During April and May 2018, the College undertook a survey to measure trainees’ satisfaction with the Learning Environment for Pathology Trainees (LEPT) system. It was the first formal survey since the ePortfolio’s introduction in 2009.
The main objective of the survey was to test the effectiveness of the LEPT system and make recommendations for incremental improvements. Additionally, due to necessary updates to all College curricula due to be implemented by 2020 in accordance with new GMC standards, the structure of the ePortfolio will need to be updated – we sought to find out to what extent its current format was suitable for trainees’ needs.
Out of 538 registered trainees, 145 responded to the survey, representing a 27% response rate. 89% of respondents agreed that the LEPT system provides information to inform and support the Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) process, and a small proportion felt that it provides them with the ability to identify and celebrate strengths.
However, whilst there have been enhancements to the LEPT system over time, there are still further improvements that can be made. For example:
- It is clear from trainees’ comments that the multi-source feedback (MSF) process is not entirely transparent, with trainees unable to see how many MSF assessors have submitted feedback, nor the closing date of the MSF process. This causes much confusion and some panic, especially when ARCPs deadlines are looming.
- Less than half of all respondents (48%) agreed that they were able to create their Educational Supervisor Structured Report without any problems and a similar number (41%) understood how ePortfolio items were included in the ESSR. The College understands that the ESSR functionality is quite hidden and can be difficult to find, receiving many queries about this functionality during the ARCP preparatory period.
- The linking of training items to learning outcomes and to good medical practice (GMP) appeared to be unpopular – many trainees found this element time-consuming and saw little value in it.
- Some trainees have the wrong whole-time equivalent (WTE) year showing in their portfolio. Unless the deanery/local education and training board (LETB) notifies the College that trainees have progressed to another year of training, the LEPT system will not carry the correct information – this causes chaos for trainees.
- Some deaneries/LETBs firewalls prohibit emails sent directly from the LEPT system. This means that some assessors will not receive their email notifications to review workplace-based assessments (WPBAs) when submitted by trainees, hence causing delays.
Based on these findings, the College has made a number of recommendations, including more communication with deaneries and LETBs about how to use the LEPT system and how to request free training from the College. We will make changes to the ePortfolio to improve the MSF and ESSR functionalities and also smooth the process of linking WPBAs to the GMP guidelines. There will also be a further LEPT survey for trainers and assessors in the near future, to ascertain their opinions and thoughts for changes from their perspectives.
A big thank you to those trainees who responded to the survey - your feedback has helped us immensely. You can download a full copy of the report’s findings and recommendations below.