The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) has developed 12 Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) for Undergraduate Learners.

The goal of EPAs is to define regular clinical activities — such as taking a history and performing a physical examination, or formulating and implementing a management plan — that a student would be expected to exhibit competence in prior to graduation and the start of residency training, and to assess and give feedback to learners based on these activities.

The 12 EPAs are to be implemented by all Canadian medical schools to ensure a common frame of reference outlining what residency program directors can expect of an incoming Canadian medical graduate.

What is an EPA?

Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) are responsibilities that learners can be entrusted to do without direct supervision by the time they enter residency.

An EPA:

  • is a discrete, time-limited task a learner can be observed performing. 
  • is designed to be directly observed by faculty who document the encounter and provide corrective coaching in the moment.
  • does not represent a pass/fail decision, but is a simple record of what was observed in the moment.

When faculty are observing a learner performing an EPA, they are asked to capture their observations through the UGME EPA app. Many such observations will be put together to form an overview of the learner's performance. 

EPA App

About the UGME EPA app
Faculty and learners are required to download the custom developed UGME EPA app. The app is:
  • easy to use
  • offers voice-to-text to transcribe narrative feedback

Download the UGME EPA app for free at the Apple App Store or Google Play on your smartphone or tablet.

Please contact your departmental administration for app login information (USask NSID login required).

Information for Learners

Implementing EPAs 2021-22

For the 2021-22 academic year, the USask College of Medicine will be assessing EPAs 1-6 in all core clerkship and elective rotations, alongside current assessment procedures.

  • EPA 1 - Obtain history and perform a physical examination adapted to patient's clinical situation.
  • EPA 2 - Formulate and justify a prioritized differential diagnosis.
  • EPA 3 - Formulate an initial investigative plan based on the diagnostic hypothesis.
  • EPA 4 - Interpret and communicate results of common diagnostic and screening tests.
  • EPA 5 - Formulate, communicate and implement management plans.
  • EPA 6 - Present oral and written reports that document a clinical encounter.

Year 3 Medical Students

Year 3 students must complete a minimum of 14 EPA observations in a six-week rotation:

  • Four observations must be assessments of EPA 1
  • 10 observations must be of the remaining five EPAs (two assessments each of EPAs 2-6)

If rotations are shorter than six weeks, the number of required EPAs will be prorated.

  • SLIC students — minimum of three observations each week, distributed amongst EPAs 1 through 6

Year 4 Medical Students

Year 4 students must complete a minimum of 20 EPA observations:

  • minimum of three observations in each EPA 1-6

Information for Faculty

Faculty and residents are asked to observe students performing EPAs and document their observations as they happen, or "in the moment." Observations should be specific and should provide actionable feedback, such as what was done well, and what can be improved upon. Specific milestones for each EPA also provide a useful structure for this feedback.

These observations can be captured via the custom developed UGME EPA app. Please contact your departmental administration for app login information (USask NSID login required).

Training

Additional EPA training and development is available for an overview or specific elements. Please contact Dr. Susanna Martin for more information.