Trainee mistrust of the E-portfolio & Workplace Based Assessment Process: Short Communication - 10R2

Andrew Tomkins, Mumtaz Patel, CATHY SHERRATT

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Background: Electronic-portolios (ePortfolios) have played a significant role in postgraduate medical training in the United Kingdom for many years, having been designed to facilitate and support lifelong learning. The ePortfolio's use is multifaceted in supporting development -they are used both formatively and summatively in the assessment process, support the quality assurance process and promote self-reflection in order to enhance future performance. A recent high profile medical negligence case in the United Kingdom created uncertainty in the medical community regarding the security of recorded information on the ePortfolio and prompted the development of a Reflective Practice Toolkit (Academy of Medical Royal Colleges & COPMED, 2018). Trainees’ trust in the ePortfolio process are yet to be established.Summary of Work: As part of a study into trainees’ perceptions of workplace based assessments, higher specialty trainees (n=14) attended two focus groups to discuss their perceptions of the ePortfolio process. Grounded theory methods were applied.Summary of Results:Participants reported a general heightened mistrust of the assessment process . Key themes were identified: -Concerns regarding permanency of ePortfolio documentation and potential negative implication on their own, and other trainees’ training progression. These concerns impaired the provision of honest feedback in trainees’ roles as assessors for other colleagues. -Assessment process mistrust. Experiences of confidentiality breeches and the negativeimplications this can create on working relationships when completing seemingly anonymised assessments for other colleagues -Self-editing of documentation to ensure only positive comments are captured on the ePortfolioDiscussion and Conclusions:Trainees identify a number of factors that impair their trust of the ePortfolio process. Suggestions for improvement include the introduction of clearer guidelines and processes.Take-home Messages: -Several factors appear to impact trainees’ trust of theePortfolio process including concerns regarding the anonymity of certain assessments (assessment process mistrust) and negative repercussions of the permanent recording of suboptimal performance; -Improved guidance and processes may help maximise the ePortfolio use in supporting lifelong learning and development.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2019
EventAssociation for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) Conference - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 24 Aug 201928 Jan 2020


ConferenceAssociation for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) Conference
Abbreviated titleAMEE
Internet address


  • E-portfolio
  • medical education


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