Objective: The Central Teaching Committees (CTCs) of Dutch medical teaching institutions have, since January 1st 2011, the role of "director of medical residency training programmes" and as such are legally required to maintain and promote a positive and safe training environment. This study explores how CTCs are fulfilling their new role.
Design: Questionnaire study.
Methods: We developed a questionnaire to investigate the role of CTCs in assuring and improving the quality of the offered residency training. The questionnaire covered the general characteristics of the teaching institution and its CTC, the functioning of the CTCs including the attention given to quality management of residency training and the level of compliance with 6 quality standards. The first 2 parts contained mostly closed questions and questions concerning quality standards were scored on a 5-point scale. In the period December 2010-February 2011 the questionnaire was sent to 57 CTCs of academic and non-academic teaching hospitals in the Netherlands, addressed to the chair of the CTC; non-respondents were reminded up to 3 times.
Results: The response rate was 86%. In assuring and improving the quality of residency training CTCs fulfilled different roles, such as stimulating (77.1%), policy making (60.4%), enforcement (50.0%) and execution (27.1%). In 2010, all CTCs had considered quality management subjects during their meetings. Activities most often reported were peer review (61.0%), evaluating the learning climate (53.3%) and feedback to individual teaching faculty (36.7%). The level of compliance with the 6 quality standards varied from an average of 1.78 (creating an optimal learning climate) to 3.21 (enabling internal quality assessment). The top clinical teaching hospitals rated themselves highest.
Conclusion: Quality assurance of residency training has the attention of CTCs, but systematic quality management is still in its infancy.