In response to recent enquiries about the WFME standards, we have decided that it would be helpful to address a common misconception about the use of the standards in a particular context. It has been understood by some, that the standards are prescriptive, and a medical curriculum should be developed in exact accordance with them, regardless of the local needs and requirements. We would like to clarify that this is untrue.
The WFME standards were developed to help deans of medical schools, and staff who manage medical education and design the curriculum, in their work of making appropriate decisions for their own context.
The standards present the general areas for local decision-making. WFME does not prescribe any particular way of developing or managing the curriculum. We do not promote any particular approach to curriculum design, teaching and learning, or assessment.
The standards are intended to guide the development and evaluation of medical education programmes, to help diagnose strengths and weaknesses in the medical education programme, and to stimulate quality improvement.
Each institution or regulator should review the relevant standards and develop a version of them that is appropriate to their local context. Not all standards will have application in every setting.
WFME expects to see a wide variety of curriculum designs, teaching and learning approaches and assessment systems that are appropriate to their local context.
WFME has no power to inspect or regulate individual medical schools. No medical school or regulator can ever claim that a chosen approach to curriculum design teaching and learning, or assessment is a WFME requirement.
The WFME standards are a global expert consensus on the standards for medical schools and other providers of medical education throughout the continuum of medical education and training: Basic Medical Education, Post Graduate Medical Education, and Continuing Professional Development. The standards are divided into basic standards (minimum requirements) and quality improvement standards, accompanied by annotations and definitions. In 2016 WFME also published standards for Master’s programmes that mirror the framework of the trilogy of BME, PGME and CPD standards which were revised in 2015