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Board of Censors Annual Report Print E-mail
The Quarterly 2014

Improvement of assessment methodology

Throughout 2013/2014 RACMA and particularly the Board of Censors has been working with Professor Lambert Schuwirth a renowned education and assessment expert from Flinders University on the standards setting process used for our medical management oral exam.

Professor Schuwirth observed the RACMA oral examination in March 2014 and provided a number of suggested recommendations for improvement. He observed that the RACMA oral exam process has numerous strengths including:
  • use of case scenarios derived from real practice and therefore of undisputed content validity
  • a strong moderation process wherein each decision about a candidate’s performance is shared and optimally informed through expert judgement.
  • an exam that is ‘fit for purpose’ using a selected Candidate sample to decide suitability for election to Fellowship
  • provision of an additional (5th and sequential) examination station for Candidates with ‘borderline’ performance which aims to collect more information for censors to base their decision on, hence providing higher reliability.

There were two exams in the 2014 academic year:

March 2014 Exam

The Pre-Fellowship Oral exams were held in Melbourne on the 22 & 23 March 2014. 23 Candidates presented to the exams with an overall pass rate of 61%.

November 2014 Exam

The second set of scheduled exams was undertaken on 22 & 23 November in Melbourne 32 Candidates presented to the exams. 16 of these were from the accelerated pathway and 16 were standard pathway candidates. The pass rate was 59%

Continuous improvement process

The Board of Censors continues to oversee a range of improvement projects to make formative and summative assessment process valuable educational experiences. These include:
  • Annual progression: This process is Chaired by Dr Donna O’Sullivan with the Jurisdictional Co-ordinators of training. It utilises the annual training plans and In-training assessments developed by Candidates with their supervisors and preceptors. There is now stronger reinforcement of the role of supervisors and preceptors in the annual progression of Candidates
  • Improvement in the examination rubric
  • Development and revision of the following:
    • RACMA Assessment Framework
    • Regulation for Conduct of Exams to establish structure around roles, responsibilities and governance around BOC activities (work in progress)
  • Development and revision of assessment rubrics in the Research Training Program
  • Continuing Censor training programs
The Board of Censors carries a significant work load and the contribution of examiners and those who mark papers and assignments between examinations is significant. I thank each of them for this contribution which is indeed tireless. Thank you also to Anna Lyubomirsky, Soundra Subramanian , Dino DeFazio and Oliver Myer without whose support the Board just could not undertake its role.

Associate Professor Alan Sandford
Censor in Chief