Evaluating the impact of differential attainment interventions

What were the key findings?

The researchers identified 69 measures, split into nine categories, which can be used to identify variations in medical education training pathways and to help quantify the impact of interventions designed to address differential attainment. Six of the categories relate specifically to medical training whilst the remaining three categories relate to desired evaluation outcomes (learning and knowledge, behavioural and motivational and affect related measures). The researchers also worked with us to develop practical guide to help those wishing to evaluate their interventions. This is available here.

Why did we commission this research?

The overall aim of this research was to help enhance fair training for all. It aimed to support and encourage training organisations and educators to evaluate interventions and programmes of support, and to share their learning with others in order to build an evidence base. It responds to the findings of previous research into Fair Training Pathways which identified that many organisations were delivering interventions aimed at improving fairness, but very few had evaluated the impact.

The objectives of this research were:

  • To identify and critically assess a range of measures that may i) indicate variations in medical education training pathways ii) help to quantify the impact of interventions aimed at reducing the variations associated with protected characteristics and improving fairness.
  • To produce practical guidance to support organisations in evaluating interventions aimed at mitigating unfairness.

What did the research involve?

The research used a mixed-methods research design, combining a realist literature review with individual semi-structured interviews and focus groups. As part of the literature review, 137 articles and documents were reviewed. A total of 46 individuals participated in the interviews representing a variety of stakeholders and a total of 15 individuals took part in four focus groups, including trainees, experts in differential attainment (DA) and psychometricians.