Using AfL feedback for your competencies

Feedback is a core component of formative assessment and central to learning. It informs the trainee of progress or lack thereof.


In John Hattie’s seminal work on educational effectiveness, Visible Learning for Teachers (2011), Hattie ranked feedback strategies 10th out of 150 factors that bring about significant improvements in learner outcomes.

For you to get valuable feedback, your training officer should do the following:

  • Give you an insight into observed learning needs and the resources available to facilitate and support your learning.
  • Promote motivation and engagement for you in appropriate learning activities.
  • Use questioning to identify what level you are working at, provide feedback on what your next steps should be to improve your learning. Training officers can model what successful work looks like and encourage you to work with your peers and to learn from one another.
  • Confirm your proficiency and knowledge regarding a technique detailing what you need to do to improve your performance of the technique.
  • Give detailed, effective feedback. Give you task-focused feedback – rather than something like ‘That’s great’. Detailed feedback about what you need to do to improve can help you to understand what you need to do next to succeed.
  • Use minutes of one-to-one review meetings as evidence of ongoing feedback and progress.
  • Question you about working through an error. For example: How might it be caused or discovered? What should be done when it is discovered? How should it be reported? How might this affect the patient?
  • Observe you setting up a machine or test.
  • Ask you to annotate a health and safety map showing hazards within the lab, identifying what the lab has in place to minimise risks and how this affects the way in which the healthcare scientists work.