RCoA and FICM partner with GMC to enhance medical training research

10 November 2016

The Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) and the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (FICM) have agreed to share exam outcome data with the UK Medical Education Database (UKMED) to help develop a better understanding of factors influencing doctors’ progression through medical training.

This collaboration will in turn allow the RCoA and FICM to formally apply for access to UKMED, which holds information on doctors’ demographic characteristics and prior attainment on entry to medical school. Such access will enhance the RCoA’s own research into differential attainment and the factors affecting exam outcomes and training progression.

Since 2014 and under the terms of a confidentiality and data sharing agreement, Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties have shared exam outcome data with the General Medical Council (GMC) for education quality assurance purposes.

As host of the UKMED database, the GMC submitted the proposal for data sharing to all Colleges and Faculties. UKMED data are anonymised and shared with registered researchers, under contract to only use the data for the purposes of the approved research proposal.

The RCoA and FICM will continue to ensure that the provision of data requested, as well as data storage and governance remains in accordance with The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998). RCoA and FICM are satisfied that the provision of data for doctors registered with the GMC is permitted under the DPA 1998 Schedule.

The following privacy notice has been agreed between Medical Royal Colleges, Faculties and the GMC:
If you are registered or anticipate being registered with the GMC then your personal data, including data about your exam results, will be passed to the GMC. This passing of data is for quality assurance and research purposes and to facilitate the awarding of certificates of completion of training (CCTs). The GMC will use the data for its own research and for any research as part of the UK Medical Education Database. Data held in UKMED will only be disclosed to third parties in accordance with the UKMED Research Process and therefore it will not be possible for researchers to identify your data. All data will be handled in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and the RCoA/GMC Confidentiality and data sharing Agreement.”

This GMC privacy notice will be additional to the RCoA’s and FICM’s ‘Disclosure of Information’ notice’ which is already reflected on examination application forms and covered in the RCoA’s Data Protection policy. FAQs on how data is used and stored in UKMED is available here.