Workplace Based Assessments (WPBA)

The assessment process contains both formative and summative elements, which are listed below. All assessments are reviewed at the Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP).


The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by instructors to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. More specifically, formative assessments: help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work.


There is no pass or fail and no grade is given. The main source of formative assessment witin anaesthetic training are the Workplace-Based Assessment (WBAs). Other forms include the logbook, informal consultant feedback, teaching and attendance at courses.


The number and type of WPAs required for any given unit of training can be found in the Guidebooks


DOPS - Directly Oberved Procedural Skills

Used to assess practical procedures and is therefore more relevant to Basic and Intermediate trainees. They are particularly useful for trainees who are learning a new skill.


A-CEX - Anaesthesia Clinical Evaluation Exercise

Designed to focus on an overall case rather than an individual component, these are generic assessmentsthat can be applied to the anaesthetic management of most patients encountered.


CBD - Case-Based Discussion

These offer an opportunity to discuss a case or a particular element of a case in depth. They should also encourage reflection and cover thinking, knowledge and clinical judgement. Ideally the case notes +/- anaesthetic chart of the case to be discussed should be used.


ALMAT - Anaesthesia List Management Tool

Particularly relevant for senior trainees, they are given responsibility for the running and management of the list (according to their experience). It allows assessment of both clinical and non-clinical skills.



Summative assessment refers to the assessment of participants where the focus is on the outcome of a program. The goal is to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark.


The summative assessment process in anaesthetic training takes the following forms:


IAC & IAOC - Initial Assessment of COmpetence and Initial Assessment of Competence in Obstetric Anaesthesia

For novice trainees and SHOs, both of these must be completed in their entirity in order to progress from Basic Training.


CUT - Completion of Unit of Training

This provides evidence that the learning outcomes for a particular unit of training have been achieved. For any given unit, these requirements are outlined in the Guidebooks. Each unit usually has an identified consultant lead who is responsible for signing these off, and each should use their professional judegement to determine whether a trainee has achieved the unit outcomes.


IPR - Interim Progress Report

A meeting should be held with your educational supervisor every 3 months to review progress. The outcome of this meeting should be captured in the IPR. It is an ARCP requirement to have at least 3 of these in addition to the initial supervisory meeting, usually held at the beginning of each placement.


ESSR - Educational Supervisor's Structured Report

Completed once a year prior to the ARCP, it summarises the trainees progress throughout the year taking into consideration all formative and summative asessments.


ARCP - Annual Review of Competence Progression

The formal, end-of-year process through which a trainee's progress is reviewed. Click here for our dedicated ARCP page.


Consultant Feedback

The completion of some specialist units of training (e.g. Neuroanaesthesia, Cardic anaesthesia) must include consultant feedback. This is normally gathered by the unit lead, linked in the Unit of Training and presented in the ESSR. Consultant feedback differs from MSF as it concerns a trainee’s progress in a specific unit of training only. MSF seeks feedback from the multidisciplinary team, including consultants, on overall professional behaviour.


FRCA Examainations

The FRCA examinations form a major part of anaesthetics training and the summative assessment requirements. It is split into two components: the Primary and Final FRCA. The components of the Primary exam must be passed before applying for an ST3 post. The written component must be passed before progression to ST5 (i.e. end of ST4), with the SOE component required in order to progress to the second half of ST5.

Key Documents

Assessment Guidance for a CCT in Anaesthetics
Adobe Acrobat document [971.3 KB]
Guidance for the Assessment of QI Acivities
Adobe Acrobat document [212.3 KB]
Consultant Feedback Form
Adobe Acrobat document [90.1 KB]
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