MRCGP Workplace Based Assessment (WPBA)

Workplace Based Assessment (WPBA) is one of the three components of the MRCGP exam. It provides a framework for evaluating a doctor’s progress in those areas of professional practice best tested in the workplace.

Workplace Based Assessment (WPBA) format

WPBA is designed to support your development, providing feedback on your progress and helping to identify any areas of difficulty.

Throughout your GP specialty training, you collect evidence related to 13 areas of professional competence and record it in your Trainee ePortfolio. This evidence is used to inform six-monthly reviews and - at the end of training - to make a judgement about your readiness for independent practice.

WPBA tools

You collect evidence for the 13 areas of professional competence using specially designed tools (see below). The tools ensure that evidence is collected in the same way for each GP trainee, promoting consistency between different trainers and LETBs or deaneries.

In each six month educational supervision review period you should produce evidence relating to each of the competences. This evidence should be evenly spread through the review period and derived from a range of the WPBA tools. This will enable you to create a picture of your competence and/or curriculum coverage. The amount of evidence needed to create this picture will depend on the depth of the evidence from each log entry or completed CbD / COT / miniCEX etc. Think of making a digital picture where you need to have enough pixels to create a clear image. In the same way, the amount of ‘pixels’ that a log entry or WPBA tool gives will vary depending on the detail included in the tool.

The WPBA tools are:

Direct Observation of Procedural Skills (DOPS) was an active WPBA tool until November 2015. Any completed DOPS can be accessed in the eportfolio and can support the Clinical Examination and Procedural Skills (CEPS) competency. CEPS provides a more comprehensive system to demonstrate these skills.

More useful information

New WPBA developments

Educational Supervisors Review

You meet your educational supervisor every six months to review the evidence you’ve collected against the 13 areas of professional competence. You’ll need to complete a self-assessment prior to the meeting.

There are minimum standards setting out the amount of evidence that you need to collect, and guidelines on how often each WPBA tool should be used to ensure there’s sufficient evidence at the point of each six-monthly review.

As part of the meeting, you’ll agree a learning plan covering the next review period. If the evidence you’ve collected is inadequate or insufficient, you and your supervisor may decide to use the WPBA tools more frequently.

More information on the Educational Supervisors Review (ESR)

ESR/PDP update

On 30th November 2016 the ESR changed in three ways.

  1. Action plans: The number of action plans required from both the trainee and ES is being reduced. The trainee will write three action plans linked to the competences for each review. The ES can edit these and add two further action plans if required. All the actions generated by the trainee in ‘suggested actions’ and all the trainer ‘agreed actions’ will be summarised in a single table against the competency headings, producing a succinct plan for the trainee to use.
  2. PDPs: The ES process and meeting will mirror the process used for post-CCT GPs. The trainee will be expected to propose PDP areas for the next 6 months (or year if they are approaching CCT and their next appraisal will be as a qualified GP). The ES will help to improve, make SMART and finalise the suggested PDP areas. The trainee will still be expected to produce other entries to reflect their learning needs throughout their training.
  3. Sign off and release: The ESR will be released to view after the ES has completed the review rather than when the trainee accepts it. If the trainee does not accept the ESR, they will have the option to comment on it, but this will not delay its release.

For guidance on these changes follow the links below:

PLEASE NOTE: Currently the revised PDP forms are only visible if your ESR was created after the 30th November. For now please use the existing form for your ESR. The PDP will update for all users early in the new year.  Sorry for any confusion and thank you for your patience.

WPBA minimum evidence requirements: full time training

The minimum evidence requirements described below are based on a standard three-year specialty training programme, with 18 months of hospital posts and 18 months in general practice.

GP specialty training year one (ST1)

minimum requirements prior to 12 month review 6 x mini-CEX (if in secondary care) / COT (if in primary care) 
6 x CbD 
2 x MSF (each with a minimum of 5 replies from clinicians plus 5 non-clinicians if in primary care)
1 x PSQ (if in primary care) 
CEPS as appropriate
clinical supervisors report from each hospital post

GP Speciality Training Year Two (ST2)

minimum requirements prior to 24 month review

6 x mini-CEX (if in secondary care) / COT (if in primary care) 
6 x CbD 
1 x PSQ (if in primary care and not already completed in ST1) 
CEPS as appropriate
clinical supervisors report from each hospital post

GP Speciality training year three (ST3)

minimum requirements prior to 36 
month review
12 x CbD 
12 x COT 
2 x MSF (each with 5 clinicians and 5 non-clinicians)
1 x PSQ


There are different WPBA minimum evidence requirements for less than full time trainees, those on four year training programmes and academic trainees.


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