Have your say on the AA registration assessment content map

In July 2019, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), with the support of the four UK governments, asked us to regulate two groups of medical associate professions– physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs).

As part of our new regulatory framework, we plan to introduce a new pre-registration assessment for AAs from 2025. This will match the existing approach for PAs and the future requirement for new doctors to pass the Medical Licensing Assessment.

We’ve set up a stakeholder working group with membership from the Royal College of Anaesthetists, Association of Anaesthetists, Association of Anaesthesia Associates, universities with AA courses and employers of AAs to develop the draft content map for the new anaesthesia associate registration assessment (AARA) that will be implemented after regulation begins. And we’re asking for your feedback on the draft content map, including the proposed content and format.

Patient safety is our first concern. The purpose of the AARA is to ensure that AAs seeking registration in the UK have met a common threshold for safe practice that is appropriate to their point of entry to the register and can demonstrate their readiness to practice in the UK.

The content map sets out proposals for the areas of knowledge, clinical practice and associated procedures that may be included in the new AARA. It will accompany the PA and AA generic and shared learning outcomes and the revised AA curriculum. Those documents were subject to consultation at the end of 2021 and have now been published, so that they can be implemented by September 2023. It will also help course providers understand what they need to teach and students to understand what they may be tested on.

The working group propose that the AARA should consist of an applied knowledge test and workplace-based assessment (WPBA).

WPBA offers greater authenticity and opportunity for detailed assessment as AAs spend the majority of their time in the workplace, with extensive clinical exposure and access to patients. Anaesthesia is difficult to authentically simulate in an OSCE, especially with low numbers and limited funding.

If you would like to comment, please read the draft content map and complete our questionnaire.

Complete our questionnaire

The questionnaire will be open until 20 January 2023.

If you have any questions about the content map or the questionnaire, please email us: MAPs@gmc-uk.org.