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Equality guidance welcomed

Joint guidance aimed at promoting fairness for those in medical training has been welcomed by the BMA.

Support for people in difficulty and greater transparency in the selection processes for educational supervisors are among the recommendations included in Ensuring Fairness in Clinical Training and Assessment: Principles and Examples of Good Practice.

BMA council chair Mark Porter said he hoped it would provide greater clarity to trainers and support to doctors and students regarding issues of equality.

He said: ‘The BMA has been working closely with a number of stakeholders to address the issue of equality in the NHS, specifically around differential attainment between groups of doctors across the postgraduate medical training system, and I'm pleased that we have been able to bring the profession together to address this issue.

‘Assessments should be about an individual's ability, not their background or circumstances of their birth. Examiners and trainers should also understand how to support fairness and diversity in clinical education and training.

‘The 10 principles and examples of good practice in the guide have been developed collaboratively, and the good practice guidance will help improve the quality of training and fairness in assessments and monitoring.'


Fairness and diversity

The guidance comes following collaborative work with 16 health bodies, including the BMA, GMC and Health Education England and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and identifies 10 principles aimed at encouraging best practice in clinical training, assessment and monitoring.

Among the recommendations were calls to ensure medical trainers be equipped to be able to support fairness and diversity, and that their selection process be more transparent.

Medical schools should also seek to put in place early warning systems designed to identify those trainees and doctors in need of additional support, with tailored support plans drawn up for individuals who are struggling.

The guidance also recommends that constructive feedback be provided to candidates of unsuccessful applications and that data on equality and diversity should be analysed and shared on an annual basis.

It also calls for all organisations involved in medical education and training to ensure they meet their requirements under public sector equality duty.

Read the guidance

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