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Differential Attainment Toolkit

The causes of differential attainment, by which we mean the gap between the attainment levels of different groups of doctors in recruitment, exam pass rates, and ARCP outcomes, are not fully understood and neither do we know what interventions are effective in addressing it.

The Training the Trainers toolkit is based on the developmental needs Educators have expressed to the Professional Support Unit, around issues thought to be important in Differential Attainment (DA). The development aims are:

  • An understanding of Differential Attainment, research findings, promoting cultural safety, cultural humility and possible ways forward
  • Facilitating challenging conversations with trainees about their progress, which is frequently cited as a key issue of difficulty;
  • Revision and Exam preparation, is a very common problem which can then have a knock-on effect on confidence and performance;
  • Careers Coaching approaches that aim to optimise and support the career development of trainees and potentially reduce differential attainment in specialty recruitment
  • Developing skills for the Supervision of Clinicians from diverse cultural linguistic backgrounds

The toolkit was designed to meet specific learning objectives and to be reproduced locally allowing Educators to dip in-and-out of modules as they see fit, cascading the learning to colleagues in their network.

The toolkit is available via the Professional Support Unit (PSU) website and we are offering stand-alone workshops within the suite of PSU courses.

We hope this toolkit will stimulate conversations, and support Educators working across Trusts, building on best practice to implement changes within their local contexts.

Differential Attainment Toolkit

Please follow the link here to book a place on the differential attainment workshop.

Important information: To successfully download the PowerPoint presentations, please accept the request to save file.

Chapter one

Introduction to Differential Attainment

Chapter one - PowerPoint Presentation

Chapter one - Resource

Chapter two

Developing skills for the supervision of clinicians from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds

Chapter two - PowerPoint Presentation

Chapter three

Facilitating challenging conversations

Chapter three - PowerPoint Presentation

Chapter three - Resource 1

Chapter three - Resource 2

Chapter three - Resource 3

Chapter three - Resource 4

Chapter three - Resource 5

Chapter three - Resource 6

Chapter four

Revision and exam preparation

Chapter four - PowerPoint Presentation

Chapter five

Career coaching approaches to support and develop doctors

Chapter five - PowerPoint Presentation


Acknowledgement Page


Differential Attainment poster



We are very keen to have your feedback on the usefulness of these resources and would encourage you to identify your own local Differential Attainment Champions.

We hope to evaluate the work Trusts and others are offering on Differential Attainment in the future and would value your suggestions.

Do let us know what further developments from the PSU might be helpful or if you need advice from the authors of these resources on the local facilitation of the modules.

Dr David Mendel, Head of Professional Support Unit, Professional Development Department, London and Kent, Surrey & Sussex,

Jacqueline MacDonald-Davis Education Lead, London and Kent, Surrey & Sussex,

Professional Support Unit, Professional Development Department