RCPCH START Assessment
The START for Grid trainees, (as you will see from the RCPCH site) involves 12 OSCE stations. For PGHAN grid trainees, this will mean 6 “generic” stations, ie stations that all paediatric candidates would be sitting, plus 6 subspecialty-specific stations. These subspecialty stations will be designed to test the candidate’s experience of clinical situations specific to PGHAN, including outpatient scenarios.
It must be noted that the assessors will be trained assessors of the RCPCH, but will not necessarily be paediatric gastroenterologists or Hepatologists, although each assessor will have been prepared to examine their station by a PGHAN subspecialist. A PGHAN CSAC panel has written the stations themselves.
For trainees, it is of particular importance to be aware that there will only be one subspecialty assessment for both Hepatology and gastroenterology grid trainees. The CSAC, in discussion with grid coordinators and therefore local deaneries will be attempting to ensure that trainees get exposure to the minimum 6 month training in their other subspecialty (Hepatology for gastro trainees and vice versa) in their first 18 months of grid training, but this may not always be possible. It is therefore important that trainees who do not feel that they will be adequately prepared for any part of this assessment contact their educational supervisor and/or raises this at their annual specialty review with the deanery, so that additional training opportunities may be sort.
It must be stressed however that the assessments are designed with the intention of highlighting educational needs while there is still training time available, and also that the assessment is based on real-life situations with the expectation of performance of a junior consultant. Feedback from the pilot has suggested that the scenarios are fair and reasonable. Should trainees have particular concerns regarding this process that they cannot discuss with their educational supervisor, they can always contact the trainee representative on CSAC.
For further information on the RCPCH START assesment, please visit the RCPCH website.