Assessing Learners

Assessment in UGME is built on principles of programmatic assessment. A mix of assessment methods or modalities are used in each course. Together, they create a composite framework, such that all required competencies are assessed within each course.

Each modality assesses particular competencies and must be passed individually for progress or promotion in a course.

Multiple Assessments, along a continuum of stakes are conducted within each modality (where possible), so that decisions for promotion and progress are based on multiple data points.

All Assessments are optimized for meaningful feedback to the learner and provide opportunities for learning and improvement. Learners with difficulties are provided with academic support and intermittent reviews.

The assessment modalities are:


Course Written Exams are based on multiple choice questions. Their purpose is to assess applied knowledge related to the learning objectives in a course. Students must achieve a minimum cumulative score of 60% across all course written exams to pass the course.

Progress Tests are based multiple choice questions which are set at exit (graduate) competency level. These exams are usually taken twice per year across all four years as an assessment for learning. Progress tests allow students to track their progress in the use of applied knowledge over time. Student must complete all progress tests.


Multiple observations of student’s knowledge, skills and behaviour in the workplace are conducted iteratively in each course. Narrative feedback and suggestions for improvement are built into WBA. Students must achieve the Course Learning Outcomes assessed by WBA to pass a course.



Students attend scheduled small group sessions to discuss and reflect upon designated topics and submit a variety of portfolio artifacts. Artifacts may include narrative assignments, reflections, critiques, etc. To pass a course, submitted assignments must meet designated criteria.



OSCEs assess clinical skills using standardized simulated clinical scenarios. Students perform specific clinical tasks such as history-taking, physical examination or counselling, reflective of an appropriate level of skill development. A pre-set number of summative OSCE stations are required to be passed to pass the OSCE. Formative OSCEs for practice and learning are also offered; students are required to complete these.


Assessment in PGME is program specific. Assessment methods can involve a mix of formative and summative tools.

Royal College Exams for specialties and CFPC exams for family medicine occur near the end of training.

The following is a list possible Assessment Methods that are used in postgraduate training programs:

  • In Training Evaluation Reports (ITERs) (Royal College)
  • In Training Assessment Reports (ITARs) (Family Medicine)
  • EPAs (Royal College)
  • Field Notes (Family Medicine)
  • Multi-source feedback on the Resident’s performance from faculty including Allied Health professionals
  • National/International In-training Exams
  • Written exams
  • Oral exams
  • CEX (Clinical Evaluation Exercise)/mini CEX
  • OSCEs
  • Research done by the Resident
  • Feedback from Resident presentations

Decisions regarding resident progress are made by program specific Competence Committees.

More information regarding Assessment in Family Medicine can be found here.