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Pathology Appraisal and Assessments

Assessment / Appraisal.

The majority of trainees are capable of self-directed learning and progression within the positive, supportive and encompassing training environment that exists across the School.

The programmes are designed to deliver the Royal College of Pathologists curriculum and all trainees will be assessed against these parameters.

However, part of the quality assurance of this progress is the regular and dedicated assessment and appraisal framework that exists. This is designed to reassure trainees, and to provide feedback to trainers, helping to direct specific areas of training. The process is also enables the School to identify any areas of development, and thereby amend training programmes as necessary. 

Overall, assessment and appraisal are set to encourage and support trainees in striving for excellence.

Work Based Assessments

There are a fixed number of Workplace based assessments (WBA) in all years of training, with three of the five years also having multisource feedback (MSF) sessions.  These trainee-selected assessments are formative, allowing consideration of clinical and professional skills along with structured feedback.  Whilst the college provides a minimum requirement, trainees are encouraged to out-perform this number, thereby proving their skills and allowing enhanced confidence within the educational framework.

The WBA assessment tools (DOP, ECE, mini CEX, CBD) are reviewed in feedback sessions between trainees and their educational supervisor and are directly integrated into the ARCP (Annual Review of Competency Progression) process.

ARCPs

Annual Reviews of Competence Progression (ARCPs) consider the evidence of training during the previous year, and is primarily derived from Educational Supervisor's (ES) review of trainees' progress which is provided to the ARCP panel. The assessments generally take place in June/early July each year. There is external validation of the process and lay representation as appropriate. The reports, agreed at the ARCP itself, are generated about 4-6 weeks prior to the meeting, such that the trainee will know the outcome in advance. Review of the WBAs, e-portfolio (LEPT: Royal College of Pathologists) and other evidence is required to validate trainee outcomes and progression into the next year. Trainees themselves are responsible for managing their portfolio, providing the evidence for the Educational Supervisor reviews and maintaining the e-portfolio (LEPT).

The process is described fully in Section 7 of the Gold Guide. This has been refined by the Royal College of Pathologists, which has produced generic ARCP guidance to take into account the different Stages of Specialty Training.

The panel is charged with seeing in person those trainees who might be experiencing difficulties in their training (ie. Non-ARCP1 trainees), but normally does not see those progressing satisfactorily, (ie. ARCP1) though a sample may be asked to attend.

Educational Supervision

Educational Supervisors (ES)

The ES is a trainer who is selected and appropriately trained to be responsible for the overall supervision and management of a specified trainee's educational progress during a training placement or series of placements. The ES will have completed specific modules of training designed to develop their skills in trainee appraisal, generalised supervision, review of WBA, etc. He/she will strive to identify and assist any trainee in difficulty. 

The ES will conduct face to face reviews with trainees at least three times per year. These will include a review of WBAs, progress against the curriculum, exam progression and the educational needs of the trainee. The ES will also oversee the MSF and deal with any matters that require specialised training.

Clinical Supervisors (CS)

These are trainers selected and appropriately trained to be responsible for overseeing trainees' laboratory and clinical work. They will provide constructive feedback during a training placement. They may assist/ perform WBAs. 

Feedback

Multisource feedback  (MSF)

This process allows trainees to review their overall personal and clinical abilities against multiple points of reference in an electronic format. This process has oversight by the ES and is employed to identify any potential areas of weakness promptly. However, it is not an assessment tool. 

Yorkshire and the Humber Trainee Survey (YHTS) and GMC survey

Trainees should take part in systems of quality assurance and quality improvement in their clinical work and training, by responding to requests for feedback on the quality of training. These include the GMC National Trainee Survey as well as Health Education England working across Yorkshire and the Humber hosted Annual Trainee Survey.

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