Keynote Presentation

Ronald M Harden OBE MD FRCP (GLAS.)

Emeritus Professor of Medical Education at the University of Dundee,
General Secretary AMEE

“A school’s Assessment PROFILE and the OSCE from then until now”

The use of the OSCE as a performance assessment task has continued to evolve in line with developments in medical education. A school’s Assessment PROFILE provides a measure of the school’s response to trends in assessment: to Programmatic from compartmentalised; to assessment in the Real world rather than in the ivory tower; to Outcome-based assessment; to assessment For learning; to Interprofessional from uniprofessional assessment; to greater Learner engagement with assessment; and to more robust Evaluation of assessment. The OSCE provides a catalyst for change in each of these dimensions.


Professor Ronald Harden graduated from the medical school in Glasgow, UK. He completed training and practised as an endocrinologist before moving full time to medical education.

He is Professor of Medical Education (Emeritus) University of Dundee and Professor of Medical Education, Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Editor of Medical Teacher and General Secretary and Treasurer of the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE). Professor Harden was formerly Teaching Dean and Director of the Centre for Medical Education at the University of Dundee.

Professor Harden is a world leader in medical education.  He is committed to developing new approaches to curriculum planning, assessment and to teaching and learning.  Ideas which he has pioneered include the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) which has been universally adopted as a standard approach to assessment of clinical competence, the spiral curriculum and the SPICES model for curriculum planning and models for outcome-based education.  He has published more than 400 papers in leading journals.  He is co-editor of the best-selling book – “A Practical Guide for Medical Teachers.”  His new text “Essential Skills for a Medical Teacher – An introduction to learning and teaching in education” was published in June 2012.

His contributions to excellence in medical education have attracted numerous awards including an honorary fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians, Surgeons of Canada, the prestigious Hubbard Award by the National Board of Medical Examiners in the USA and recognition by the Kellogg Foundation for his contributions to medical education in South America.  He was awarded by the Queen the OBE for his services to medical education.  He was presented in Singapore in February 2006 with the ‘Mentoring, Innovation and Leadership in Education Scholarship’ (MILES) award for ‘outstanding contributions to the advancement of global medical education and academic medicine’.

In 2006 Professor Harden was the winner of the Karolinska Institutet Prize for Research in Medical Education (often considered as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for medical education).  The purpose of the prize is to recognise and stimulate high quality research in medical education in order to promote long-term improvements of educational practices in medical training.  In 2009 he was awarded the ASME Richard Farrow Gold Medal, in recognition of the contributions he has made to medical education. In 2010 he was the recipient of the AMEE 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contributions to medical education and the work of the Association.  In 2012 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Medical Education by the International Medical University in Malaysia and an Honorary Doctorate in Medicine of the University of Tampere, Finland.

In November 2013 Professor Harden was awarded the Cura Personalis honour, the University of Georgetown’s highest award.