- Faculty of Occupational Medicine - https://www.fom.ac.uk -

DDAM – Regulations & Guidance

DDAM Regulations [1]

DDAM Core Syllabus [2]

DDAM Core Competencies [3]

 

DDAM Regulations

The Faculty of Occupational Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of London was established “to develop and maintain the good practice of occupational medicine with a view to providing for the protection of people at work by ensuring the highest professional standards of competence and ethical integrity”.

The Diploma in Disability Assessment Medicine is a professional qualification for doctors in the assessment of disability.

It is recognised that sympathetic and competent assessment of individuals with disability will remain an essential skill of virtually all practising physicians and is critically important for doctors undertaking work in relation to the award of state sickness and disability benefits. The government is encouraging a shift in emphasis from ‘disability’ to ‘ability’ and competent clinical assessment is one of the first parts of this process. Professional examination success in this discipline will become increasingly important for those doctors whose main practice is disability assessment.

ELIGIBILITY

D1. Candidates are required to have EITHER

(a) attended an approved training course

OR

(b) held a supervised post which entails significant experience of the assessment and/or management of disability. This should equate to a time of at least 6 months full time or equivalent part time employment within the last 10 years but with at least some of that required training or experience within the last three years. Candidates who are otherwise eligible to take the examination are nevertheless advised to attend all or selected parts of an approved course.

Applications for admission to the examination must be made by the advertised closing date and submitted via The Faculty’s online application system [4]. All applications must be accompanied by the fee (see General Faculty Examination Regulations).

FORMAT OF THE EXAMINATION

D2. The examination is in 4 parts. Candidates are required to pass:

1) a multiple choice question (MCQ) paper,

2) 2 modified essay question (MEQ) papers

AND

3) a clinical examination.

D3. The MCQ and both MEQ papers will be administered on the same day. Candidates will be required to pass all 3 papers before progressing to the clinical section of the examination, which will usually be 5 to 6 weeks later.

D4. Candidates failing the written examinations will be permitted to resit the examination no more than 5 further times. Candidates failing the clinical section of the examination will be permitted 5 further attempts at the clinical section.

THE MCQ PAPER

D5. The MCQ paper is designed to test a candidate’s knowledge. The MCQ examination will be primarily in the “single best answer” format. Each question will take the form of a stem and 5 options. Only one option will be considered the correct answer for each question stem. Other options may be partially correct but candidates should select the most appropriate answer. The paper lasts for 1 hour and the number of questions will be up to 60.

D6. Answers should be recorded on the machine-readable sheet provided by blanking out the space corresponding to the answer chosen. One mark will be awarded for each correct answer. No mark will be given for any incorrect answer or no answer. A zero mark will be given for any answer where 2 answers are given, even if one of them is the correct answer. An answer sheet may contain spaces for more answers than required by the examination.

D7. A number of questions may be included for trial purposes but will not be used when calculating scores. These questions will not be distinguishable from other questions and may occur anywhere on the paper.

D8. The Faculty of Occupational Medicine is no longer able to give out any past examination papers.

D9. The MCQ is machine marked and the results are statistically analysed to ensure standardisation with previous DDAM MCQ examinations and to exclude unsatisfactory questions. The pass mark may therefore vary between sittings of the examination.

THE MEQ PAPERS

D10. The MEQ papers are designed to test the candidate’s problem-solving skills in the field of disability assessment medicine. The first MEQ paper comprises 3 questions and lasts for 1 hour, the second MEQ paper comprises 4 questions and lasts for 2 hours. All questions are compulsory and each must be answered in a separate answer booklet. Questions may carry different proportions of the overall mark for the paper. Candidates will be given guidance about any weighting of individual questions.

