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Assessment data

This page contains details of the change request received to include Assessment data in the Student record. This request has come from the General Medical Council (GMC) and is being considered for collection from 2020/21.  

The HESA Assessment data paper explains the proposal in more detail and formed the basis for discussion at the workshops in May and June:

Download HESA Assessment data paper (PDF)

A copy of the HESA/GMC presentation given at the workshops is also available:

Download HESA/GMC presentation


May/June 2019 Provider workshops
July 2019 Online consultation
August 2019

Finalise specification/announce changes

August 2020 Data Collection for Academic year 2020/21 begins

Progress to date

12 June 2019: Manchester workshop 

3 June 2019: London workshop 

29 May 2019: Cheltenham workshop

20 May 2019: Edinburgh workshop  

2 May 2019: HESA attended Medical Schools Council (MSC) Assessment Alliance to present initial idea and promote the upcoming workshops. Presentation available for reference below:

Download HESA/GMC MSC Assessment Alliance presentation

12 April 2019: Email sent to inform providers of the upcoming consultation workshops


Assessment data in Student record

We are concerned that our data could be misunderstood or misinterpreted by UKMED researchers 

The existing UKMED process for reviewing and applications and UKMED outputs will be extended to ensure that when a research proposal includes school Assessment data, schools get the chance to review the proposal and the output.  It may be most appropriate to use the MSC Assessment Leads group to provide this.

We are concerned that UKMED projects using HESA data would require ethics approval

The Medical Schools Council agreed that all approved applications for research projects using data exclusively held by UKMED meet the criteria for a blanket exemption from the need to apply for ethics approval that would be recognised by ethics committees relevant to the UK medical schools. A letter was written from QMUL Ethics of Research Committee on behalf of all UK medical schools to confirm ethics exemption. Please see UKMED FAQ for further information.

We are concerned that students will not be comfortable with UKMED having access to their assessment data from their medical school

Data protection and privacy considerations have been at the heart of UKMED’s development and the bodies involved take their safeguarding of information extremely seriously. The legislation states that the GMC who is the data controller for UKMED must carry out its activities proportionately and use personal data fairly. For this reason, when a doctor or student provides their information to one of the organisations which contributes to UKMED, they are told what that data will be used for, including research of this kind. Each contributing organisation has a privacy notice which indicates that data sharing may take place. 
UKMED does not provide any identifiable data to potential employers, and data are not used to monitor or make decisions about individual doctors. Only anonymised data are shared with approved academic researchers under the terms of a strict contract in a Safe Haven to prevent attempts at re-identification. 

Data are held in UKMED for research purposes only. Doctors’ information cannot be used to make decisions that could impact on their career, positively or negatively.

We are committed to transparency in the operation of UKMED. Doctors can find out more about the way UKMED is run on the website, including details of the process for accessing research datasets. The BMA represents the interests of medical students and doctors on the UKMED development group. 

We hope that medical students and trainees recognise the need for an evidence-based approach to medical education. UKMED facilitates this without infringing on privacy.

We have assessment data for students on our non-UK campus do we need to return these cases to HESA?

No, students based on courses run outside of the UK are not included in the extract HESA provide to the GMC.

Could the column STUDENTSCORE include non-numeric values such as a university grading scheme?

We can design a table that accommodates string and numeric values.  The ASSESSMENT table could include a column call STUDENTSCORE_DESC which would describe the format of the STUDENTSCORE.

Would this proposal request retrospective data as well?

No, the data required will be for the collection year only.

At which reference period would assessment data be returned?

The 3rd reference period is likely to be the most appropriate, though we are still looking at how this would work in practice.