Programmatic Assessment in Action: Designing competency-based assessment using Canadian family medicine as an example

Date:                    Sunday 25th August

Half Day:              1330-1630

Level:                    Intermediate


  1. Shelley Ross, University of Alberta, Canada
  2. Luce Pelissier-Simard, Universite Sherbrooke, Canada
  3. Theresa van der Goes, University of British Columbia, Canada
  4. Kathy Lawrence, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
  5. Cheri Bethune, Memorial University, Canada
  6. Kiranpal Dhillon, University of Alberta, Canada

Summary of theme and why it is important:  What are the best approaches to designing programmatic assessment? How can those who plan assessment for health professions training programs ensure that they are assessing the right things, with the right tools, in the right way? This is the next great challenge of competency-based medical education (CBME). Determining the competencies to be assessed has been a focus for many health professions training programs; now, programs are grappling with the realization that most traditionally used assessment approaches are not sufficient to assess those competencies. Programmatic assessment approaches are being promoted as the solution to facilitate meaningful collection of assessment evidence that will support high stakes decision making. However, many educators and programs struggle with how to design programmatic assessment. Solutions are needed, and this workshop uses the example of family medicine residency training in Canada as a case study in transitioning a training program to CBME and programmatic assessment, both at national and at individual program levels.

Who should participate in the Pre-Conference Workshop?  This workshop is intended for those who are interested in assessment planning and design, either at a local level for an individual program, or on a larger scale for multiple programs.

What will they gain from participating?  Learning objectives: By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the key principles of programmatic assessment.
  2. Debate the merits of high level guidelines versus specific requirements when introducing a new approach to assessment on a national level.
  3. Design a preliminary draft of a programmatic assessment framework for their own program based on the provided examples and the discussion that arises from them.

 In this interactive workshop, participants will be given the opportunity to work through the process of developing programmatic assessment approaches for health professions training. The goal is for participants to use the experience in Canadian family medicine training to identify the enablers and barriers that are faced by accrediting bodies and by individual programs in transforming assessment.  Participants will be introduced to the basic principles of programmatic assessment, and will be given scenario prompts to facilitate small group discussions about what factors must be considered in designing programmatic assessment. Next, participants will be given an overview of the goals of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) in mandating that residency programs adopt programmatic assessment. Examples of different approaches to setting expectations for programs will be provided, and small group discussion will be used to explore the pros and cons of each approach with participants grouped by whether they wish to discuss transition to programmatic assessment at a systems level or at an individual program level.  Finally, participants will be asked to draw upon the Canadian family medicine residency program experience to design programmatic assessment for their own program(s) that is meaningful to both clinical preceptors and to learners. Participants are expected to leave the workshop with a basic model for programmatic assessment.

Cost: Euros 90 (includes coffee)

PLEASE NOTE: Pre-conference Workshop participants must also register for AMEE 2019 and pay the conference fee.


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