QA of Medical Education in Georgia

Video on QA of Medical Education in Georgia


World Federation for Medical Education (WFME)

World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) is an international non- governmental organisation which serves the quality enhancement of medical education throughout the world. WFME has developed international standards for both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. The mentioned standards can be amended during certain period of time. Further information is available on the following link: The World Federation for Medical Education



Recognition of the Center by WFME

On November 18, 2018, LEPL - The National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement obtained recognition by WFME. The recognition was preceded by an evaluation of the Center by a group of international experts, and their positive report was the base for the decision on recognition. Further information is available on the following link: https://eqe.ge/ka/page/static/643/sameditsino-ganatlebis-msoflio-federatsia-wfme



How does the Center comply with WFME requirements?

According to the assessment and recognition conducted by WFME, the Center's standards and procedures for quality assurance of medical education are in compliance with the Federation's standards. During the evaluation period, the Center developed a subject benchmark https://old.eqe.ge/geo/parent/73 of medicine based on the 2015 WFME Standards for Basic Medical Education (BME 2015). At the end of 2020, the Federation published an updated standard for Basic Medical Education (BME 2020), and in 2021, taking into account the reasons caused by the Covid- 19 pandemic, it developed standards for distance medical education (DDL 2021).

The Medical Education Sector Council took into account both updated documents and prepared an updated version of the subject benchmark, which was approved on November 16, 2022 and is available on the Center's website https://eqe.ge/ka/page/static/1033/jandacva-socialuri-ketildgheoba.



WFME Recognition and Importance

The World Federation for Medical Education does not itself accredit medical programmes/schools, but rather, as part of the accreditation process, assesses the extent to which authorization/accreditation standards, processes, subject benchmarks, etc. of individual quality assurance agencies comply with WFME standards for the relevant level of education. Recognition by WFME means that, within the framework of a predetermined objective evaluation, the Federation has determined the compliance of a particular agency with the Federation's standards. Further information on WFME recognition is available on the link: https://wfme.org/

The accreditation granted to the medical education programme by the quality assurance agency recognized by WFME indicates that the accreditation process was carried out in accordance with international standards, which raises the issue of worldwide recognition of the accreditation granted by the Center to universities operating both in Georgia and outside its borders.


WFME recognition and the possibility of admission to the USMLE exam from 2024

According to the decree of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) from 2024, only graduates of medical schools accredited by a quality assurance agency recognized by WFME will be able to participate in ECFMG certification (the original version of the decree is available at the link: Accreditation - 2024 Accreditation Requirement)

ECFMG certification is one of the required prerequisites for admission to the final, Step 3 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). Accordingly, graduates of medical schools accredited by the Center are eligible to pursue ECFMG certification and pass all levels of the USMLE.



Education Programme of Certified Medical Doctor

The educational programme of higher medical education in Georgia lasts for 6 years, and the graduate is awarded the qualification of a certified medical doctor. The mentioned qualification is equal to the 7th level of the National Qualifications Framework, therefore, the one-level educational programme of a certified medical doctor represents the first level programme of higher education, after the completion of which the graduate's learning outcomes are equal to the degree of the second level of higher education (Master's degree).

The educational programme of a certified medical doctor is regulated, and the National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement develops and approves the Subject Benchmark of Medicine (see the link for the currently valid Subject Benchmark here: https://eqe.ge/ka/page/static/1033/jandacva-socialuri-ketildgheoba

The Subject Benchmark of Medicine defines the learning outcomes, basic knowledge, skills, responsibility and autonomy that graduates of all medical education programmes, regardless of the higher education programme, should possess. The subject benchmark also determines the recommended material - technical base and programme structure for the one-level educational programmes of the certified medical doctor.

Despite the need to share the learning outcomes and content characteristics determined by the subject benchmark, the current system does not imply that all educational programmes in medicine have an identical programme. Moreover, in the process of accreditation, the individuality of the programme is encouraged, provided that it meets the basic requirements defined by the minimum requirements within the regulation.



