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ABP Awards Case Study: Development and Practical Application of an Evaluation Framework to Explore and Improve Widening Access into Medicine

6 June 2023 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Event summary:

There has been significant focus on equality, diversity and inclusion within selection and assessment over the years, however, differences between demographic groups are still present (Patterson et al., 2018). Research demonstrates how these reasons are multi-faceted, linked with societal issues including ethnic inequalities, parental education, personal aspirations and educational disadvantage (Tiffin & Paton, 2021).

In 2016, in a multimillion-pound investment from government, six new Medical Schools were opened across England (Anglia Ruskin, Aston University, Edge Hill University, Lincoln Medical School, Kent & Medway and University of Sunderland), as part of the government’s plan to increase the number of medical students by 25% and ultimately, increase the number of UK trained doctors. These new schools were asked to address objectives regarding widening access and workforce shortages through using more innovative approaches to selection and recruitment; seeking to attract, recruit, and retain a more diverse applicant pool.  Work Psychology Group (WPG) partnered with NHS England (formerly Health Education England) to undertake a large-scale evaluation to measure the success of six new UK Medical Schools in widening access to medicine for those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, to improve the diversity and representativeness of the medical workforce.

This project was the winner of the 2022 ABP Awards category of Business Psychology for Social Impact. Jordan Buxton, Consultant Psychologist at Work Psychology Group, will share with you in this webinar about the mixed method approach used to create and apply an evaluation framework, to ultimately evaluate if these new medical schools achieved their overarching aims to widen access to medical education. The webinar will also demonstrate how the findings of the evaluation can be applied across other professions and contexts to reduce differential attainment and ensure fairness in selection and assessment. The webinar will also provide insight into a new framework, that focuses on the macro (policy & societal influences level), meso (process and system level) and micro (assessment design and implementation level) level factors, and how these factors are interrelated in their impact on the fairness of selection and assessment processes.


Speaker biog:

Jordan is a Consultant Psychologist at Work Psychology Group (WPG). WPG is a well-established and highly respected international research-led organisational psychology practice, with unique expertise in selection and assessment in high stakes roles, with significant public interest. Led by Professor Fiona Patterson & Dr Máire Kerrin, WPG engages with organisations across all sectors at a strategic level to translate the very latest research into innovative, effective and sustainable solutions. WPG seeks to provide tailored, bespoke, and sustainable solutions to clients that the organisation own and can carry forward.

Jordan holds an MSc in Organisational Psychology from Leeds University Business School, and an CIPD Associate Diploma in People Management. She is experienced in running large, high stakes projects across selection and assessment, organisational development and change and innovation. In particular, Jordan has extensive experience in the design and evaluation of selection processes, as well as in the research and evaluation of interventions targeting equality, diversity and inclusion and widening access.

An example of Jordan’s recent work includes a national evaluation, looking at the impact of widening access initiatives within new medical schools set-up in recent years across the UK.  Jordan has presented the outcomes of this work, in addition to broader learnings regarding success factors to support reducing differential attainment, at a number of events and conferences across various professions (including medicine and healthcare, psychology, sciences) in the UK and internationally. Jordan is passionate about sharing learnings on the practical ways to instil fairness and support widening access initiatives within assessment and selection with other professions.



6 June 2023
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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