Table 1

Glossary of terms related to the assessment of competences

TermDefinition
AssessmentA systematic process of gathering and analysing information on competences in order to measure a learner’s achievement
CanMEDS frameworkThe most widely accepted and applied physician competency framework in the world, using a framework to explicit the knowledge, skills and behaviours associated with specific competences across seven roles: medical expert, professional, communicator, health advocate, collaborator, scholar and leader
CompetenceAn observable ability of a physician related to a specific ability that integrates knowledge, skills and behaviours and that develops through the stages of expertise from novice to master clinician
CurriculumThe description of the outcomes required, and the activities and experience prescribed to develop and demonstrate those outcomes
Direct observation of procedural skills (DOPS)A workplace-based assessment to evaluate the competence in performing a required technical skill.
FeedbackA process whereby an individual is given information about their performance in order to help them learn and progress
Formative assessmentInformation about a learner’s performance or understanding, which is provided to the learner as part of the learning process so that they are stimulated to improve their performance and progress towards the required level of competence
Mini clinical examination (mini-CEX)A workplace-based assessment to evaluate how effectively a clinician interacts with a patient
Multisource feedbackA system that collects the anonymous appraisal of the trainee’s performance in an everyday clinical setting, by a variety of coworkers, from mentors to colleagues, nurses and patients; this tool is especially valuable to address issues related to professionalism
Objective structured clinical evaluation (OSCE)A carefully designed examination circuit of different time-limited stations, each dedicated to the assessment of performance at a particular simulated task
PortfolioA repository for multiple formative assessments, reflections and records of achievements
ProfessionalismA set of values, behaviours and relationships that underpins the trust that the public has in doctors; as professionals, physicians are committed to the health and well-being of individual patients and society through ethical practice, high personal standards of behaviour, accountability to the profession and society, physician-led regulation and maintenance of personal health
Summative assessmentA measure of a learner’s performance or understanding which sums up and grades whether the learner has succeeded in reaching the required level of competence