Developing Competencies

Faculty development in developing the six ACGME-identified competencies

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Developing the Six Areas of Competency

The ACGME has established the requirement that all accredited GME programs develop learning objectives for each of six competency areas:

  • Patient Care
  • Medical Knowledge
  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Professionalism
  • Systems-Based Practice

Known as the Outcome Project, the long-term goal is to increase the emphasis on educational outcome assessment as part of the accreditation process. Expectations for increased emphasis on outcome assessment are reflected in changes to Program and Institutional Requirements that require programs to:

  • Identify learning objectives related to the ACGME's general competencies
  • Use increasingly more dependable (i.e. objective) methods of assessing residents' attainment of these competency-based objectives; and,
  • Use outcome data to facilitate continuous improvement of both resident and residency program performance. 

With changes in the accreditation system, the ACGME established the Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) Project with six focus areas:

  • Patient Safety includes opportunities for residents to report errors, unsafe conditions, and near misses, as well as participate in inter-professional teams to promote and enhance safe care.
  • Quality Improvement includes how sponsoring institutions engage residents in the use of data to improve systems of care, reduce health care disparities, and improve patient outcomes.
  • Transitions in Care includes how sponsoring institutions demonstrate effective standardization and oversight of transitions of care.
  • Supervision includes how sponsoring institutions maintain and oversee policies of supervision concordant with ACGME requirements in an environment at both the institutional and program level that assures the absence of retribution.
  • Duty Hours Oversight, Fatigue Management and Mitigation includes how sponsoring institutions:
     1) Demonstrate effective, meaningful oversight of duty hours across all programs institution-wide,
     2) Design systems and provide settings facilitating fatigue management and mitigation, and
     3) Provide effective education of faculty members and residents in sleep, fatigue recognition, and fatigue mitigation.
  • Professionalism includes how sponsoring institutions educate for professionalism, monitor behavior on the part of residents and faculty and respond to issues concerning:
     1) Accurate reporting of program information,
     2) Integrity in fulfilling educational and professional responsibilities, and
     3) Veracity in scholarly pursuits.

Please refer to the ACGME website for the most recent updates. The following links provide additional information and tools to assist programs in creating a portfolio of objectives and evaluation methods for each of the six competencies.

Learning Outcomes and Objectives

Online Resources

  ACGME Web Resources

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