Modernizing assessment of surgical trainees in the workplace

Published:November 11, 2021DOI:


      Surgical training has evolved significantly over the last few decades. The old model of an informal apprenticeship and ad-hoc mentoring by a single or small team of consultant supervisors has been slowly replaced with formal assessment against a standardized specialty curriculum and annual review of competence by a panel of trainers. The introduction of new surgical curricula from August 2021 has continued this modernization of surgical assessment with greater emphasis on quality of interactions between trainer and trainee. The requirement of a fixed number of work-place based assessments to be completed per year has been dropped. There is a move to competency-based assessment rather than time based. Competencies have been divided into core competencies (Generic Professional Capabilities) and key competencies of a speciality (Capabilities in Practice). These will be assessed by a group of consultant supervisors, and structured and constructive feedback will be provided using the multi-consultant report, a tool designed to give defined feedback that can be actioned by trainees. Trainees will be able to measure their performance against tangible goals and see their progressions towards acquiring the skills required of a day one consultant.


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