threshold clinical scientist.
The assessment criteria from IACC 2020 have been synthesised to create marking criteria that address three key attributes of the assessment: critical reflection, self-advocacy and evidence in a summary table or rubric. The marking rubric provides concise and transparent criteria that are easy to apply, and which provide basic feedback to the trainee. The detailed criteria are provided in a separate Marking Criteria guide.
As an assessor you are required to apply these assessment criteria, which apply to both the critical reflective narrative and the panel interview, in reaching your judgement and formulating your feedback.
Reaching a recommended outcome
The panel is required to agree and recommend a provisional pass or fail judgement based on the assessment guidance and marking criteria.
To achieve a provisional pass of ‘ready to practise’, the trainee must pass all Good Scientific Practice domains and the Global Statement and thereby meet the overarching IACC 2021 requirements that:
- This trainee has demonstrated the ability to recognise the scope of their own competence and to self-regulate to ensure safe practice.
- This trainee has demonstrated the ability to ensure appropriate standards and patient safety are maintained at all times.
Where an Assessor Panel cannot reach a consensus on the provisional trainee outcome, the Lead Assessor may communicate a provisional outcome based on a majority decision to the Examination Board. Where a majority decision is reached the Lead Assessor must produce a brief report identifying the difference of opinion and why the panel cannot reach a consensus.
The Lead Assessor is responsible for recording the panel judgement and feedback and entering these into the online system, eNetAssess.
Feedback to the trainee
The panel must agree the feedback for the trainee. This feedback is crucial where the judgement is a provisional fail. The criteria from the marking rubric can be used to provide a baseline set of feedback comments to the trainee in addition to any specific comments the panel provides. The Lead Assessor is responsible for collating the panel judgement and feedback comments and entering these into the online system.
The critical reflective narrative and evidence
Each assessor must read the critical reflective narrative independently and form a provisional view of the trainee’s readiness to practise in each Good Scientific Practice domain and the global statement using the marking rubric which is in the Marking Criteria guide.
The assessors must record their individual independent assessment in the assessor feedback template. The trainee must also pass the two overarching criteria to pass the assessment.
There is no set number of competences trainees are required to complete to pass the IACC 2021. The IACC 2021 critical reflection provides an opportunity for trainees to self-advocate for their readiness to practise under circumstances where there has been significant and variable disruption to 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.
Assessors will have access to the trainee’s e-portfolio (OneFile). Assessors have the option but not the obligation to read all of the evidence cited by the trainee. Assessor should only consider cited evidence that is fully signed off in the e-portfolio.
Although the assessors will have access to the trainee’s entire portfolio they should restrict their access to the evidence cited by the trainee in their critical reflective narrative. Where the trainee has cited a competency, e.g. competency 3 in module SCC110, cited as SCC110:3, assessors are entitled to examine all of the evidence attached to that competency. Where the trainee cites a specific piece of evidence attached to a competency, then assessors may only look at the specific piece of evidence cited.
Trainees may 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.
There are two exceptions where assessors may consider evidence in the portfolio beyond that cited by the trainee. These are where the panel identifies:
- concerns about patient safety or,
- concerns about breaches of professional standards.
It is not within the scope of the assessment to reassess competencies and evidence signed off in the e-portfolio.
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.