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Postgraduate medical education quality metrics panels can be enhanced by including learner outcomes
  1. Jonathan Pinnell1,2,
  2. Andrew Tranter1,
  3. Sarah Cooper1,
  4. Andrew Whallett3
  1. 1 Quality and Commissioning Team, Health Education England West Midlands, Edgbaston, UK
  2. 2 Rheumatology, South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, Warwick, UK
  3. 3 Deputy Postgraduate Dean, Health Education England West Midlands, Edgbaston, UK
  1. Correspondence to Jonathan Pinnell Quality and Commissioning Team, Health Education England (West Midlands), 213 Hagley Road Edgbaston, Birmingham, B16 9RG UK; jonathan.pinnell{at}


Postgraduate medical education (PME) quality assurance at Health Education England (HEE) currently relies upon survey data. As no one metric can reflect all aspects of training, and each has its limitations, additional metrics should be explored. At HEE (West Midlands), we explored the use of learner outcomes, speciality examination pass rates and Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) outcomes, as quality metrics. Feedback received from our local Quality Forum of 40 senior educators frames the discussion through this paper. Overall, learner outcomes are useful quality metrics that add to survey data to provide a more comprehensive picture of PME quality. However, the utility of ARCP outcomes as quality metrics is currently limited by concerns regarding variations in ARCP practice between regions. To address these concerns, ARCPs need the same processes, rigour, scrutiny and investment as other high-stakes assessments. This will improve the reliability and validity of the ARCP as an assessment and improve the usefulness of ARCP outcomes as quality metrics. Research is required to determine the optimal combination of metrics to use in PME quality assurance and to appraise the validity and reliability of the ARCP as an assessment.

  • Medical education & training

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  • Contributors All authors conceived and designed this work. JP, AT and SC ran the Quality Forum workshop. JP performed the data acquisition, collation and analysis for this work. All authors contributed to the writing the manuscript. JP and AW reviewed and edited the paper. All authors approved the final version of this paper before submission.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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