The following has been produced by the DoH in response to Freedom of Information requests:
The Steering Group appointed Work Psychology Partnership to provide advice and tools to support the recruitment and selection into specialty training programmes, including the development of national standards for selection. They worked closely with all of the key stakeholders and were responsible for quality assurance.
The national application form was developed using existing documentation available and in current use in the London and Yorkshire deaneries. The competency based selection methodology and national documentation were developed with the help of key stakeholders, in particular trainees and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. The Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board (PMETB) principles for selection were an essential part of the design. The proposals for selection were presented to a PMETB panel prior to ‘roll-out’. The national form was piloted with trainees who would be applying to a variety of specialties and entry levels in two deaneries - Kent, Surrey and Sussex, and South West Peninsula. Feedback from the pilot informed the development of the final application forms and questions."
"You also ask about discussion of the MTAS pilots by Ministers and Departmental officials. I can confirm that the Department holds information relating to discussion of this and all aspects of MTAS. We estimate, however, that the time it would take to locate, retrieve and analyse all this information for its relevance to this part of your request would exceed the appropriate limit. This limit represents the estimated cost of one person spending 3½ working days in determining whether the Department holds all the information, and locating, retrieving and extracting the information. Under section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act, the Department is not obliged to comply with your request and we will not be processing your request further."
I would argue that the Freedom of Information act is yet another pretence at open accountable government, it is in fact a rather solid shield that our corrupt and incompetent leaders routinely hide behind. Fortunately one can learn things from the placement of their defensive shields, after all if they had nothing to hide then they would not be with holding so much information.