Medical School Learning Outcomes

Ben Evans made this Freedom of Information request to University of Leeds

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear University of Leeds,

I would like to request all 'Learning Outcomes' or structured learning objectives given to medical students in Years 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

This may be limited to a handbook or may be structured pdf documents that are given for each module, where applicable both are requested.

Yours faithfully,

Ben Evans

Tracey Crombie,

Dear Mr Evans

I can confirm receipt of the request below, as your request falls under Freedom of Information, you should expect to hear from the University in response by 13 June 2017, if, in the meantime, you have any queries about the request, please don’t hesitate to Contact Jenny Foggin ([email address]).

Kind regards.

Tracey Crombie
PA to the Legal Adviser
University of Leeds
LS2 9JT
Tel: 0113 343 4078 (NB 8am-4pm)
Fax: 0113 343 3925

This communication is intended solely for the addressee, is strictly confidential and may also be legally privileged. If you are not the addressee please do not read, print, re-transmit, store or act in reliance on it or any attachments. Instead, please contact Tracey Crombie on the above telephone number.

Any liability (in negligence or otherwise) arising from any third party acting, or refraining from acting, on any information contained in this email is excluded.

It is the responsibility of the receiver of this email to ensure that any onward transmission or use of this email (including attachments) will not adversely affect their systems or data contained on their systems. Receivers are advised to carry out virus checks. The University of Leeds accepts no responsibility with regard to the communication or other use of this email.

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Jenny Foggin,

1 Attachment

Dear Ben,

 

There is some information about course content on our website, which you
can consult here - [1]http://medhealth.leeds.ac.uk/info/205/mb... - and
which includes summaries of the various module outcomes, eg,
[2]http://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dy....

 

The outcomes are mapped to the GMC Outcomes for graduates, which can be
found on the web here:
[3]http://www.gmc-uk.org/education/undergra....

 

More detailed information about outcomes and learning objectives is held
by individuals rather than on a central system, and it would require in
excess of 18 hours to pull this together across the five years of the
course, at a time of year which is already extremely busy for the School
(high stakes exam season). In any case, some of the detail of those
outcomes and objectives will relate to very distinctive and innovative
elements of the MBChB and those would be likely to be withheld under the
exemption set out in Section 43 of the FoI Act, which provides for 'trade
secrets' and information useful to an authority's competitors (such as
this) to be withheld.

 

I hope this is helpful in resolving your query. If you have any questions
about this email, however, please don't hesitate to contact me.

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision,
you should write to or email directly Mr D Wardle, Deputy Secretary, The
University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT ([email address]). You should
do so within three months of receiving the University’s response to your
request. Further information about how the University manages Freedom of
Information requests and about our complaints procedure is also available
on our website (www.leeds.ac.uk).

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision.  Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have
exhausted the review/complaints procedure provided by the University.  The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at:  Information Commissioner’s
Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

 

Best wishes,

 

Jenny

 

Jenny Foggin

Senior Governance and Freedom of Information Officer

Legal Adviser’s Office

The University of Leeds

0113 3431155

 

 

This communication is intended solely for the addressee.  If you are not
the addressee please do not read, print, re-transmit, store or act in
reliance on it or any attachments.  Instead, please contact Tracey Crombie
on the above telephone number.

Any liability (in negligence or otherwise) arising from any third party
acting, or refraining from acting, on any information contained in this
email is excluded.

It is the responsibility of the receiver of this email to ensure that any
onward transmission or use of this email (including attachments) will not
adversely affect their systems or data contained on their systems. 
Receivers are advised to carry out virus checks.  The University of Leeds
accepts no responsibility with regard to the communication or other use of
this email.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dear Jenny Foggin,

Thank you for your reply, I note your link to the different module documents.

I was hoping that you would have a compiled document that was given to medical students on the start of Year 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 respectively that you would be able to release as is your obligation under the FOI legislation.

If you do not issue your medical students with structured learning objectives / outcomes then I will leave this request as it stands, and thank you for your time.

Or are you stating that you do supply students with this document but you could not upload it due to time constraints, which I doubt, or due to the information being 'trade secrets', again if issued to all 240 students per year one feels this is also dubious.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Evans

Jenny Foggin,

Dear Ben,

We don’t have discrete documents in exactly the way that you describe. We do have more detailed information, but this is a 'trade secret'. Although we enrol a large number of students each year, as you point out, the documents are only supplied to them after they have satisfied our entry requirements and on condition of continued academic performance and the payment of tuition fees. They are not in any way public documents, no matter how many students they are issued to.

