Published: 2020-03-24

Competency based assessment in pharmacology: implications of changed recommendations in viva voce and internal assessment

Gurudas Khilnani, Ajeet Kumar Khilnani, Rekha Thaddanee


The competency based assessment (CBA) is an integral part of competency based medical education (CBME). It is important to discern the similarities and differences between CBME and traditional curriculum for developing effective implementation schedules and to identify opportunities for best use of the CBA in pharmacology training. CBA relies on assessment of core competencies and attitudes. The viva marks, to be decided at university level, are excluded from theory marks. An advantage of CBA is early entry of failed students into next phase of study. The areas of concern are, viva marks are included in practical marks further reducing ratio of practical to theory marks despite increase in total marks, and non-contribution of internal assessment marks to university marks for rank or grades. Multiple assessments using multiple tools in limited duration of 11 months would pose logistic problems and would require concerted efforts of faculty members for accomplishment.


Assessment, Competency, Medical education, Pharmacology, Viva voce

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