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HNELHD - Workplace Based Assessment (WBA) Program

In 2010, HNELHD became the first location in Australia where IMGs seeking general registration through the AMC Standard Pathway could be assessed using Workplace Based Assessment (WBA).

Under the leadership of Professor Kichu Nair of Centre for Medical Professional Development (CMPD), in collaboration with the University of Newcastle's School of Medicine and Public Health, was granted accreditation by the Australian Medical Council  (AMC) to conduct Workplace Based Assessment (WBA) for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) on the Standard Pathway Workplace Based Assessment.

In 2012, the WBA Program won the NSW Premier’s Award for Innovation in Frontline Delivery in 2012.

To Date over 300 IMGs have successfully completed the WBA program across rural and metropolitan areas within HNE.

Over the last decade HNE WBA program has also supported many providers across Australia to secure AMC accreditation and implement a similar program within their region.


  • Workplace Based Assessment is the direct observation of IMGs in their workplace.
  • The process assesses the candidate’s clinical skills and performance as well as their communication and teamwork skills.
  • The HNE WBA program uses 3 assessment tools:
    • Mini CEX ( Mini Clinical Evaluations)
    • CBD (Case based discussions)
    • 360° assessment (Multi-source Feedback)
  • At the conclusion of each Mini-CEX (Mini-Clinical evaluation exercise) and Case Based Discussion (CBD) assessment, candidates are provided with constructive feedback by the assessor.

What is Workplace Based Assessment

Workplace-based assessment is a form of programmatic assessment, which tests performance of the doctors in their actual clinical environment. It involves having different assessment tools used by multiple assessors in various clinical settings over an extended period of time.

What is the format of HNE WBA Program?

HNELHD WBA program is a 6 month / 26 weeks program offered to employees of HNELHD at the following locations:

  • John Hunter Hospital (JHH), Royal Newcastle Centre, or Rankin Park Hospital
  • Belmont Hospital
  • Maitland Hospital
  • Calvary Mater Newcastle (CMN)
  • Newcastle Mental Health Services
  • Armidale Rural Referral Hospital
  • Tamworth Rural Referral Hospital
  • Manning Base Hospital, Taree

It uses 3 assessment tools

  • Mini-CEX (12 in total)
  • Case Based Discussions (6 in total)
  • Multi Sourced feedback (12 in total – 6 in month 1 and 6 in month 5)

HNE WBA Program number of cohorts per year:

  • We run 2 cohorts per year. Cohort 1 February and Cohort 2 August

Workplace Based Assessment Committees

Governance Committee

The Governance Committee is the body responsible for the overall conduct of the AMC (Australian Medical Council) Workplace Based Assessment (WBA) Program on behalf of Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD) and the University of Newcastle.

The Governance Committee:

  • Oversees the major strategic and operational functions of the WBA Program in accordance with HNELHD's Australian Medical Council Accreditation guidelines.
  • Represents the interests of the partners ie HNELHD and the University of Newcastle.
  • Monitors the ongoing performance of the WBA Program.
  • Defines responsibilities and accountabilities within the WBA Program Committees.
  • Approves any major amendments to the methodology of the Program.
  • Reviews WBA Program finances.
  • Undertakes strategic planning for ongoing WBA.

The Governance Committee meets twice during each six-month assessment period – once at the beginning and at the end unless otherwise requested by the Governance Committee Chair.

360° Review Panel

The 360° Review Panel is convened to review the WBA Program candidate month one (formative) and month six (summative) 360° results.

The 360° Review Panel:

  • Reviews the month one and month six 360o assessment performance results from medical colleagues and co-workers.
  • Identifies the competent (C) and not-competent (NC) candidates.
  • Devises and oversees the feedback of results to all competent candidates at month one.
  • Devises and oversees an appropriate and sensitive method of feedback to all candidates who are deemed not competent at month one and includes recommendations for remediation.
  • Notifies the candidate with whom the Committee wishes to meet and advises that the candidate is able to invite an independent support person to be present but must not contribute to the discussion.
  • Reports the outcome/ findings made at the 360 meetings to the WBA Governance Meeting.

HNELHD Appeals Committee

The HNELHD Appeals Committee is responsible for investigating and deciding on appeals lodged by WBA candidates. An appeal is submitted by the candidate by emailing HNELHD-WBA@health.nsw.gov.au.

Appeals can be lodged by a candidate if they are appealing against a "Not Competent" result overall. Alternatively, candidates may still wish to lodge an appeal regardless of their overall result if they have a grievance.

Note: This document should be read in conjunction with the WBA Grievance and Appeal Procedure document and flow-chart.

HNELHD Appeals Committee:

  • Investigates appeals lodged by candidates (at the end of the assessment period)
  • Decides if the appeal should be dismissed and the result stands or if the appeal should be accepted and the candidate is offered a re-sit Mini-CEX, CBD, 360o
  • Documents the decision and rationale.
  • Notifies the WBA Governance Committee of the outcome. The WBA Governance committee then meet/consult to endorse the decision. The WBA Director notifies the candidate of the outcome by letterhead. If candidates are not satisfied with the decision of the HNELHD WBA Appeals Committee, they have the option to lodge an external appeal with the AMC Appeals Committee.

Our Team

Professor Kichu NairDirector, Workplace Based Assessment Program
Dr Aditee ParabClinical Lead, Workplace Based Assessment Program.
Dr Usha ParvathyDirector, Hospital Non-Specialist Program and IMG Program
Amy NeylanCoordinator, Workplace Based Assessment Program

For more information, please contact the HNEHD WBA Office on HNELHD-WBA@health.nsw.gov.au or call (02) 4985 3313.