Development of workplace-based assessments of non-technical skills in anaesthesia

Anaesthesia. 2012 Feb;67(2):158-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.2011.06977.x.


Non-technical skills are recognised as crucial to good anaesthetic practice. We designed and evaluated a specialty-specific tool to assess non-technical aspects of trainee performance in theatre, based on a system previously found reliable in a recruitment setting. We compared inter-rater agreement (multir-ater kappa) for live assessments in theatre with that in a selection centre and a video-based rater training exercise. Twenty-seven trainees participated in the first in-theatre assessment round and 40 in the second. Round- 1 scores had poor inter-rater agreement (mean kappa = 0.20) and low reliability (generalisability coefficient G = 0.50). A subsequent assessor training exercise showed good inter-rater agreement, (mean kappa = 0.79) but did not improve performance of the assessment tool when used in round 2 (mean kappa = 0.14, G = 0.42). Inter-rater agreement in two selection centres (mean kappa = 0.61 and 0.69) exceeded that found in theatre. Assessment tools that perform reliably in controlled settings may not do so in the workplace.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesiology / education*
  • Anesthetics*
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Educational Measurement
  • Humans
  • Observer Variation
  • Operating Rooms
  • Physicians
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Video Recording
  • Workforce


  • Anesthetics