Tuesday, March 28, 2017


Outcome-based education is a performance-based approach that has been defined as, 'results-
orientated thinking' (Harden and Laidlaw, 2012:37-38). 
It requires:
• Learning outcomes of what is expected at the end of each phase of training to be clearly stated,
explicit and communicated;
• Decisions about the curriculum (content, educational strategies, teaching methods and
assessment) to be based on agreed learning outcomes; and
• An agreed vision that students will succeed by achieving the exit outcomes before the end of their
studies (Harden and Laidlaw, 2012:37).
Competency-based education has been defined as:
"…an approach to preparing physicians for practice that is fundamentally oriented to graduate outcome
abilities and organised around competencies derived from an analysis of societal and patient needs. It
de-emphasises time-based training and promises greater accountability, flexibility and learner-centeredness." (Frank et al., 2010:636).

As a result it may be argued that the terms 'outcome' and 'competency' – based have much in common,
with a difference in terminology a function on the geographical origin of the work.

FRANK, J. R., MUNGROO, R., AHMAD, Y., WANG, M., DE ROSSI, S. & HORSLEY, and T. (2010) 'Toward a definition of
competency-based education in medicine: a systematic review of published definitions'. Medical Teacher, 32, 631-637.
HARDEN, R. & LAIDLAW, J. (2012) Essential Skills for a Medical Teacher: An Introduction to Teaching and Learning in
Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.

Source: MedEdWorld (A global online medical education community)
The MedEdWorld Glossary can be accessed at www.mededworld.org/Glossary.aspx

MedEdWorld Updates highlight useful and easily accessible sources of information on key and important topics in medical education contributed by leading experts from around the world

Myo Oo
Clinical Asso Professor
Population Medicine Department

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