Differential attainment

Differential attainment (DA) is what we call the gap between attainment levels of different groups of doctors. DA is an indicator that training and medical education may not be fair. This occurs across many professions including medicine and is called differential attainment. A variety of factors such as social, economic and psychological can affect performance.

Our standards require training pathways to be fair. Under the public sector equality duty (PSED) the GMC and those who we regulate must have ‘due regard’ to the need to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination
  • Advance equality of opportunity
  • Foster good relations.

DA can be shown across many of the characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010 such as age, gender and race.

DA has been a challenge for medical professionals and educators for decades. It exists in both undergraduate and postgraduate contexts, across exam pass rates, recruitment and ARCP outcomes.

Differentials that exist because of ability are expected and appropriate. However, differentials connected solely to age/gender/ethnicity of a particular group are unfair.