Re-issue of results from PSA Paper C events on 3rd February 2023
The Medical Schools Council and British Pharmacological Society are aware that news of ‘some changes to PSA scores’ have started to circulate within groups of staff and students at medical schools, which relates to a communication we sent to medical schools whose students sat PSA Paper C on 3rd February 2023.
We would like to reassure all medical schools and students, that there has been no change to the PSA scores for the majority of candidates (4626/6070) who sat PSA Papers A, B or D on 3rd February 2023. However, of the 1444 candidates who took PSA paper C, 549 have had an additional 5 marks added to their scores. No candidate has had a reduction in their scores. The schools where 5 marks have been added have been notified already.
Following each PSA event, the PSA Assessment Board conducts a post-assessment review to check for any 'unanticipated creditworthy' answers to the prescription writing questions to ensure that marks for all appropriate drugs, doses, routes and formulations are given. The prescriptions that are of merit for the question presented are credited accordingly.
During the post assessment review of the PSA events on 13th March 2023, a ‘creditworthy unanticipated’ answer, which had been overlooked during the initial review of the PSA events on 3rd February 2023, was identified. The affected item appeared in one of the four papers that was used on 3rd February (PSA Paper C).
Given this finding, we undertook a comprehensive review of candidates’ answers and scores from the events on 3rd February. This review identified that the scores of 549/1444 candidates who sat paper C on 3rd February were affected. Each of these candidates has had 5 additional marks (2.5%) added to their previous scores. In almost all cases, the increase in score has not affected the pass/fail result. However, there are two candidates who have moved from a failing score to a passing score because of this amendment.
We are sorry that we have identified this issue outside the timeframe for results being issued to candidates from the February sitting and we apologise for this error. Our assessment board values transparency, accuracy and fairness and we strive to act upon our findings promptly and with openness and honesty. We are undertaking a broader review into our post assessment processes and answer matrix creation to reduce the risk of similar errors happening in future.
Professor Kurt Wilson, PSA assessment board chair
Professor Simon Maxwell, PSA Medical Director and Chair of PSA Stakeholders
Dr Lynne Bollington, Lead Consultant, PSA Assessment Build
Dr Rick Plumb, PSA assessment board deputy chair
On behalf of the Prescribing Safety Assessment
A PDF version of this email, shared with medical school staff can be accessed.