Concerns that linger: Medical school perspectives on the UKMLA and shared assessment

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The General Medical Council have closed their formal consultation process soliciting recommendations on how
to develop a UK Medical Licensing Assessment (UKMLA). The output of this consultation goes a considerable
way to identifying concerns about implementation of such an assessment. However, there is scope for more
attention to detail in specifying concerns held by individual UK medical schools, even where these schools have
indicated acceptance or approval of the UKMLA. There is therefore a need for increased transparency in
identifying stakeholder viewpoints to ensure these lingering concerns can be addressed during the current
development phase. The current study contributes to addressing this need through providing an overview of UK
medical school views on introducing a UKMLA and relatedly, on shared assessment as a source of uniformity of
competency across medical schools. Using a secure online survey system, response data were collected during
13-30 January, 2014 from recommended assessment specialists, representing their respective medical schools.
Likert scale and free text response data were collected. Based on Likert sale data, more medical schools appeared
accepting of these ideas than either those who expressed disapproval or those who expressed uncertainty.
Nevertheless, concerns still lingered. Areas of concern included stifling of curriculum innovation, supporting
students who fail the UKMLA and quality and administration of assessment. Eleven recommendations have
emerged for addressing respondent concerns. In presenting these recommendations arising specifically from
participant feedback, I invite responses from all categories of stakeholder in order to promote open discussion
beyond the formal consultation period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-85
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Education and Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2018


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