Both the SJT and EPM have been rigorously piloted to ensure their validity for use in selection to the Foundation Programme. The design, development and piloting (January 2010 – August 2011) of the SJT and EPM were overseen by the ISFP Project Group (previously the Steering Group). The Department of Health England, on behalf of the four Departments of Health, agreed with the recommendations of the ISFP Project Group that selection to the Foundation Programme should test the skills, knowledge and professional behaviours of the applicant, reflecting the integrated nature of the Foundation Programme as both education and employment. Selection to the Foundation Programme from FP 2013 onwards should be based upon the SJT and EPM.
The design specification of the SJT for selection to the Foundation Programme was informed by an academic literature review and a comprehensive Job Analysis of the Foundation Year One Doctor, which identified the target domains to be assessed by the SJT: Commitment to Professionalism, Coping with Pressure, Effective Communication, Patient Focus and Working Effectively as Part of a Team.More than 270 clinicians were involved in the item writing, development and review. The SJT was piloted in two stages (March – April 2010 and October 2010 – April 2011) with more than 1,100 final year medical students from fifteen UK and two non-UK medical schools completing a two hour SJT, and providing feedback. National standards for the delivery were established, and secure SJT item banking software was developed and tested.
The EPM framework was initially piloted in May 2010, following two consultations with all UK medical schools about the number and type of assessments within the undergraduate medical degree programme. The EPM Task and Finish Group convened to review EPM pilot data. Rules for the production of EPM deciles – based on performance at medical school up to the point of application, and according to a standardised framework with additional points for degrees, prizes, publications and presentations – were defined and agreed by students, employers and all medical schools.
Rules were agreed for combining the EPM and SJT results to give an overall score for applications to the FP. Out of a maximum of 100 points it was agreed to allocate: 34-50 points for the EPM and the next 50-100 points for the SJT (reported to 1 decimal place).