I hope this clarifies the matter. I am sure that if you are interested in the potential outcomes then staff in the admissions team in the School would be happy to discuss as much as they can with you.

Best wishes,

Jenny

*********************************************************************
Jenny Foggin
Senior Governance and Freedom of Information Officer
Secretariat
University of Leeds

(0113) 343 1155

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Dear Jenny Foggin,

Thank you for your response. I don't know what discrete documents you are alluding too.

I wish to request an internal review.

I am requesting the documents that you provide to your students as learning outcomes which you have confirmed you provide.

You have said these are trade secrets, could you clarify under what part of the act you are rejecting this request. I don't believe this is a commercial trade secret nor one likely to affect the business operation or affect your trading on publication.

I will be requesting a subsequent ICO referral unless you are able to provide a reasonable response. Other medical schools have been able to provide this information so I struggle with your rejection on trade secret grounds.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Evans

Jenny Foggin,

Dear Ben,

I can by all means forward this to David Wardle, who is the officer who conducts internal reviews. He will get back to you as soon as possible, and I am happy to look again in the meantime - it might be that I have misunderstood either what you are asking for or what the Medical School is referring to.

Best wishes,

Jenny

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Dear Jenny Foggin,

Thanks for your speedy reply.

I believe this may be a miscommunication; the information I am requesting is the Learning Outcomes/Learning objectives that are provided, presumably in modular form to students to give them an indication of what they need to gain from certain lectures.

An example of a learning outcome would be 'Describe the anatomy of the head & neck' this might be contained within a document given to the students named 'Anatomy & Movement'. A number of these documents would constitute all learning outcomes given to the first year medical students.

I hope this provides sufficient information to what my request is detailing.

As to 'trade secret' and FOI law.

Under Section 43(1) and through ruling by the court of appeal 'information used in a trade or business of which the owner limits the dissemination or at least does not encourage or permit widespread publication and which if disclosed to a competitor would be liable to cause real (or significant) harm to the owner of the secret’ this description is clearly not met, the medical school provides this information to over 200 students every year, students who are expelled, suspended or otherwise prohibited from study do not have these documents reclaimed from them.

Likewise under court of appeal separate ruling ‘secret processes of manufacture such as chemical formulae … or designs or special methods of construction … and other information which is of a sufficiently high degree of confidentiality as to amount to a trade secret’, it is clear that again these documents do not meet this classification.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Evans

Jenny Foggin,

I shall be out of the office until Wednesday 31 May. If your email is
urgent, please contact the Secretariat general office on 0113 343 4036 for
advice, although do note that the University will be closed on Monday 29
and Tuesday 30 May.

Dear University of Leeds,

I received an out of office reply from Jenny and wouldn't want the university to renegade on their legal responsibilities.

So I've copied in my email below:

Dear Jenny Foggin,

Thanks for your speedy reply.

I believe this may be a miscommunication; the information I am requesting is the Learning Outcomes/Learning objectives that are provided, presumably in modular form to students to give them an indication of what they need to gain from certain lectures.

An example of a learning outcome would be 'Describe the anatomy of the head & neck' this might be contained within a document given to the students named 'Anatomy & Movement'. A number of these documents would constitute all learning outcomes given to the first year medical students.

I hope this provides sufficient information to what my request is detailing.

As to 'trade secret' and FOI law.

Under Section 43(1) and through ruling by the court of appeal 'information used in a trade or business of which the owner limits the dissemination or at least does not encourage or permit widespread publication and which if disclosed to a competitor would be liable to cause real (or significant) harm to the owner of the secret’ this description is clearly not met, the medical school provides this information to over 200 students every year, students who are expelled, suspended or otherwise prohibited from study do not have these documents reclaimed from them.

Likewise under court of appeal separate ruling ‘secret processes of manufacture such as chemical formulae … or designs or special methods of construction … and other information which is of a sufficiently high degree of confidentiality as to amount to a trade secret’, it is clear that again these documents do not meet this classification

Yours faithfully,

Ben Evans

Jenny Foggin,

Dear Ben,

I have talked again to my colleagues in the School of Medicine about this request. The Leeds course is highly integrated and is not modular. This means that learning outcomes span longitudinal placements across years and course themes and are not set out in a set of discrete documents. The ILOs (Intended Learning Outcomes) themselves are much more detailed than your example of 'describe the anatomy of the head and neck.' This is a key part of what makes them so sensitive, as they are likely to differ in detail and emphasis from those of other institutions. Many also link to clinical practice, spanning skills and procedures in context, and stratified lists of core clinical conditions.

