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Progressive assessment and workplace-based assessment program guide

WBA tools

Mini-clinical evaluation exercise

Last revised: 19 Jan 2023

Mini-clinical evaluation exercise

Observing a registrar in practice allows the supervisor to assess their performance over an entire consultation. The supervisor gives immediate feedback on what the registrar is doing well and any concerns or areas for further development. Research suggests that registrars respond better to immediate feedback as they see it as more credible.

A mini-clinical evaluation exercise (mini–CEX) is a type of direct observation and is one of the WBA tools with the strongest validity evidence. It is an authentic assessment method that lends itself to a wide range of clinical presentations across the curriculum and syllabus. It involves observation of real-life clinical encounters and may involve observation of all WBA competencies or may focus on particular competency areas. The focus of each mini–CEX can be varied depending on the registrar's self-identified areas of need and feedback from previous assessments.

The assessor has the opportunity to observe the registrar’s interactions with the patient and assess specific clinical skills that are otherwise difficult to accurately assess, including communication, professionalism, attitudes and behaviours.

It is recommended that the first two mini–CEX be undertaken early in the term with further observations occurring after the registrar has had sufficient time to reflect on their performance and respond to feedback.

The registrar’s competency is rated in the following areas:

  • communication and consultation skills
  • ability to gather and interpret information
  • diagnosis, decision making and clinical reasoning
  • ability to develop an appropriate management plan
  • ability to manage uncertainty
  • understanding and application of population health initiatives
  • general practice systems and regulatory requirements
  • professionalism
  • ability to identify and manage the seriously ill patient.