Programme Evaluation Process

The accreditation process for one-level medical education programmes is established according to the accreditation regulations and consists of the following steps:


1. Submitting an application for an educational programme to be accredited;

2. Recognising a higher education institution as a seeker of accreditation;

3. Creating the accreditation expert group;

4. Site visit of the accreditation experts;

5. Submitting the draft report to the Center by experts;

6. Presenting the institution's argumentative position on the draft report;

7. Presenting the final report to the Center by experts;

8. Decision-making at the meeting of the Accreditation Council.

The full process of accreditation can be found at the following link: https://eqe.ge/ka/page/static/549/akreditatsiis-protsesi



Participation of the International Expert

According to the accreditation regulations, in the case of evaluation of a one-level educational programme of medicine, the group of accreditation experts is chaired by an international expert. The purpose of the international expert's participation is to increase the objectivity of the accreditation process and share international experience. The international experts involved in the accreditation process are selected in most cases on the recommendation of the WFME, they have assessment experience in many countries and the vast majority of them have been granted the official status of WFME assessors, which means that they are eligible to take part in the assessments carried out under the auspices of the WFME recognition programme and assess the compliance of quality assurance agencies with the Federation standards.

Currently, the vast majority of one-level medical education programmes operating in Georgia have been evaluated by a group led by an international accreditation expert. If an international expert is involved in the accreditation expert group, the report is written in English and then translated into Georgian. The reports created within the framework of the assessment are publicly available in the Center’s database, which is integrated with the European quality assurance register, and therefore the visibility of the report in the common European space is ensured https://eqe.ge/ka/page/static/973/daskvnebi-gadatsyvetilebebi



Decision making


At the final stage of the accreditation process, based on the report of the expert group and the discussion held at the meeting, the Accreditation Council makes the following decisions:

The Council makes one of the following decisions:

a) On accreditation (up to the year of accreditation of the field cluster);

b) On conditional accreditation (no more than 4 years);

c) On refusal of accreditation;

d) On cancellation of accreditation.

At the session of the Accreditation Council, the invited members of the Accreditation Council, who have the right to vote, are involved in the decision- making process along with the main members of the Accreditation Council when discussing the issue of a one-level educational programme of medicine. The invited members of the Council represent the academic staff of various medical schools operating in Georgia, professionals in the field of medicine, the Ministry of Health and other important stakeholders. Their composition is determined according to WFME requirements.

The purpose of the involvement of invited members is to ensure competent and evidence- based decision- making by sharing the experiences of medical professionals when making decisions about a one-level medical education programme.



Determining Students' Quotas

Due to the importance of the field of medicine, when deciding on accreditation and conditional accreditation, the Council determines the maximum number of students. In order to increase the maximum quota of students, the institution applies to the Center.

As part of the determination of the maximum quota of students, the application of the institution and the attached documentation, the methodology of determining the maximum number of places for students of the institution and the educational programme, which takes into account the requirements of the relevant subject benchmark, the specifics of the educational programme, human resources, the institution, practice facilities, the resources of laboratory and clinical bases. As part of the evaluation, a group of accreditation experts visits the institution and then a report of the group of accreditation experts is elaborated.

At the decision- making stage, the Accreditation Council is authorized to agree to the institution's request or to reduce the maximum number of student places requested by it. The process of determining the maximum quota of students is available at the following link: https://eqe.ge/res/docs/4.%E1%83%90%E1%83%99%E1%83%A0%E1%83%94%E1%83%93%E1%83%98%E1%83%A2%E1%83%90%E1%83%AA%E1%83%98%E1%83%98%E1%83%A1%E1%83%93%E1%83%94%E1%83%91%E1%83%A3%E1%83%9A%E1%83%94%E1%83%91%E1%83%90.pdf (Article 279).

The institution, within the limits of the maximum number of student places set for it by the authorization council, is also entitled to apply to the Center with a written application to increase the

maximum number of student places for the medical education programme (Article 2710 of the Accreditation Regulation). In this case, a targeted assessment process is carried out by a group of accreditation experts, as a result of which the Accreditation Council makes a decision to increase the threshold number.



Thematic analysis: Medical Education Quality Assurance

Considering the importance of medical education, in 2020-21, the Center carried out a thematic analysis entitled: Medical education in Georgia: General tendencies and challenges of Quality Assurance. The thematic analysis was carried out with the involvement of German (AQAS) and Estonian (EKKA) partners. Within the framework of thematic analysis, a diverse database was analyzed and according to its results, the main trends of quality assurance of medical education in Georgia were highlighted, along with that, a number of areas for improvement were identified, the majority of which were provided for in the updated version of the accreditation statute and subject benchmark. The thematic analysis is available on the Center's website in Georgian and English, link: https://eqe.ge/ka/page/static/895/tematuri-analizebi