D11. There is a set of key areas of knowledge (constructs) which the candidate will be expected to demonstrate. In the first paper, the questions will be related to the interpretation of medical data for a lay person. The second paper will cover: relevant clinical factors; relevant occupational and/or psychosocial factors; critical evaluation of data; ability to draw appropriate conclusions about functional capacity/work related factors/life or health insurance factors; and ability to make appropriate recommendations. Not all constructs will necessarily be applicable to each question. A detailed knowledge of Government allowances and forms is not required.

D12. Answers may be given in note form or any other suitable style or format, such as diagrams or algorithms. Abbreviations should be avoided although medical terminology may be used unless the question requires interpretation of medical data for a non-medical person. Answers must be legible. Marks will be lost if the examiner is unable to read the answer.

D13. Each question is marked by a single, Faculty trained, examiner. As well as scores for each construct appropriately addressed, the examiner will identify the answer as “Pass”, “Borderline Pass”, Borderline Fail” or “Fail”. All the borderline fail and fail answers and a proportion of the others are then independently marked by a separate examiner. If differing results cannot be rationalised, the Chief Examiner will re-mark the question and arbitrate. Candidates will normally be allowed to fail one of the questions while still passing the papers. The overall pass mark will vary slightly from paper to paper as a result of standardisation of each diet of examinations. The Chief Examiner responsible for the DDAM examination will write to any candidates who are unsuccessful in the MEQ to give detailed feedback on their performance.

CLINICAL EXAMINATION

D14. The clinical examination will be conducted using the objective, structured clinical examination (OSCE) format. Equipment will be provided but candidates should bring their own stethoscopes. Candidates will see 2 medium and 4 short cases. One of the medium cases will be a psychiatric patient, portrayed by a role player. The medium cases will each last 30 minutes and the short cases up to 15 minutes.

D15. The candidate’s technique in history taking and physical examination will be observed in each case by one examiner who will remain with that patient throughout. Candidates will therefore see up to 6 separate examiners (some examiners will examine more than one station) in one sitting of the clinical examination.

D16. As well as scores for each element of the history, examination and the correct answering of questions, the examiner will identify the performance as “Pass”, “Borderline Pass”, “Borderline Fail” or “Fail”. All examiners for the clinical examination, and the Chief Examiner, will discuss “Fail” or “Borderline Fail” cases for each candidate before agreeing the overall grade to be awarded. Candidates will normally be allowed to fail one of the short cases while still passing the examination. The overall pass mark may vary slightly from examination to examination as a result of standardisation of each diet of examinations.

D17. The Chief Examiner responsible for the DDAM examination will write to any unsuccessful candidates to give detailed feedback on their performance.


 

DDAM Core Syllabus

Legal aspects (10%)

Terms and concepts (5%)

Disability Assessment – Principles and practice (20%)

Clinical aspects of disability assessment (25%)

Work and the work environment (10%)

Rehabilitation (15%)

Assurance Medicine (5%)

Ethics (5%)

Miscellaneous (5%)


 

DDAM Core Competencies

The following competencies and skills will be required by candidates:

GENERAL CLINICAL

COMPETENCY

SKILL

In addition to the above, the candidate will be able to undertake the following for each of the listed organ systems and/or disease grouping which follow:

IN ADDITION TO THE GENERAL CLINICAL COMPETENCIES AND SKILLS ABOVE, CANDIDATES SHOULD HAVE DEVELOPED THE FOLLOWING COMPETENCIES AND SKILLS

CLINICAL EAR, NOSE AND THROAT

COMPETENCY

SKILL

CLINICAL OPHTHALMOLOGY

COMPETENCY

SKILL

CLINICAL CARDIOLOGY

COMPETENCY

SKILL

CLINICAL PULMONARY

COMPETENCY

SKILL

CLINICAL MUSCULOSKELETAL

COMPETENCY

SKILL

CLINICAL NEUROLOGY

COMPETENCY

SKILL

CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY

COMPETENCY

SKILL

CLINICAL DERMATOLOGY

COMPETENCY

SKILL

DISABILITY MANAGEMENT & WORK FITNESS

COMPETENCY

SKILL

[5]