Conducting competency-based assessments during the COVID-19 pandemic: Moving to remote assessments

Innovation in learning assessment


  • A. Cooper Keele University
  • J. Thompson Keele University



Competency-based Assessment, Competence, Pharmacy Student, Remote Assessment, United Kingdom


At Keele University School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering, all Master of Pharmacy students undertake Competency Based Assessments (CBAs) towards the end of each academic year. CBAs simulate ‘real life’ settings in pharmacy and assess a student’s ability to apply their knowledge, skills and understanding in a safe simulated environment. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic the assessments could not be conducted in the usual way. Instead, they were re-designed to be carried out remotely using Google Meet software, to ensure students were still meeting the General Pharmaceutical Council outcomes for education and training. With a strong team who had previous experience in the design and delivery of CBAs, the delivery of remote CBAs was successful and enabled students’ competence to be measured virtually. More time and preparation will enable greater understanding as to how virtual assessments can fit into a primarily non-virtual degree.


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COVID-19 Case Study