Background In the UK, work-based assessments (WBAs) including procedure based assessments (PBAs), case based discussion (CBDs), Clinical evaluation exercise (CEXes) and direct observation of procedural skills (DOPS) are used in Higher General Surgical Training Programme (HGSTP). This review aims to investigate trainer and trainee’s perception of the usefulness of WBAs based on the published literature in HGSTP.
Methods Using mesh headings WBA or PBA or DOPS or Mini CEX with their full forms literature search was carried out in December 2018. Seventeen surgical studies were retrieved describing their usefulness. The usefulness was analysed according to van der Vluten’s utility formula, the product of educational impact, validity, reliability, acceptability, cost-effectiveness and feasibility.
Results Among 6 studies on PBA, the validity, reliability, acceptability appeared good. The educational impact was positive to the Kirkpatrick level 1 and 2. One study on Mini CEX showed Kirkpatrick level 1 positive satisfaction in trainees and trainers. CBD had positive Kirkpatrick levels 1 and 2 impact and was valid and reliable by trainees in 2 studies. Two studies on DOPS showed good construct validity with positive Kirkpatrick level 1 impact. Based on 6 studies, the use of multiple methods as used in the intercollegiate surgical curriculum project (ISCP) portfolio was more negative in Kirkpatrick level 1 and 2. The recognised problems are lack of time, lack of faculty development and concerns about their validity and reliability.
Conclusion Although the individual WBAs appeared useful in study settings, their perceived usefulness declined when used as multiple methods in practice.