Objective: To communicate competencies to other healthcare professionals in the emergency department (ED) setting.
Method: A system of competency badges has been developed that are awarded to junior doctors as and when they complete a structured skills assessment.
Results: Early assessment suggests that the merit badge system has great potential benefits to ED management. Junior doctors are motivated to complete skills assessments and thereby to obtain the relevant badge. Merit badges allow a rapid communication of attained skills to all healthcare professionals in the ED setting. The department will be fully compliant with the system by 1 April 2008.
Conclusion: A competency badge system may aid ED management and promote skills-based learning in the ED.
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