The Workplace-Based Assessment (WPBA) Tools:

The WpBA tools are designed to standardize the assessment of cognitive, psychomotor and behavioral learning outcomes that are not tested by conventional Written and Oral examinations (WE, OE).

Since Outcome-Based Education (OBE) Curriculum identifies a large number of learning outcomes, sampling assessments has been selected in order to make the assessment task manageable, to minimize the disruption of normal work, and to decrease possibility of risk to the patients.

The purpose of the WpBA is NOT to tick off individual component of the each assessment tool, but to provide a series of snapshots of observed work or responses to better triangulate performance of competencies.

By directly observing work or responses of a trainee, the consultant, as an expert, is able to make judgment about the quality of the work or response. Subsequently, it can be inferred whether the trainee is making the necessary progress, not only in the specific work observed, but also in related areas of the application of knowledge and skills.

When a trainee’s performance gives cause for concern, more assessments will be needed. It is the responsibility of the trainee to provide the assessment records of performance and progress. They will need assessment records for each module of training or section of the curriculum they have undertaken.

It is the trainer’s responsibility to provide feedback of progress (or lack of it) and help the trainee to understand what assessment tool will be appropriate in their specific circumstances.

Once again, it must be stressed that there is no single, valid, reliable test of competence and the trainers will have to review all the assessment records including written and oral examination results, and triangulating performance measured by different WpBA tools, before drawing conclusions about a trainee’s progress.

WpBA TOOLS:
· Direct Observation of Procedural Skills (DOPS)
· Mini-Clinical Evaluation Exercise (Mini-CEX)
· Case Based Discussion (CBD)
· Multi-Source Feedback (MSF) – institution-based


The DOPS and M-CEx are used in the clinical settings, and the assessments are based on the observed performance of the trainee’s skills, attitudes and behaviors, and knowledge.

The CBD is used away from the clinical environment – it allows the assessor to question the trainee about a clinical episode to assess the trainee’s knowledge and rationale for their actions or what they would do if presented with the clinical scenario.

The MSF, unlike the other workplace-based assessments, provides feedback on professional attitude and behaviors from a wide range of individuals who have worked with the trainee in the current training year. The MSF is used to measure a trainee’s performance across a broader period of time.