Strategies for the assessment of competences during rheumatology training across Europe: results of a qualitative study

Aurélie Najm (Coresponding Author), Alessia Alunno, Francisca Sivera, Sofia Ramiro, Catherine Haines, Working Group on Training in Rheumatology across Europe, Jūlija Zepa (Member of the Working Group)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


OBJECTIVES: To gain insight into current methods and practices for the assessment of competences during rheumatology training, and to explore the underlying priorities and rationales for competence assessment.

METHODS: We used a qualitative approach through online focus groups (FGs) of rheumatology trainers and trainees, separately. The study included five countries-Denmark, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom. A summary of current practices of assessment of competences was developed, modified and validated by the FGs based on an independent response to a questionnaire. A prioritising method (9 Diamond technique) was then used to identify and justify key assessment priorities.

RESULTS: Overall, 26 participants (12 trainers, 14 trainees) participated in nine online FGs (2 per country, Slovenia 1 joint), totalling 12 hours of online discussion. Strong nationally (the Netherlands, UK) or institutionally (Spain, Slovenia, Denmark) standardised approaches were described. Most groups identified providing frequent formative feedback to trainees for developmental purposes as the highest priority. Most discussions identified a need for improvement, particularly in developing streamlined approaches to portfolios that remain close to clinical practice, protecting time for quality observation and feedback, and adopting systematic approaches to incorporating teamwork and professionalism into assessment systems.

CONCLUSION: This paper presents a clearer picture of the current practice on the assessment of competences in rheumatology in five European countries and the underlying rationale of trainers' and trainees' priorities. This work will inform EULAR Points-to-Consider for the assessment of competences in rheumatology training across Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001183
JournalRMD Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical Competence
  • Educational Measurement
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Qualitative Research
  • Rheumatology/education

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


Dive into the research topics of 'Strategies for the assessment of competences during rheumatology training across Europe: results of a qualitative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this