Assessment of clinical performance: gathering evidence


  • Funding: None

    Potential conflicts of interest: None

Tim J. Wilkinson, Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, The Princess Margaret Hospital, PO Box 800, Christchurch, New Zealand.


The focus of assessment of clinical performance has moved from over-reliance on individual tools to constructing a coherent assessment programme. The purpose of such an assessment programme is to gather high-quality evidence to make well-informed decisions. This requires clarity on the decisions to be made and an ability to gather a sufficient amount of high-quality data. The assessment programme should be aligned to doing the job well so that a successful assessment result reflects what is valued. A variety of assessments over a variety of times, matched against the areas of interest and value, enhances both reliability and validity. Workplace-based assessment tools can complement centralized assessment tools. Multiple snapshots, even if some are not totally in focus, give a better picture than one poorly aimed photograph.