Foundation recruitment to use new methods

ALL final year medical students applying to enter the 2012 foundation programme will have to pass a new aptitude test.

The situational judgement test (SJT) will replace the "white space" questions currently used in the FP application form. It is designed to assess trainee doctors’ professional judgement, attitudes and behaviours.

Candidates must sit the SJT in addition to completing the standard FP application and they will be ranked on a new educational performance measure (EPM).

The SJT will be piloted at four schools between November 2011 and January 2012 and will involve a one hour, 30 question version of the test. Results from the SJT and EPM will not be taken into account for 2012 applications, but students will receive feedback on both after the recruitment process has ended.

The BMA’s Medical Students Committee has encouraged students to take part in the pilots to help establish the evidence base for the validity and reliability of the new selection methods.

Committee chair Karin Purshouse told the BMJ: "I think it’s very important for medical students to engage in this process, because we have such great concerns about the existing system." Her comments refer to the oversubscription of the FP last year.

The Medical Schools Council have described the SJT as a reliable, valid and appropriate selection method for the FP following a series of smaller scale pilots in the UK and Europe.

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