Supervisor perspectives on the summative in-training assessment

Catherine E Scarff, Margaret Bearman, Robert M Corderoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Assessment is a fundamental component of medical education and exists in many formats. In-training assessments are one such example and they serve to provide feedback to learners about their performance during a period of clinical attachment. However, in addition to trainee knowledge and performance, many factors influence the assessment given to a trainee. Method: This study used an anonymous survey to investigate the perceptions of supervisors of the influences on their assessments of Australian dermatology trainees, focusing on the summative in-training assessment (SITA) format. Results: A response rate of 41% was achieved. The importance of reporting underperformance and providing feedback to trainees was agreed on, but current limitations in the ability of the tool to do this were noted. Implications for practice are discussed including the education and support of supervisors, consideration of logistical issues, the process of SITA completion and supervisor appointment. Further research into the impact of supervisor concerns about potential challenges to a judgement and hesitations about making negative comments about a trainee are required. Examination of the trainee perspective is also required. Conclusion: Quality feedback is essential for learners to guide and improve their performance. Supervisors face many potential influences on their assessments and if these are too great, they may jeopardise the quality of the assessment given. Attention to highlighted areas may serve to improve the process, so allowing trainees to develop into the best clinicians they can be.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-134
Number of pages7
JournalAustralasian Journal of Dermatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • in-training assessment
  • influences
  • supervisor
  • trainee

Cite this