Most medical schools in the UK are revising their undergraduate courses in response to the recommendations published by the General Medical Council Education Committee in Tomorrow's doctors. However, achievement of the objectives of curricular change is attendant on revision of the assessment process. This paper reviews traditional and more recently developed methods for assessment of medical education in the light of the General Medical Council's recommendations which relate specifically to summative assessment of the core curriculum. The importance of reliability and validity is highlighted, and the case for criterion-referenced assessment is examined.
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