The direct observation of procedural skills (DOPS) is an assessment focusing on observing and assessing a candidate’s performance of a procedure.
What is this for?
- This a structured rating proforma for assessing a trainee’s performance during a real-life procedure. It can be used for any procedure, from flexible bronchoscopy to thoracocentesis. It is intended to function as a formative assessment, but a series of high ratings in a procedure could be used by the trainee and supervisor to act as a summative assessment, demonstrating the trainee’s competence in this procedure.
Why bother with a form?
- It documents the areas which need development.
- It forces the supervisor to confront these areas with the trainee.
- It acts as a permanent record of progress (or possibly lack of progress) and can be used as more robust evidence of competence, especially if more than one supervisor is involved.
Is it going to take a lot of time?
- Filling in the form takes a minute or two. The debrief with the trainee, somewhere private, takes a few minutes more, but this is a valuable part of the training process: if the trainee is not yet ready to practice unsupervised, it is important to discuss what needs improving. How else will they get better?
Do I have to send the form to someone?
- The trainee needs a copy. If you are the trainee’s main educational supervisor, then you need a copy as well. If not, then you should send it to the supervisor. It is just a tool to be used in training.
There is a brief learning module available on giving constructive feedback.
Download the form