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Mapping your curriculum

Curriculum mapping should start sooner than you think

We encourage you to start mapping as soon as your discipline has a relatively stable set of EPAs (i.e. often around the end of Workshop 2). The first step is to map your entrustable professional activities (EPAs) to your existing curriculum. Remember it doesn't have to be perfect from the start, this process will evolve over time.

Individual programs will need to map their local curriculum (i.e., rotations and training experiences) and assessments to the new CBD framework. For some groups this work may even start at the CBD transition workshops.

There are many ways to approach curriculum mapping but these steps can be used as a framework

  1. With a group of faculty, review the EPAs that were identified at your Royal College CBD workshop. The EPAs can be in draft form.

  2. Take each EPA and determine where in your local program's existing curriculum is it likely that residents could learn, practice or demonstrate competence in this EPA. This will allow you to begin creating a map of where each EPA could be taught and learned (the curriculum map), as well as where it is most likely to be demonstrated and assessed (the assessment map).

  3. Review the opportunities identified to ensure you are satisfied with the range of contexts where residents will learn, practice or demonstrate competence in this EPA. For some EPAs, context may not be as important, whereas for others you may want to ensure experiences include a range of contexts, to cover varying acuity, complexity, patient populations or disease subsets. Be mindful not to expect so many contexts that residents and preceptors would struggle to meet the expectations. This can be a tricky balance and will require careful consideration.

  4. Once you have identified adequate opportunities for the initial EPA move onto the next one, and repeat this process until you have reviewed all EPAs for your specialty/subspecialty.

  5. If you come across an EPA with inadequate opportunities for learning or assessment, consider what modifications you could make in your program to ensure you trainees are successful in this EPA.

  6. Look for training experiences currently in your program that may not have associated EPAs. Do these align with the newly defined training experiences identified at your Royal College CBD workshop? If not, consider if you wish to keep these experiences as a local requirement, make them optional or remove them all together.

The Royal College program director’s handbook chapter on how to develop a meaningful curriculum map is a good resource for the program director who is trying to link national competencies and EPAs with local educational strategies and assessment tools. While this resource is a bit dated because it was written prior to the implementation of Competence by Design (CBD), we feel the underlying principles and best practices of curriculum planning, design and mapping are still applicable and helpful in the context of a CBD system.


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