BACKGROUND:Simulation-based programs are increasingly being used to teach obstetrics and gynaecology examinations, but it is difficult to establish student learning acquired through them. Assessment may test student learning but its role in learning itself is rarely recognised. We undertook this study to assess medical and midwifery student learning through a simulation program using a pre-test and post-test design and also to evaluate use of assessment as a method of learning. METHODS:The interprofessional simulation education program consisted of a brief pre-reading document, a lecture, a video demonstration and a hands-on workshop. Over a 24-month period, 405 medical and 104 midwifery students participated in the study and were assessed before and after the program. Numerical data were analysed using paired t-test and one-way analysis of variance. Students' perceptions of the role of assessment in learning were qualitatively analysed. RESULTS:The post-test scores were significantly higher than the pre-test (P < 0.001) with improvements in scores in both medical and midwifery groups. Students described the benefit of assessment on learning in preparation of the assessment, reinforcement of learning occurring during assessment and reflection on performance cementing previous learning as a post-assessment effect. CONCLUSION:Both medical and midwifery students demonstrated a significant improvement in their test scores and for most students the examination process itself was a positive learning experience.