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Multi-Source Feedback (MSF)

Surgical trainees work as part of a multi-professional team with other people who have complementary skills. Trainees are expected to understand the range of roles and expertise of team members in order to communicate effectively to achieve high quality service for patients. The MSF, also known as peer assessment or 360° assessment, is a method of assessing professional competence within a team-working environment and providing developmental feedback to the trainee.

Trainees should complete the MSF once a year. The trainee’s Assigned Educational Supervisor (AES) may request further assessments if there are areas of concern at any time during training.

The MSF comprises a self-assessment and the assessments of a trainee's performance from a range of co-workers (minimum of 12 raters, including the AES and self-rating, no maximum). Raters are chosen by the trainee and will always include the AES and a range of colleagues covering different grades and environments (e.g. ward, theatre, outpatients) but not patients.

The MSF process should be started in time for raters to submit their online assessments and the generation of the trainee’s personalised feedback for discussion with the AES before the end of the placement, and for a further MSF to be performed before the end of the training year, if required. The MSF should, therefore, be undertaken:

  • in the third month of the first four-month placement in a training year
  • in the fifth month of the first six-month placement in a training year
  • in the fifth month of a one-year placement.

The competences map across to the standards of Good Medical Practice and to the core objectives of the ISCP. The method enables serious concerns, such as those about a trainee’s probity and health, to be highlighted in confidence to the AES, enabling appropriate action to be taken.

Feedback is in the form of a peer assessment chart that enables comparison of the self-assessment with the collated views received from co-workers for each of the 16 competences including a global rating, on a 3-point scale. Trainees are not given access to individual assessments, however, raters’ written comments are listed verbatim. The AES should meet with the trainee to discuss the feedback on performance in the MSF. The AES makes comments and signs off the trainee’s MSF assessment and can also recommend a repeat MSF.

MSF trainee self-assessment form MSF rater form MSF guidance Tips for using MSF