Feasibility, and validity aspects of Entrustable Professional Activity (EPA)-based assessment in general practice training

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Introduction: Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) are developed to support the practical application of competency frameworks in postgraduate medical education (PGME) programmes. EPAs are used for the assessment of the trainees’ competence development, which takes place by means of an entrustment decision, aiming to stimulate learning and independent practice in trainees. In this pilot study, we explore the feasibility and validity of EPA-based assessment in a General Practice (GP) training programme. Methods: We used questionnaires to evaluate trainers’ and trainees’ experiences with the use of six EPAs for trainee learning, assessment and independent practice at the Out-of-Hours GP Center. Data were analysed quantitatively and qualitatively. Additionally, we examined the inter-item correlation between scores on EPA-based assessment and competency-based assessment using Spearman’s Rho. Results: EPA-based assessment provided opportunities for giving concrete feedback and substantiating competency-based assessment. No consistent correlation between EPA-based assessment and competency-based assessment could be detected. Only later in the course of the training programme a correlation was found between the EPA scores and the degree of independence of trainees. Discussion: Results of this pilot study confirm the theories behind EPAs, as well as earlier research on EPAs in the workplace regarding trainee learning, assessment and independent practice. An important limitation of this study was the COVID-19 pandemic, as it influenced the results through reduced inclusion and follow-up, and through the impact on the workplace and trainee learning possibilities. Further research is needed to determine how EPAs support independent practice of trainees, as well as the assessment of trainee competency development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducation for primary care
Early online date2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021


  • Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs)
  • education
  • graduate [MeSH]
  • learning [MeSH]
  • medical
  • trainee assessment
  • trainee learning

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