We disagree with your interpretation of 'trade secret' and FoI regulation. The University does not widely disseminate or encourage the wide dissemination of these outcomes. They are made available to students on the course - who face qualification and fee barriers to entry and, therefore, access - and to staff associated with it - who are subject to terms and conditions of employment in order to have access to University documents. They are internal documents, and the fact that they are not published on the School website, as a number of other documents are, is the first important indication of this status. We believe that these outcomes meet the definition of a trade secret and of information that, if released into the public domain, could cause commercial detriment to the University. The detail is specific to our programme. We compete with other institutions to recruit students and to produce the best possible graduates and, ultimately, doctors. This is not information that is routinely shared between institutions for the very reason that it would be of use to others who might wish to emulate the success of our Medical School.

I am sorry that we cannot provide the information on this occasion. You are, of course, still able to refer this for internal review should you wish to do so.

Best wishes,

Jenny

*********************************************************************
Jenny Foggin
Senior Governance and Freedom of Information Officer
Secretariat
University of Leeds

(0113) 343 1155

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Dear Jenny Foggin,

Thank you for your detailed reply.

I will be referring this issue to the Information Commissioner as I do not see the Trade Secret definition interpretation in the same light as your university on this issue.

Thank you for taking the time to look into this request.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Evans

Jenny Foggin,

Dear Ben,

It has not been subject to formal internal review yet through our complaints process; as previously discussed, my response was the result of me being happy to look again at the answer I gave originally. Generally speaking, the ICO expect people to have exhausted an organisation's internal processes before approaching them for a decision. Would you like me to forward it to Mr Wardle for you or would you like to contact him directly? His contact details are in my original response, or you can find him on our website - or I would be happy to supply details.

Best wishes,

Jenny

*********************************************************************
Jenny Foggin
Senior Governance and Freedom of Information Officer
Secretariat
University of Leeds

(0113) 343 1155
*********************************************************************

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Dear Jenny Foggin,

Thank you for your reply.

Apologies I have been out of internet range.

I would appreciate you forwarding this on to Mr Wardle to conduct an internal review.

For official purposes please consider this an official request for internal review.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Evans

Jenny Foggin,

Dear Ben,

Thanks for the clarification; I will pass the request and the correspondence trail to Mr Wardle and he will be in touch.

Best wishes,

Jenny

*********************************************************************
Jenny Foggin
Senior Governance and Freedom of Information Officer
Secretariat
University of Leeds

(0113) 343 1155
*********************************************************************

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Dear Jenny Foggin,

Liverpool have undertaken an internal review and have published the exact information I requested.
They originally rejected the request under Section 43 or trade secret rules. However their internal reviewer agrees that this information does not fall under that category and instead should be published.

You may wish to view a link to the documents released as it shows the information exactly that I wish to access.

If you are currently undertaking an internal review of this matter, please pass this information to the reviewer as I am sure it will be helpful to their process.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...

I look forward to receiving the published outcomes from your University.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Evans

Jenny Foggin,

I shall be out of the office this afternoon, returning on Thursday 20
July. If your email is urgent, please contact the Secretariat General
Office on 0113 343 4036 for advice.

Jenny Foggin,

Dear Ben,

Many thanks for this. The matter is out of my hands now, and you will need to contact Mr Wardle directly - I'm sure you understand that it is important that I avoid any perception of a conflict of interest whilst the decision I made is being reviewed by another member of staff.

Best wishes,

Jenny

*********************************************************************
Jenny Foggin
Senior Governance and Freedom of Information Officer
Secretariat
University of Leeds

(0113) 343 1155
*********************************************************************

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Dear Jenny Foggin,

I understand, thank you for your message, perhaps you could forward my email onto Mr Wardle directly. Unfortunately whatodotheyknow do not allow you to change the contact unless they're listed on the University website. As such I cannot email within this thread.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Evans

Jenny Foggin,

Ah, I hadn't appreciated that. In which case, of course I can. He should be listed on the University website, but no matter.

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David Wardle,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Evans,

I have carried out an internal review of the University's decision not to provide you with all ''Learning Outcomes' or structured learning objectives given to medical students in years 1-5.' I apologise that my response has been delayed and then overlooked during and following the vacation period.

In a nutshell, I have asked our School of Medicine to pull together a 'structured pdf document' that covers the five-year programme. A copy of the document is attached. I trust that it contains the information that you were seeking.

Yours sincerely

David Wardle

****************************
David Wardle
Deputy Secretary
Secretariat
EC Stoner Building
University of Leeds
Leeds LS2 9JT