Patient interactions and good competency evidence

Interactions with patients offer trainees the opportunity to demonstrate their competence with subject knowledge and their competence in interpersonal and communication skills.



This resource was produced in support of the ‘old’ STP curricula. It is currently under review and will be updated soon.


Peers or training officers can provide trainees with feedback on interactions, which the trainees can use as evidence. In some cases, the trainee might seek feedback from the patient.

According to the NHS Constitution:

Patients come first in everything we do. We fully involve patients, staff, families, carers, communities, and professionals inside and outside the NHS.

This can also be true of healthcare science training even if the trainee’s role or specialty are not directly patient-facing. According to Manninen et. al. in their paper ‘Patients’ approaches to students’ learning’,

It is well known that patients’ involvement in health care students’ learning is essential and gives students opportunities to experience clinical reasoning and practise clinical skills.


How to use patient involvement as competency evidence

Here are some suggestions on using patient feedback and involvement in competency evidence.

  • Seek and use feedback from a patient about the trainee’s involvement in the patient’s care.
  • Use witness statements and observations made by peers and training officers about the trainee’s interaction with patients.
  • Use video to film themselves working with patients to demonstrate the way in which they interact with patients. Additionally, Training Officers could then evaluate the interaction by giving feedback. Doing this over time should hopefully show improvement and progress.
  • Produce or update a patient information leaflet and use this as evidence.
  • Get involved in initiatives to improve a patient experience or service and get feedback from patients and colleagues about their contribution.
  • Reflect on information from patient feedback surveys to generate appropriate evidence.
  • Get involved in patient groups and reflect on the experience of their involvement and what they learned from it.