In 2015, WFME published revised WFME Global Standards for Quality Improvement : Postgraduate Medical Education. These are the global medical education expert consensus on the best practice minimum requirements (basic standards) and standards for quality improvement. The standards comprise altogether 161 basic standards, 94 quality development standards and 123 annotations.
Postgraduate medical education is the phase of medical education in which doctors develop competencies under supervision after completion of their basic medical qualification, and it is the final preparation step for certification and/or licensure of doctors. The concept of postgraduate medical education encompasses – depending on the educational programme – the following types of education:
- pre-registration education
- vocational/professional education
- specialist/subspecialist education
- other formalised education programmes for defined expert functions
Standards are not equated with a universal core curriculum, and they do not define the detail of content and quantity. The standards provide a template for medical schools and the agencies which accredit them to define institutional, national and regional standards, and to act as a lever for reform programmes. 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, 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 nine universal themes: mission and outcomes; educational programme; assessment of trainees; trainees; trainers; educational resources; programme evaluation; governance and administration; and continuous renewal.