Working for better health care in New Zealand

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) is the professional association and union uniting doctors and dentists in New Zealand.

  • News – Other News

Electronic marking used in high-stakes medical registration exam

11 January 2019 Media Release - Medical Council of New Zealand

The Medical Council has introduced electronic marking to its registration examination (NZREX Clinical).

The NZREX Clinical tests clinical skills and knowledge at the level of a recent New Zealand medical graduate. About 80 overseas trained doctors choose to sit the examination each year with successful candidates able to register as a doctor in New Zealand. Once registered, they can work in restricted and supervised practice with further assessments.

Examinations Director, Dr Steven Lillis says, ‘this was a very good start to our journey to implementing a state-of-the-art system in this exam’.

In 2017, a review of NZREX Clinical was undertaken by an external examinations expert based in the United Kingdom.

One of the recommendations was to look at the possibility of electronic marking as a way of improving efficiency and monitoring during the assessment.

A number of electronic marking suppliers were then approached, with Council deciding to work with Maxinity, a United Kingdom based company.

The software used at NZREX Clinical is Maxexam which provides a secure method of collecting marks and has an analysis function.

‘All our examiners were positive about using tablets and found the process easy to follow with Maxexam collecting marks both by storing them on the tablet as well as sending the results through Wifi to the central system,’ said Dr Lillis.

Vigorous testing of the system was undertaken prior to before introducing electronic marking at the June exam. Emphasis was also placed on training examiners in the use of electronic marking.

The Maxexam software has now been used successfully in two examinations.