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Formative Assessment

These assessments do not individually affect progression, but rather aim to help a trainee with learning objectives and to monitor progress through the curriculum in their training placement. For the run-through training programme, this is done by a system of “Workplace-Based Assessments” (WBA), now called 'supervised learning events' (SLEs) and the START assessment taken in the penultimate year.


Summative Assessment

This is the type of assessment which determines progression in training. These are the MRCPCH examinations, the ARCPs and mandatory DOPS.


MRCPCH examination. The first written papers (Foundation of Practice and Theory and Science) are generally taken after six months to one year of paediatric training.  College guidance is that 2 of the three written exams (inc Applied Knowledge written test) should be passed before moving into ST3. The entire examination (inc Part 2 Clinical) have to be completed for the trainee to progress from ST3 to ST4.

A local clinical course has been developed to help your progress with the clinical exam.


Workplace-based assessments (WBA)

New assessments were piloted in the 2013/14 academic year and are now part of the recognised system of assessments; these include a 'handover' assessment, a 'leadership' assessment, a safeguarding CBD and Acute care assessment, also the 'Documentation' tool.   It is unacceptable for trainees to wait a long time for the assessor to record an assessment, the school advises that assessments should be recorded by the assessor within 2 weeks, equally it is unacceptable for trainees to bunch their assessments towards the end of the year.    Those who fail to engage appropriately with the assessment process (including spreading them out through the year) risk being given an unsatisfactory outcome at ARCP. We would advise you will carry out 2 assessments every couple of months throughout the training year.

The point of the assessments is that there is learning from one to the next, and progression can be demonstrated through the year. This is not possible if all the assessments are carried out in May and June.


In order to log these assessments as you do them, it is necessary for all trainees to register with the College.


Failure to engage in the assessment process will delay your progression through training and rarely may result in you being released from the programme. 

Please contact the school or college directly if there are technical difficulties and the school if you have poor support within your allocated training post.


There are 4 main types of assessments that you will be expected to complete:


Mini-CEX – (Mini Clinical Evaluation). This is a direct observation of a clinical encounter – it may be a history, examination or communication type encounter. Half of these assessments should be completed by a Consultant. You should complete a Handover assessment as part of this group as defined by the college guidance.

eCBD – (Cased Based Discussion). This should be a discussion about a case, something you have been involved with and made an entry in the notes. This discussion looks at your clinical reasoning and note recording and more generally at the clinical or other relevant issues raised by the case. The discussion should be completed online via ASSET. These assessments should all be completed by a Consultant or senior trainee.

Your total CBD's should include a Safeguarding & Leader as defined in the college guidance.

DOPS – (Direct Observation of Practical Skills). This is a record of practical skills for example, blood taking, lumbar puncture and Intubation. The RCPCH has produced guidelines to which DOPS are mandatory, this has recently changed such that DOPS should be ideally completed in Level 1 training.  The mandatory DOPS do not have to be repeated later in training however recording your procedures in your skills log will be helpful for future employment.

ePaed MSF - (This is a Multi-source feedback tool). You will be expected to nominate at least 12 members from the team (consultants, seniors, peers, juniors, nurses and other health professional) to provide feedback via E Portfolio on your work performance. Please note that you must have a minimum of 7 completed assessments and a self-assessment for your ePaedMSF report to be valid - we advise that you invite over 12 assessors, to help increase your pool of responses.


More detailed instructions on how to complete assessments and how many should be completed are available on the training section of the RCPCH website.  



All of this information and more can be found on the College website under Assessment Tools Guidance

Assessments during Training