Helping The College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland Evaluate a New Training Framework


The College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland, founded in 1998, exists to promote high quality practice in the fields of Anaesthesia, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine through its training, examinations and educational programmes. As a recognised Training Body, the College is responsible for setting training standards and for the organisation, supervision and counselling of doctors in training in Ireland. The College fosters continuing medical education through its workshops, Masters Degree programme, training courses and a range of educational activities.

The Challenge

Trainee anaesthesiologists in Ireland undergo various levels of Specialist Anaesthesiology Training (SAT).  The College was already committed to implementing a competency-based training programme and had adopted Entrustable Professional Activities(EPA) as a framework for that training programme.  (An EPA demonstrates that the trainee has achieved a competency-based expertise in a particular activity such as vascular access or paediatric anaesthesia.)  The College carried out a pilot programme using the EPA framework.  The challenge now was to evaluate that pilot programme.

The Solution

The College commissioned SurveyGuru to help evaluate the pilot programme.  Working closely with the College, SurveyGuru designed three anonymous online surveys to gather the opinions of the trainees, their tutors (who were all consultants) and also the non-tutor consultants with whom the trainees worked.

After initial design, SurveyGuru refined the surveys through consultation with the College.  Also, prior to deployment of the surveys, they were further improved by having a number of trainees and tutors pilot them.

SurveyGuru also provided input on the timing and content of email invitations to survey participants – it was crucial to be respectful of people’s time while also impressing on them the value that their considered judgement would bring to the process.

Over a period of approximately 5 months, extensive feedback was gathered and three comprehensive reports, one for each survey, were provided to the College by SurveyGuru.

The Benefits

The College now knew how the pilot programme was viewed by all the relevant stakeholders.  It also knew that there was an appetite for competency-based training.  And it had a wealth of information at its disposal to help ensure that the emerging framework would operate in a fluid and effective way for trainees without adding additional time pressures to consultants.

SurveyGuru provide excellent attention to detail with a sound grasp of the big picture. This combination delivers the relevant intelligence on time and to the point.” Dr. Eilis Condon, Deputy Director of Postgraduate Training, College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland