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Meeting Information


January 25, 2012


8 PST/11 EST/16 GMT

Attending: Rosalyn Scott, Tim Willett, co-chairs; Susan Albright, Mary Pat Aust, Matt Cownie, Bob Englander, Simon Grant, Valerie Smothers.

Agenda Items

1 Review minutes of last meeting

Tim reviewed what had been added to the specification prior to the survey. The minutes were accepted.

2 Review results of specification readiness survey

Seven people responded to the survey and all responded in favor of moving the specification to the Standards Committee. Valerie commented she is coordinating with the chair of the Standards Committee to do that.

3 Performance levels framework overview and kickoff 


Susan asked if there is an assumption that before residency you have to indicate what level of achievement a student has achieved. It is informal now. This might allow that to become more formalized. Tim explained that the performance framework will encode abstract statements about performance related to a specific competency, not individual achievement. Individual achievement will be handled by the Educational Achievement specification.

Simon added that he would like to contribute his thinking so far at some point.


Tim commented that having coordination among the Competencies, Educational Trajectory, and Curriculum Inventory working groups would be important. The group pointed out that there are several individuals that serve on the other working groups. Simon and Susan both participate in Educational Trajectory; Susan co-chairs Curriculum Inventory and Rosalyn and Tim both participate in that work as well.

Rosalyn asked Bob to comment on the current work related to performance levels and milestones.

Bob commented that MedEdPORTAL is engaged in developing a tool to map curriculum to competencies. In so doing, there is still loose language around the definitions. He has been engaged in solidifying those definitions. He agreed to send on a glossary for review. That will allow us to see how things that integrate competencies (EPAs) might map. The glossary is still a draft. But it is something we can respond to. The plan had been to send to this group, to Jason Frank, and ask him to disseminate. If there are others that should receive the glossary, Bob is happy to send it. Having a standard language will allow us to move on.

The least important right now is the draft taxonomy. That has more to do with what they need for MedEdPORTAL specifically. That was presented to key leaders at other professions to see if it would fit with their understanding of competence. He would like feedback on the glossary. Much comes from work in the August issue of Medical Teacher 2010. Many definitions are taken verbatim. Added to that are the entrustable professional activity terms.

Rosalyn asked Bob for his timeline.

Bob replied that for MedEdPORTAL, the end of March. That is separate from the goal of moving forward as movement in competency-based medical education. There should be a whitepaper by late spring.

Tim commented that on our agenda there is a linke under 3D to some draft definitions.Tim suggested walking though to see if we are on the same page. Competence, Competency, Competency Framework definitions came from the Competency Framework specification. Several points fo alignment were noted. Bob offered to add Competency Framework to his glossary.

Tim commented that the definition of performance may have changed. He invited feedback.

Bob commented that his definition of performance level mixes level and criteria.

Tim commented that he could see a specification where a consistent performance level schema is being used (novice to master) or a competency level grid that explicitly describes performance at each level.  

Simon agreed that resonated with him. He doesn’t see level as a step. That is too process oriented. It is a state rather than step. A lot of level descriptors are generic, but they need to be filled in to measure performance. That may or may not be specified for a domain. Definitions of Knowledge Skills and Attitudes are common. The European Qualifications Framework has generic and specific levels. He will send that around.

Tim asked if a generic level is something that can be applied to different competencies or domains.

Simon replied yes. There is a leading European team on integrating learning outcomes and competencies operating over the next year. They are defining their own approach to competency frameworks including levels.

Bob asked everyone to send ideas to Valerie ; she will send them on to Bob. He’ll provide a single definition of performance level with performance criteria in parenthesis. He will put in two definitions presented as alternatives and see what people say.

Susan asked if it is it possible to make the definitions the same?

Rosalyn agreed it would be great if we could and be concordant with the timeline.

Tim commented we can revisit ours and make the syntax more aligned.

Bob commented that the definitions marked with 1 are from the Frank article; EPA is from ten Cate and Scheele’s work. Others definitions, including performance and milestone, he created based on reading of literature. 

Simon commented that there is no clear distinction between performance framework and competency framework as a whole. They tend to be integrated. You can define generic levels separately.  He believes  there is less separation and more overlap that is initially clear

Tim reminded Simon of the pediatrics milestones initiative. That is an example where there was an existing competency framework, a distinct set of performance levels and criteria related to the framework.  We will look at that and other examples using the wiki.

On the next call we will review examples and brainstorm about use cases. Valerie offered to draft use cases for review. She will email the group inviting ideas, too.

Tim asked if there is anyone else we should involve in the group. He asked the group to consider that question and present names for consideration.

Process overview

Draft definitions

4 Next steps


Action Items

  • Bob Englander will share a glossary of terms related to competency-based education
  • Simon will send the European Qualifications Framework.
  • Tim will work to align the definitions on the wiki with those suggested by Bob Englander
  • Valerie will draft use cases and invite ideas via the mailing list.
  • The group will present names to consider for including in the working group.
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