Workplace-based Assessments (WBAs)
This page is for trainees wanting to find out about and how to complete the Workplace-based Assessments (WBAs).
WBAs are formative assessment tools used in the Fellowship Program to provide effective structured feedback to trainees in the workplace. The feedback is intended to:
WBAs are typically conducted during regular supervision time and are a way to focus feedback on performance in the workplace, for example, when a supervisor engages in a case-based discussion with a trainee or observes a trainee during clinical practice or giving a presentation. As the feedback provided with each WBA indicates how a trainee is progressing, WBAs should be undertaken from early on in a rotation.
WBA tool options
There are five WBA tools used in the Fellowship Program:
- Case-based Discussion (CbD): a discussion based on case notes and other relevant written correspondence to assess a trainee’s clinical reasoning and decision making and their ability to document the integration of medical knowledge within case management.
- Mini-Clinical Evaluation Exercise: trainees are observed during a clinical encounter with a real patient. The focus is on specific clinical tasks (e.g. talking to a family or conducting a neurological exam) rather than general performance.
- Observed Clinical Activity (OCA): supervisors observe trainees during an initial clinical assessment of a real patient then the trainee presents their assessment and corresponding treatment plan to the supervisor.
- Professional Presentation: trainees are observed giving a professional presentation to an audience. Examples are: case presentations, topic presentations, nursing in-service presentations and community education presentations.
Direct Observation of Procedural Skills (DOPS): supervisors observe trainees conducting a procedural skill and providing feedback to the trainee about their performance. Examples of where the DOPS may be used include psychotherapy, ECT, physical examinations or participating in an interdisciplinary team discussion.
Trainees must complete one OCA per 6-month FTE rotation. Completed OCA forms must be attached to the
end-of-rotation In-Training Assessment (ITA) Form and submitted to the College.
An OCA e-module is available on Learnit to provide more information on the OCA requirements.
The other four WBA tools do not have individual minimum requirements for use.
WBAs and EPAs
Supervisors use WBA tools, together with other information, to assess whether trainees can attain a particular EPA. A minimum of three WBAs are used when assessing each EPA. Supervisors also draw on other available data, including information from other staff or sources.
Completing three WBAs does not automatically result in attainment of an EPA. WBAs and EPAs are not directly linked in this way. Rather, a supervisor considers the trainee’s performance in their WBAs, along with other evidence, when deciding whether a trainee has attained an EPA.
More about EPAs
There is no limit to the number of WBAs that can be undertaken by a trainee and their supervisor. Trainees who want more feedback or who would benefit from more feedback can undertake further WBAs.
A WBA can be assessed by the trainee’s principal supervisor or any other College-accredited supervisor. The supervisor must be familiar with the use of the specified WBA tool and must also be clinically competent in the area of psychiatry being assessed.
WBAs are formatively assessed on a 3-point rating scale. For each criteria assessed, ratings are given relative to the standard expected at the end of the stage of training:
- below the standard for end of stage
- meets the standard for end of stage
- above the standard for end of stage.
The mid-point of the scale represents the expected standard on completion of the stage. The standard for each stage is described in the Developmental Descriptors [PDF; 234 KB].
For each WBA, a form is completed by the supervisor together with the trainee although the feedback aspect is the most important part of the assessment.
Trainees are responsible for retaining their completed WBA forms. Trainees must provide these forms to their next supervisor for review at the start of each new rotation.
The WBAs (number and type) used to attain each EPA are noted on the end-of-rotation ITA Form. With the exception of the OCA forms, it is not necessary to attach WBA forms to the end-or-rotation ITA Form.
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