Programmatic assessment

A lecture on programmatic assessment can be found here. Below are some publications. A Special Interest Group can found here. For Dutch speaking visitors a Dutch network for programmatic assessment can be found here.


A clear introduction what programmatic assessment means conceptually and why it is important.


This paper shows that every assessment is a compromise on quality criteria. A utility formula is presented that has become a classic as a conceptual model about making choices. The utility of an assessment is defined as a multiplication of quality characteristics where each characteristic has a defined weight. The context and the purpose of the assessment defines the weight.

Concrete guidelines for designing assessment programs are validated in this study. The guidelines themselves are a supplement to this paper and can found here.


A model is presented on how programmatic assessment may be conceptualized integrating previous theoretical and empirical insights on assessment. Leaning activities, assessment activities and supporting activities are purposefully arranged in such a way that the learning function of assessment is enhanced without compromising on the need for taking credible decisions over learner progress. 


An empirical study on programmatic assessment showing how important implementation. It is not an easy task to change the mindset of stakeholders involved in assessment.


Suggestions on how to change towards programmatic assessment are presented in 12 concrete tips.


An empirical study showing that low stake assessment is not perceived as low stake by learners.


A historical account of how programmatic assessment came to existence. Central is the notion that compromises are always needed and that the question is where to optimize what. This led to programmatic assessment.

To afford programmatic assessment sharp choices need to made in the redistribution of assessment costs.

Study showing that a programmatic assessment approach promotes a better learning culture as compared to a traditional summative assessment culture.


  • Programmatic assessment
    CPM van der Vleuten, S Heeneman, LWT Schuwirth
    In: JA Dent, RM Harden, D Hunt (Eds) A practical Guide for Medical Teachers. Edinburgh: Elsevier, 295-303.

An overview explaining the fundamentals of programmatic assessment.


         This is an explanation of programmatic assessment in Dutch.


Foto boek Programmatisch toetsen_LR.jpg

Baartman, L., Van Schilt-Mol, T. & Van der Vleuten, Cees. (2020) Programmatisch toetsen: voorbeelden en ervaringen uit de praktijk. Amsterdam: Boom.

This book is in the Dutch language. It reports on 9 different implementations of programatic assessment in higher education, including a starting chapter explaining programmatic assessment and a final chapter with a reflection based on these implementations. Unfortunately it is not freely available. You can buy it here.

        This is the first scientific review on programmatic assessment.


         This paper is a consensus statement on the principles undelying programmatic assessment. Twelve principles are denoted.