In 2020, WFME published an updated third edition of the WFME Global Standards for Quality Improvement: Basic Medical Education. These are a global medical education expert consensus on the best practice minimum requirements (basic standards) and standards for quality improvement. The 2020 edition of the standards adopts a new, principles-based approach to allow users of the standards to make their own version of the basic standards appropriate to the local context. There are many sets of standards in local use which were developed from the first and second editions of the WFME standards for basic medical education. If those local standards remain good and efficient, there is no need for them to be revised.
Standards are not a universal core curriculum, and they do not define the detail of the content of education. Diversity of educational programmes must be fostered, to account for different educational, social, economic, and cultural conditions, different patterns of disease, and to support social responsibility. The standards provide a template for medical schools and other providers of medical education, and the agencies which accredit them to define institutional, national, and regional standards, and to act as a lever for quality improvement. Not all of the WFME standards will be relevant in every setting.
WFME recommends the use of these standards for institutions responsible for medical education:
- As a framework for curriculum development, modified or supplemented in accordance with regional, national, and institutional needs and priorities
- To formulate individual plans for change for quality improvement
- To establish a system of evaluation, accreditation and/or recognition to assure minimum quality standards for programmes
- To safeguard practice in medicine and for a globally mobile medical workforce
The standards are organised into eight universal themes: mission and values; curriculum; assessment; students; academic staff; educational resources; quality assurance; and governance and administration.