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Identifying critical success factors for designing selection processes into postgraduate specialty training: the case of UK general practice


The UK national recruitment process into general practice training has been developed over several years, with incremental introduction of stages which have been piloted and validated. Previously independent processes, which encouraged multiple applications and produced inconsistent outcomes, have been replaced by a robust national process which has high reliability and predictive validity, and is perceived to be fair by candidates and allocates applicants equitably across the country. Best selection practice involves a job analysis which identifies required competencies, then designs reliable assessment methods to measure them, and over the long term ensures that the process has predictive validity against future performance. The general practitioner recruitment process introduced machine markable short listing assessments for the first time in the UK postgraduate recruitment context, and also adopted selection centre workplace simulations. The key success factors have been identified as corporate commitment to the goal of a national process, with gradual convergence maintaining locus of control rather than the imposition of change without perceived legitimate authority.

  • Human resource management
  • medical education & training
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