We are stopping Supplemental Activities effective now and here’s why.
One big goal of the Level 3 testing process is ensuring transparency and fairness of the testing process. Another one is efficient allocation of testing and mentoring resources, the needs of which have been continuously changing in the last couple of years.
After supporting Supplemental Activities for about 3 years and looking back at the results, it appears that they’re not the best investment of resources we can make. Every instance of a candidate eligible for Supplemental Activities has us coordinate 4 or more different people, which is quite a large investment (as big as the initial Level 3 test for a much smaller step).
In the last couple of years, we have declined to assign Supplemental Activities to some candidates and they have had to pass a second panel. We have seen that the success rate among those candidates and the quality of those who have advanced to Level 3 are quite comparable to those going through Supplemental Activities. The major difference is that Supplemental Activities require many more resources and coordination and with no need to wait for assigned activities, whereas the candidates without Supplemental Activities can get to work towards L3 again immediately.
We’ll be keeping the mentor system: a failing candidate is assigned an Level 3 mentor who will help them for a year, submitting at least one review covering the identified deficiencies. This approach has proved much more flexible than Supplemental Activities and the custom-tailored approach serves candidates much better than centralized activities. This also takes regional constraints into better account; having a process that requires attending 4 or 5 GPs for a chance of working might be suitable for Europe but not in regions with less than that number of GPs every year. The Supplemental Activities themselves become suggested material for candidate mentoring that Level 3s can freely use or not.
Concretely, what should a candidate failing their panel do to become Level 3? After at least 6 months, the candidate can submit a new checklist; all items of previous checklist can be reused (as long as time periods still work) except for the two Level 3 recommendations. New recommendations must mention steps taken to improve in each identified Deficiency.
Candidates currently in Supplemental Activities can finish that process as previously arranged, or submit a new checklist.
To summarize the process from the moment the checklist is accepted:
As always, I’m open to questions and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.