Outcome-based education is a performance-based approach that has been defined as, 'results-
orientated thinking' (Harden and Laidlaw, 2012:37-38).
• 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
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