One of the key responsibilities of professional bodies, such as the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, is to determine, teach and assess the competencies required for trainees to reach an expert level. Vocational training programs (VTP) need to incorporate advances in educational research and reflect changes in generational thinking and learning styles to provide the most optimal learning environment to meet the desired educational outcomes. This paper seeks to introduce some of the important concepts of adult educational theory and to explain how they connect to four strategic areas in the development and implementation of the VTP:
1 What are the learning needs of trainees?
2 What educational methods best address these needs?
3 What assessment methods best test the acquisition of the desired learning outcomes?
4 What are the needs of supervisors and teachers?