Using Competency Based marking in the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) for clinical year medical students

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Conference Paper

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Background: The aim of the study was to assess the degree of correlation between competency based marking and global scoring in OSCE and to determine the reliability of this assessment.

Summary of work: The School examined 110 graduateentry Year 3 medical students. There were 10 stations (total examination time 120 minutes). Competency-based marking was developed to assess the students’ abilities to: demonstrate respect and compassion, elicit systematic history/physical examination, formulate working diagnosis and differential diagnoses, develop and interpret investigations and formulate management plans. A score of ‘0’ (failed), ‘1’ (achieved) or ‘2’ (achieved well) was given for each competency assessed. A separate independent global scoring was also given. The Pearson’s correlation coefficient between the competency based and global scoring marks and the reliability score (Cronbach’s alpha) was calculated.

Summary of results: The correlation between the competency based and global scoring marks was highly significant (p

Conclusions: The competency based method of assessment is reliable. The examiners gave highly valued feedback on this new marking scheme. Take-home messages: Competency based marking in OSCE is reliable and can be considered to be used in assessing the clinical year medical students.


The Ottawa Conferences on the Assessment of Competence in Medicine and the Healthcare Professions were set up by Professor Ian Hart (Ottawa, Canada) and Professor Ronald Harden (Dundee, UK) in 1985. Held biennially, they provide a forum for medical and other healthcare professions educators to network and share ideas on all aspects of the assessment of competence in both clinical and non-clinical domains, throughout the continuum of education.

The full conference paper is unavailable.

The abstract of this paper may be accessed from the publisher here