Using case studies for good competence evidence

Producing and reflecting upon case studies can help trainees to demonstrate competency and achieve learning outcomes.



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


Case studies are an increasingly popular form of teaching and have an important role in developing skills and knowledge in healthcare science. Case studies are a good assessment of knowledge and understanding, particularly with questioning.

Quote from the UK Centre for Materials Education


Tips for trainees

When using case studies as competency evidence, you should consider the following points:

  • analyse existing case studies with a training officer who could question a trainee about their interpretation of the case and the actions they would recommend
  • analyse an existing case study, providing a series of structured reflections on the case; for example, suggesting which tests are required. The case could be about a routine procedure or a quality assurance procedure, and the analysis could be presented as a report or short summary
  • use annotated photographs, case notes, family trees and video to present findings from case studies as evidence
  • analyse or create so-called ‘reverse case studies’ where you start with an end diagnosis and then try and build a case, evidencing what you think the original problem could have been and the steps and decisions taken in order to reach the diagnosis
  • build case histories step by step, starting from the very basic outlines of the case and building it up as you learn new skills and knowledge, to show progress in competence