AMEE Guide No. 14: Outcome-based education: Part 5-From competency to meta-competency: a model for the specification of learning outcomes

Med Teach. 1999;21(6):546-52. doi: 10.1080/01421599978951.


Increased attention is being paid to the specification of learning outcomes.This paper provides a framework based on the three-circle model: what the doctor should be able to do ('doing the right thing'), the approaches to doing it ('doing the thing right') and the development of the individual as a professional ('the right person doing it').Twelve learning outcomes are specified, and these are further subdivided.The different outcomes have been defined at an appropriate level of generality to allow adaptability to the phases of the curriculum, to the subject matter, to the instructional methodology and to the students' learning needs. Outcomes in each of the three areas have distinct underlying characteristics.They move from technical competences or intelligences to meta-competences including academic, emotional, analytical, creative and personal intelligences. The Dundee outcome model offers an intuitive, user-friendly and transparent approach to communicating learning outcomes. It encourages a holistic and integrated approach to medical education and helps to avoid tension between vocational and academic perspectives.The framework can be easily adapted to local needs. It emphasizes the relevance and validity of outcomes to medical practice.The model is relevant to all phases of education and can facilitate the continuum between the different phases. It has the potential of facilitating a comparison between different training programmes in medicine and between different professions engaged in health care delivery.