From July 1997, the General Medical Council (GMC) has had the power to investigate doctors whose performance is considered to be seriously deficient. Assessment procedures have been developed for all medical specialties to include peer review of performance in practice and tests of competence. Peer review is conducted by teams of at least two medical assessors and one lay assessor. A comprehensive training programme for assessors has been developed that simulates the context of a typical practice-based assessment and has been tailored for 12 medical specialties. The training includes the principles of assessment, familiarization with the assessment instruments and supervised practice in assessment methods used during the peer review visit. High fidelity is achieved through the use of actors who simulate third party interviewees and trained doctors who role play the assessee. A subgroup of assessors, selected to lead the assessment teams, undergo training in handling group dynamics, report writing and in defending the assessment report against legal challenge. Debriefing of assessors following real assessments has been strongly positive with regard to their preparedness and confidence in undertaking the assessment.
- Assessment performance practice-based
- Assessors lay medical
- Faculty development
- Peer review