MRCGP Workplace Based Assessment (WPBA)

Workplace Based Assessment (WPBA) is one of the three components of the MRCGP exam.

WPBA and ARCP Guidance - COVID-19

The RCGP and COGPED have developed guidance to outline requirements to allow successful completion of a GP Training Programme in the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 crisis.

This version was updated on 26/06/20. It contains a correction to the BLS requirement for trainees who are not finishing their training. 

Previous versions added:

20/05/20 - additional FAQ on page 3 for TGPT Trainees who have not yet had an opportunity to sit their exams. 
13/05/20 - guidance for ST3s who have not yet passed the CSA and/or the AKT. This is available both as a standalone document for ease of access, as well as having been incorporated into the complete guidance document, both of which can be downloaded using the links above.
01/05/2020 - guidance on redeployment
27/04/2020 - additional information for the awarding of Outcome 10 at ARCP.
20/04/2020 - additional ARCP FAQs for redeployment, date matching and ATCF, as well as FAQs for 6 Month Reviews.

WPBA expectations after 5 August 2020

From 5 August 2020, the requirements for WPBA will change from the interim requirements currently in place. Guidance on these changes has been developed by the RCGP and COGPED:

Transition arrangements: Introduction of new Portfolio and new programme of WPBA

Workplace Based Assessment (WPBA) purpose statement

WPBA evaluates the trainee's progress in areas of professional practice best tested in the workplace and: 

  • looks at the trainee's performance in their day to day practice to provide evidence for learning and reflection based on real experiences
  • supports and drives learning in important areas of capability with an underlying theme of patient safety 
  • provides constructive feedback on areas of strength and developmental needs, identifying trainees who may be in difficulty and need more help 
  • evaluates aspects of professional behaviour that are difficult to assess in the Applied Knowledge Test and Clinical Skills Assessment 
  • determines fitness to progress towards completion of training

Evidence of WPBA, as approved by the GMC, includes the completion of specific assessments and reports, the documentation of naturally occurring evidence as well as certain mandatory requirements such as Child safeguarding and Basic Life Support. More information on the requirements for WPBA can be found below.

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 capability 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 capability 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 capabilities. 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 capability 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) capability. CEPS provides a more comprehensive system to demonstrate these skills.

Prescribing assessment

All trainees who started ST3 in August 2019 were required to complete a prescribing assessment by 31 January 2020.

More useful information

WPBA minimum evidence requirements

New WPBA developments

Reviewing and improving the tools we use to assess GP trainees in the workplace is one of the key objectives of the WPBA group. Changes most commonly arise as a result of feedback from educators and trainees but also to comply with the GP curriculum and GMC requirements.

You can access information here about the proposed WPBA changes which are currently being submitted to the GMC for their approval. These have been included on the website for your interest only.

Educational Supervisors Review

You meet your educational supervisor every six months to review the evidence you've collected against the 13 areas of professional capability. 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.

Fraser Rose Medal

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