RANZCR regularly reviews its education and training programs to ensure that the College is a model of best practice, is prepared for the future, and has fair, transparent processes.
In 2014, the College commissioned a review of its assessment and examination processes for Fellowship training. The review was conducted jointly by David Prideaux, Emeritus Professor of Medical Education at Flinders University, and by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). The review’s purpose was to evaluate the quality and sustainability of RANZCR’s assessment and examination program and to recommend strategies for improvement.
After presenting the review to the College Board, Faculty Councils, and key stakeholders, a number of key challenges in training and assessment were identified, and strategies to implement changes were proposed and developed into a work plan for implementation.
A Taskforce reporting to the RANZCR Board has been established to oversee the implementation of the review and, in order to progress the recommendations for governance and programmatic assessment, steering committees have been established in each Faculty.
The Training and Assessment Reform project is expected to complete by end of 2020, with the new training program for both Faculties being launched in 2021.
Both Steering Committees are committed to establishing and implementing world-class training programs and accompanying redesigned curriculum framework for trainees in both specialities. The re-designed curriculum and assessment framework will train, assess and graduate competent clinical radiologist and radiation oncologist who will deliver optimal patient care.
A major recommendation of the review was a move towards programmatic assessment. The foundation of programmatic assessment is assessment for learning (in addition to assessment of learning). Programmatic assessment describes an assessment strategy that contains a number of assessments that mirror the work activities that a Clinical Radiologist or Radiation Oncologist is expected to do each day (termed work-based activities or WBAs). Through the use of WBAs at various points along the trainee’s progression through the training program, a detailed picture of the trainee and their competencies develops and allows decisions about trainee competency to be made on aggregate information (from real-world assessments) rather than one high-stakes assessment.
Over the next 6 – 12 months, learning outcomes and some assessment tools will become available for stakeholder consultation and piloting. Training sites, clinical supervisors and trainees would be directly notified prior to any changes to the training program being implemented that related to them.
Under the guidance of the Faculty of Clinical Radiology Steering Committee, eight program working groups have been formed to undertake the education and assessment reforms for programmatic assessment.
The program groups have been tasked with reviewing the current curriculum to bring it up to date with current practice, determine learning outcomes for the program, evaluate existing assessments aligned to the program and determine and develop the most appropriate assessment tools to measure the learning outcomes. The Steering Committee is currently consolidating recommendations put forward by the working groups into an overall program. Key to this work is ensuring that assessments are not onerous, are fit for purpose to measure identified outcomes and allow tracking of trainee progression.
Clinical Radiology Steering Committee Members: Dr Meredith Thomas (Chief Censor), Dr Barry Soans (CRERP Chair), Dr Alexandria Taylor, Dr Graeme Anderson, Prof David Prideaux, Dr Ben Addison (Trainee Representative) and Mrs Pamela Spoors (Head of Specialty Training).
Under the guidance of the Faculty of Radiation Oncology Steering Committee, seven program working groups have been formed to undertake the education and assessment reforms for programmatic assessment.
The program groups have been tasked with reviewing the current curriculum to bring it up to date with current practice, determine learning outcomes for the program, evaluate existing assessments aligned to the program and determine and develop the most appropriate assessment tools to measure the learning outcomes.
The learning outcomes recommended by each working group have been reviewed, edited and consolidated into one document by the Steering Committee. The document is available for member consultation until 31 May 2019.
A number of work based assessment tools have been finalised and are being piloted at some training sites. The tools will be refined continuously with feedback from the piloting sites.
Pilots of Oncology Sciences Workshops will continue within NZ and NSW networks, and will expand to other training networks during this year. Decision making points for trainees progression are being considered by the Steering Committee.
Radiation Oncology Steering Committee Members: A/Prof Margot Lehman (Chief Censor), Dr Matthew Seel, A/Prof Sandra Turner, Dr Yaw Chin, Dr Sean Brennan (Chief Examiner), Prof David Prideaux, Dr Lucinda Burke (Trainee Representative) and Mrs Pamela Spoors (Head of Specialty Training)