Open Access Research article

Using entrustable professional activities to guide curriculum development in psychiatry training

Philip Boyce1*, Christine Spratt2, Mark Davies3 and Prue McEvoy4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychiatry, Sydney Medical School-Westmead, Westmead Hospital, PO Box 533, Wentworthville, NSW, 2145, Australia

2 Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE, Yarra Bend Road, Fairfield, Vic, 3078, Australia

3 Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, 309 LaTrobe Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia

4 Department of Psychological Medicine, Women's and Children's Hospital, 72 King William Street, North Adelaide, South Australia, 5006, Australia

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BMC Medical Education 2011, 11:96  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-11-96

Published: 23 November 2011



Clinical activities that trainees can be trusted to perform with minimal or no supervision have been labelled as Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs). We sought to examine what activities could be entrusted to psychiatry trainees in their first year of specialist training.


We conducted an online survey of Fellows of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP).


The majority of respondents considered initiating patients with the common medications, discharging patient suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or following a crisis admission, conducting risk assessments and managing psychiatric emergencies were activities that trainees could be entrusted with by the end of the first stage of training.


Four activities were identified that trainees should be entrusted with by the end of their first year of training. Each of these activities comprises a set of competencies in each of the CanMEDS roles. When a trainee is unable to satisfactorily perform an EPA, deficits in the underpinning competencies can be a focus for remediation. Further EPAs are being identified in areas of more specialised practice for use within more advanced training.