There has been increasing use and significance of progress testing in medical education. It is used in many ways and with several formats to reflect the variety of curricula and assessment purposes. These developments have occurred alongside a recognised sensitivity for error variance inherent in multiple choice tests from which challenges to its validity and reliability have arisen. This Guide presents a generic, systemic framework to help identify and explore improvements in the quality and defensibility of progress test data. The framework draws on the combined experience of the Dutch consortium, an individual medical school in the United Kingdom, and the bulk of the progress test literature to date. It embeds progress testing as a quality-controlled assessment tool for improving learning, teaching and the demonstration of educational standards. The paper describes strengths, highlights constraints and explores issues for improvement. These may assist in the establishment of potential or new progress testing in medical education programmes. They can also guide the evaluation and improvement of existing programmes.