Assess performance and provide feedback
Feedback is at the heart of effective teaching and clinical supervision. Feedback can be formal, as part of structured performance reviews, or informal (‘on the run’).
GPSA have developed a specific guide to Giving effective feedback.
In comparison to ‘summative’ assessment (assessment of learning, for example in the fellowship exams), so-called ‘formative’ assessment is assessment for learning. Formative assessment is the in-practice assessment of performance that supervisors undertake with registrars throughout the placement. Formative assessment can be both formal, for example direct observation and random case analysis, or informal.
Provide effective feedback
Feedback is at the heart of effective teaching and clinical supervision. It is an essential element of the supervision process to help develop a registrar’s knowledge and skills. Feedback is ideally not one-way, but should be more of a two-way dialogue. Feedback can be formal, as part of structured performance reviews, or informal (‘on the run’).
To be effective, feedback needs to be:
- → Based on observation
- → Specific and relevant
- → Given in a timely manner
- → Given in a non-threatening environment
- → Descriptive rather than judgemental.
- The fundamental teaching methods to best assess performance are direct observation, problem case discussion, and random case analysis – use them often
- Sit in with your registrar on the first day, and have them sit in with you
- Competence is broad and includes non-clinical aspects of practice – ensure assessment of professionalism and other skills
- Don’t regard ‘assessment’ as a separate undertaking to that of identifying learning needs, teaching or feedback – they are all part of a cohesive approach to supervision
- Seek assistance early when needing to identify and manage issues for the registrar in difficulty
- Establish the process for formal and informal feedback at the commencement of term
Undertake professional development
Ongoing professional development is an important commitment for the GP supervisor. Both colleges highlight the importance of ongoing professional development in their standards.
Professional development should include supervision topics, as well as topics in clinical and non-clinical aspects of practice.