Assessment Strategy for 2021 Anaesthetics Curriculum

Published: 09/01/2023

Purpose of programme of assessment

The purpose of the programme of assessment is to “Robustly evidence, ensure and clearly communicate the expected levels of performance at critical progression points in, and to demonstrate satisfactory completion of training as required by the approved curriculum.” GMC, Designing and maintaining postgraduate assessment programmes.

The programme of assessment sets out to ensure that all areas of the training curriculum are sampled and assessed in a number of different ways thereby providing reassurance that doctors completing post-graduate training in anaesthesia are fit to practice.

The purpose of the anaesthetic curriculum is to enable doctors to become consultant anaesthetists with the generic professional and specialty specific capabilities to lead, develop and deliver high quality anaesthesia, and perioperative, critical care, and pain medicine. The programme of assessment supports this and is to:

  • assess an anaesthetists in training’s actual performance in the workplace
  • encourage the development of the anaesthetist in training as an adult responsible for their own learning
  • enhance learning by providing formative assessment, enabling the anaesthetists in training to receive immediate feedback, understand their own performance, and identify areas for development
  • drive learning and enhance the training process by making it clear what is required of anaesthetists and motivating them to ensure they receive suitable training and experience
  • demonstrate anaesthetists in training have acquired the GPCs and meet the requirements of Good Medical Practice
  • ensure that anaesthetists in training possess the essential underlying attitudes, knowledge and skill required for their practice
  • provide robust, summative evidence that anaesthetists in training are meeting the curriculum standards during the training programme
  • inform the ARCP process, identifying any requirements for targeted or additional training where necessary and facilitating decisions regarding progression through the training programme
  • identify anaesthetists in training who should be advised to consider a change of career direction.

The programme of assessments comprises several different types of assessment including examinations, and summative and formative assessments conducted in the workplace. The use of an integrated approach with a range of methodologies ensures that the programme of assessment demonstrates that anaesthetists in training have achieved the relevant learning outcomes at the appropriate stages of training.

A blueprint illustrates the assessment type that should or could be used to assess specific learning outcomes. The type of assessment used should be appropriate to the activity being assessed. All assessments, including those conducted in the workplace, are linked to the relevant learning outcomes.

Decisions made at critical progression points will use evidence from a range of assessments together with the professional judgement of those trainers who have observed the doctor in practice.

The programme of assessments defines these critical progression points and supports the learning outcomes at the distinct stages of training.

In Stage 1 the assessments focus on acquiring the knowledge and skills to be a safe anaesthetist working with defined levels of supervision in emergency and elective ‘generalist’ anaesthetic practice. During Stage 2 anaesthetists in training will increase their knowledge and skills in wider  areas of practice and will be developing greater autonomy. By the end of Stage 3 anaesthetists in training will have gained the knowledge and skills required for independent practice with generalist skills and expertise in areas of specialist interest. They will be able to use their knowledge and skills to develop practice in others.