Programmatic Assessment of General Practitioners’ medical competences

Work package 5 will focus on the validation of the ePortfolio in the context of general medicine in Flanders.

Finished studies

  • Focus Groups: Factors Influencing Users' Perceptions on Workplace-Based Formative Assessment: A Grounded Theory Study".

Aim: to investigate how testing of competencies occurs within GP training.

Results: workplace-based testing is part of the daily life of a GP trainee. We also looked at how the ePortfolio can support and facilitate testing in practice. The main results were presented at the ICME Conference 2021. You can read the abstract a little further down this page under the title presentations.

  • Delphi study: 'Fitness-for-purpose of the CanMEDS competencies for workplace assessment in GP Training: a Delphi study'

Aim: to validate the CanMEDS core competencies within GP training. The aim of this study was to validate the CanMEDS competencies based on the criteria of assessment feasibility and assessment consistency within the Flemish GP Training (for more information on the study design, please do not hesitate to contact the responsible researcher).

Results: The results showed the discrepancies between these two criteria. A CanMEDS competency that is considered 'achievable' does not automatically mean that it can be evaluated in a consistent way. Although the CanMEDS competences offer a comprehensive framework, they remain vague and too generic to support evaluations in the workplace. Therefore, there is a need for additional specific competences and/or partial competences that more clearly identify and define the competences to be achieved by students. The study is published in BMC Medical Education and can be read here:

  • Assessing competencies in the clinical workplace: Early lessons from an implementation attempt in the GP Training

Aim: To examine whether the current competency framework (CanMEDS framework) can be used for competency-based assessments in the workplace.

Results: Results show that the language of a competency framework often hinders the assessment process in the workplace. There is a need for more understandable and practice-oriented language to facilitate workplace evaluation.  

To overcome this barrier, we developed characteristic professional activities (CPAs) for GP training. A characteristic professional activity is an 'observable activity that exemplifies general medicine practice'. A CPA requires integrated application of several competences from different CanMEDS roles. For example: medical practice, communication and collaboration. Performing CPAs independently contributes to the competence development of GPs in training. We expect CPAs to facilitate the evaluation process in practice.

Ongoing studies

We are currently starting a study to investigate the implementation of CPAs within the Flemish GP training.

In addition, while testing prototype 2, we also explored how competences are scored in an ePortfolio in different healthcare training programmes. Specifically, we explored how concretely competences are scored in different courses, which assessment systems are used for this purpose in an ePortfolio and which persons are involved in the assessment.

During the final year of the SCAFFOLD project, we will further explore which assessment systems within the ePortfolio can facilitate workplace assessment and what impact an assessment using the CPAs can have on the assessment process.


ICME conference, April 2021

Vasiliki presented her study on the various factors affecting formative assessment in the workplace from the user's perspective at the ICME conference. You can read the abstract here:

AMEE conference, August 2022

Vasiliki presented there her study on implementing competency-based assessment in the workplace: "Implementing competency-based assessment in the workplace: where theory meets practice". You can read the abstract here:

EBMA conference, November 2022

Vasiliki presented her research 'Assessing competencies in the clinical workplace: Early lessons from an implementation attempt in the GP Training' at the EBMA (European Board of Medical Assessors) Congress. You can download the abstract and her poster below:

NVMO conference, May 2023

In a roundtable session, we presented the Scaffold project and discussed the challenges of collaborating with different disciplines and the future of ePortfolio. You can read the abstract below:

EARLI conference, August 2023

Vasiliki presented her research on medical students’ perceptions about remote proctoring at the EARLI conference in Athens. You can read the abstract below:

EURACT conference, October 2023

Vasiliki presented her research on the implementation of EPAs in Flemish GP training at the EURACT conference. You can download the abstract below: