Aim To compare trainer and trainee experience when using the new Safeguarding Case Based Discussion (CbD) and Discussion of Correspondence (DoC) work place based assessments in comparison with the previous assessments.
Methods A collaborative trainee led group designed new formative work based place assessments that were launched by the RCPCH in September 2013. The aim of these reforms was a shift toward formative assessment, focusing on feedback and the removal of the more summative scoring system, with hypothesised improvement in their educational impact. An online survey was sent to all college tutors and London Deanery trainees to evaluate their experience of the new safeguarding CbD and DoC.
Results Responses from 161 trainees were evenly distributed throughout the training years. The majority of safeguarding CbDs took 15–20 min to perform. Trainees reported that 68% were filled out in person with the trainer, whereas college tutors reported 94% were filled out with the trainee present. The most common barriers encountered when performing a safeguarding CbD were inadequate time or a neonatal rather than general paediatrics placement. 70% of trainees and 90% of tutors felt the new CbD better assessed the trainee’s knowledge, application and clinical skills. 52% of trainees and 81% of tutors felt it stimulated learning more than the old style assessment. 64% of trainees and 87% of tutors felt learning objectives were clearer. Generally, a specific safeguarding CbD was seen as a useful tool.
On average, DoC took 5–10 min to complete. The majority of trainees and trainers found no barriers to completing a DoC. The majority of trainees did not feel that DoC stimulated their learning more than the old style Sheffield Assessment Instrument for Letters, however 76% of trainers felt it did allow better assessment of written correspondence.
Conclusion The new formative CbD assessment appears to improve the educational impact from both a trainer and trainee perspective. However, only the trainers not the trainees felt that the new DoC improved educational impact. The main barrier reported to completing both types of assessment was trainer and trainee time.
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