Data & research
Research carried out by us and research which we have commissioned.
Research Title Pub. Date Description
Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) doctors identify ten key factors which they felt gave them the opportunity to succeed in post graduate training.
Psychological theory is used to explain why these are important for learning.
Broader DA literature identifies why BAME trainees are systematically less able to benefit from these kinds of support.
Practical examples from stakeholders and trainees illustrate how interventions can improve outcomes.
The overall aim of this research is to enhance fair training for all. It aims 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.
To follow up from the 2015 research which focused on trainee/trainer perspective, part two of the research explores differential attainment at an organisation level.
In 2015 we asked researchers from University College London to develop the model proposed by HEFCE commissioned research (described below), in the context of postgraduate medical education and training to help us understand more about how differential attainment affects doctors in training.
A summary of key messages arising from the publication of exam, ARCP and recruitment data for the 2014/2015 academic year.
We commissioned an independent review of existing research and literature on differential attainment across medical education pathways. We want to understand potential causes of differential attainment; ways in which differential attainment has been researched; and potential interventions.
This research investigates the correlation between selection scores and exam performance of GPs over a number of years.
Our fifth annual GMC report sets out what is happening in the education and practice of doctors, and considers some of the current challenges facing the profession and the systems in which it works.
To identify how doctors in training are supported, we worked with the Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans (COPMED) to survey deaneries and local education and training boards across the UK.
Our survey of professional support units aimed to draw on the expertise and experience within these organisations to identify and share effective practice.
A summary of key messages arising from the publication of exam and recruitment data for the 2013/2014 academic year.
GMC Corporate Conference Workshop
In January 2015, we held a workshop on differential attainment at our annual conference. We used the conference as a key moment to share emerging findings with a range of healthcare professionals, and to get their feedback about our approach to the research and what they think we should prioritise.
View slides from our differential attainment workshop
Read our overview of the workshop themes and discussions
In 2013 we asked Professor Aneez Esmail to carry out an independent review of the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP), an integrated assessment system, success in which confirms that a doctor has satisfactorily completed specialty training for general practice. This table shows the progress we, and other organisations, have made against the recommendations in the review's final report.
Non-GMC commissioned research
Research commissioned by other organisations.
Research Title Pub. Date Description Authors /contributors
Using NHS staff and inpatient survey data, this report identifies the most important aspects of staff experience in predicting inpatient satisfaction. It also examines the experiences of staff (and patients) from a black and minority ethnic (BME) background, examining the extent to which treatment of BME staff is linked with patient experience.
The authors of the report say interpersonal skills may be just as important as clinical knowledge for those on GP training programmes. By demonstrating the importance of interpersonal competence to licensing examination results, the research team have provided new insights into how to support future GP trainees who are likely to struggle with exams that involve social and communication interactions.
F. Patterson, P.A. Tiffin, S. Lopes & L. Zibarras
This report summarises some of the causes of differential attainment, provides examples of initiatives that make a difference for BAME trainees, and outlines practical tips for providers, trainers, students and trainees.
British Medical Association (BMA)
Scottish Government consultation on proposals for measuring the poverty-related attainment gap and milestones towards closing it.
How do student outcomes differ according to various characteristics? This guide looks at outcomes measured in terms of class of degree awarded and employment six months after graduation. In addition, at a sector level, it considers how student outcomes have changed since 2013-14
Office for Students
The aim of this research was to further assess whether the United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) is likely to add incremental value over A level (predicted or actual) attainment in the selection process.
P.A. Tiffin, J.C. McLachlan, L. Webster and S. Nicholson
The UKCAT-12 study: educational attainment, aptitude test performance, demographic and socio-economic contextual factors as predictors of first year outcome in a cross-sectional collaborative study of 12 UK medical schools
This study assesses the United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT), and its four sub-scales, along with measures of educational attainment, individual and contextual socio-economic background factors, as predictors of performance in the first year of medical school training.
I.C. McManus, C. Dewberry, S. Nicholson & J.S. Dowell
This study investigates whether demographic and psychological factors mediate the relationship between ethnicity and final examination scores.
K. Woolf, I.C. McManus, H.W.W. Potts & J. Dacre
This study uses two large-scale databases to examine the educational attainment of different groups of students.
I.C. McManus, K. Woolf & J. Dacre
This comparison of undergraduate outcomes for students from gateway courses and standard entry medicine courses shows some evidence that gateway courses allow students from under-represented groups to achieve greater academic potential, with differences in the attainment and aptitude on entry and outcomes at graduation of students on gateway and standard entry courses narrowing by the time they leave medical school.
Sally Curtis and Daniel Smith
Research from other sectors
The issue of differential attainment is not confined to medical practise. Here we have gathered noteworthy research carried out or commissioned by organisations outside our sector.
Research Title Published Date Description Authors /contributors
This report identifies five steps that can be taken to tackle the disparity between the proportion of 'top degrees' (first or a 2:1 degree) achieved by white and BAME students. The report follows contributions from 99 universities and student unions and six regional round table sessions with 160 attendees into how to improve outcomes and reduce the attainment gap.
Universities UK and NUS
This paper explores the ethnicity attainment gap in higher education (HE). It highlights the challenges for narrowing the gap and provides a source of initiatives and toolkits to people in all roles in HE (including outreach, support, teaching and policy) on how to address it.
A journalistic piece which examines three decades’ of diversity data and initiatives from more than 800 US firms to look at what does and doesn’t work to improve career outcomes for employees from diverse backgrounds.
Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev
Analysis of the General Pharmaceutical Council Registration Assessment data shows that Black-African candidates with a UK MPharm degree performed less well than candidates from other ethnic background. It finds that an interplay of factors affect the experience and performance of Black-African students during their training and the report recommends actions that schools of pharmacy, training providers, NHS education authorities and the GPhC could take to in response to the findings.
Office for Public Management (OPM)