Workplace based assessment (WPBA) in dental education- A review

Varsha S Manekar, Sulbha A. Radke


Aim: To describe work place based assessment (WPBA) and their possible application in dental education- an overview.

The dental students need to develop and master the clinical procedural skills in preclinical and clinical postings. The dental education imparted to these students is from cognitive as the psychomotor domain. Going through the curriculum of the dentistry at undergraduate and post graduate level, the students have to master the complex procedural skills. Can we take their formative assessment as workplace-based assessment? The WPBA is performed in clinics with real patients. Workplace-based assessments target the highest level of the Miller’s pyramid by collecting information about how doctors perform in their normal practice and how they behave in their real life on a day-to-day basis. WPBA help in evaluating students, from all aspects the cognitive, psychomotor, communication skills, management and professionalism. The formative assessment systems being used today are taken in clinics in all clinical subjects, but they are not structured. Norcini JJ in his article on work place based assessment described various assessments in working place. These include mini-CEX, CEC, CWS, BPE, DOPS, CbD, MSF(3600). Although awareness of these techniques is increasing, very few dental faculties from various dental schools have carried out the studies of these WPBA. This article is aimed at detailing the various WPBA methods available. The author has searched the literature for articles describing these techniques to concise these. These are used in medical education in few institutes as per literature. This overview of WPBA will help the dental educators to utilize these WPBA in their institutes.

Conclusion: This article reviewed the WPBA from the literature. The dentistry being a procedure based, the trainees can be benefitted from this formative assessment. The dental education in our country can implement WPBA for the competency of trainees and improved dental health care.

Keywords: Work place based assessment, DOPS, Dental education, Three sixty degree assessment.

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