New Delhi: The National Medical Commission (NMC) has taken a significant step towards establishing a consistent approach for evaluating and ranking medical colleges. The NMC has recently unveiled the “Draft Framework for Accreditation and Ranking of Colleges Regulated by National Medical Commission,” which is now available on its official website.
Prepared by the Quality Council of India (QCI), this draft framework presents standardized assessment and rating criteria. A significant step was taken in this effort on July 5, 2023, as the Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB) of NMC signed an MoU with QCI for joint evaluation and ranking of medical colleges. The MoU was formally signed by Dr. BN Gangadhar, MARB’s President, and Dr. Varinder Kanwar, QCI’s CEO.
With the recent release of the standardized procedure for evaluating and rating medical colleges, this procedure has now been made available on the NMC website. This procedure is reminiscent of the NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers) standards established by QCI, which are utilized for evaluating hospitals.
Contained within the draft framework are 11 comprehensive Assessment and Rating Criteria, accompanied by related parameters and assigned weightages. This draft outlines that the parameters may fall under either qualitative or quantitative categories. The assessment and rating of medical colleges will be based on a total of 92 parameters (20 qualitative and 72 quantitative), contributing to a maximum score of 1000.
The eleven Assessment and Rating Criteria set forth by QCI are as follows:
Criterion 1: Curriculum
This criterion scrutinizes the alignment of the Competence-Based Curriculum for both Undergraduate and Postgraduate programs with the regulations set by Medical Regulators. A total of 6 parameters are considered within this criterion, encompassing both qualitative and quantitative aspects.
Criterion 2: Practical/Hands-on/Clinical Experiences
This criterion centers on the provision of practical experiences in Clinical and Procedural Skill Laboratories as stipulated by the Undergraduate (UG) and Postgraduate (PG) Curricula. Parameters under this criterion evaluate skill laboratory-based hands-on experiences, mandatory clinical exposure, and other relevant aspects.
Criterion 3: Teaching-Learning Environment
The quality of the “Teaching-Learning Environment” established by medical institutions is examined here. This assessment encompasses physical, psychological, and occupational aspects, encompassing elements such as library facilities, laboratories, guidance and counseling provisions, and measures to prevent ragging and gender harassment.
Criterion 4: Student Admission & Competence Attainment
This criterion gauges the level of competence achieved by sampled students within simulated and real clinical settings. It evaluates student admissions, competence attainment, and placement status, incorporating NEET scores for admission assessment.
Criterion 5: Human Resources & Teaching-Learning Process
This criterion appraises faculty requirements for UG and PG programs in alignment with Medical Regulators’ guidelines. Additionally, it evaluates teaching and clinical training methods, aligning them with the Competence-Based Curriculum.
Criterion 6: Assessment Policy
This criterion focuses on formative, internal, and summative assessments that adhere to the Competence-Based Curriculum prescribed by Medical Regulators. It examines the tools and techniques used for assessment.
Criterion 7: Research Output & Impact
This criterion assesses research productivity and its impact by considering factors such as research papers published, citations received, funded research projects, patents filed/granted, and recognition of faculty staff in PG Programs.
Criterion 8: Financial Resources
This criterion evaluates the financial resources of the institution, including both recurring and non-recurring expenditures. It examines spending on materials, procurement, sports facilities, professional development programs, and staff salaries.
Criterion 9: Community Outreach Programs
This criterion focuses on Community Outreach Programs conducted by medical colleges. It assesses factors like the number of adopted villages, medical camps organized, and tangible healthcare outcomes.
Criterion 10: Quality Assurance System
This criterion evaluates the Quality Assurance System in place, encompassing practices related to accreditation of laboratories and hospitals by recognized bodies. Compliance with SOPs and safety measures is also considered.
Criterion 11: Stakeholder Feedback & Perception
The perception and feedback from stakeholders such as students, staff, alumni, and coordinators are collected to gauge the quality of medical colleges.
The NMC Medical Assessment and Rating Board is entrusted with inspecting and granting permissions to establish new medical colleges, increase seats, and renew permissions. QCI, renowned for its independent third-party assessment mechanism, aims to promote quality through national accreditation.
This standardized approach for assessing and rating medical colleges across India, guided by the QCI framework, is poised to bring a consistent and well-structured evaluation process. The collaboration between NMC and QCI, as outlined in the MoU, entails a nominal fee of Rs 1 lakh per college assessment for various services. These services include assessors, honorarium, travel arrangements, physical assessment, and IT platform provision.