ARCP Panels and GPStR Assessment.
The ARCP is the formal process by which a GPStR’s progression through training is reviewed and assessed.
The GP School have the responsibility for ensuring that all GPStRs are assessed by a formal ARCP. The ARCP process is mandatory and must be undertaken by all GP StRs at least once a year.
In the GP school most trainees will have their e portfolio reviewed annually by a local panel. These panels work to ensure that the trainee’s performance is satisfactory for progression or for completion of training , or to identify small areas which need to be completed before a review a couple of weeks later. [In Gold Guide formal terms they only give outcomes 1 (satisfactory progression) 6 (Satisfactory completion) or 5 (incomplete evidence provided)]. If there is doubt about the progression the local panel will ask a central panel to review the e portfolio and the trainee. Trainees who are progressing well but are not needing panels at the normal times will normally be managed by the local panels.
All those trainees who are at risk of receiving an outcome which identifies that there are concerns about progression are seen by central panels, the central panels will normally arrange to meet with the trainees whose progression and portfolio is being reviewed. Therefore all trainees who receive an outcome suggesting that there is unsatisfactory progress whether needing additional training (Outcome 3) or not needing additional Training (Outcome 2) as well as those who may be removed from training (Outcome 4) will be seen by a central panel.
The ARCP panel of assessors confirms progress in each of the specialty training years and approves progress from one year to another. The final ARCP panel at the end of training will make a recommendation on the award of a Certificate of Completion of Training . This recommendation will be based upon evidence that the GP StR has covered the GP curriculum, including satisfactory workplace based assessments, the completion of all components of WPBA, and reports submitted by both their Educational and Clinical Supervisors. The Panel Chair will sign off the ARCP form for approval by the RCGP.
For successful sign off at the final panel in ST3, the trainee must have passes in AKT and CSA. Where trainees fail one of these elements they may be offered additional training time by the ARCP panel in order to take and pass the failed exam if they have not exceeded the number of attempts at the exams allowable under RCGP regulations. The panel would normally expect a trainee to have re-taken any failed component at least once in the ST3 year. It is expected that the Educational Supervisor and local Training Programme Directors should work be closely with the trainee to consider the advantages and risks of not attempting to take CSA and AKT twice in normal training and that a summary of these conversations would be shared on Educator Notes where this decision is made. .
For all panels but particularly central panels the GP School encourages the use of a checklist to ensure that all the nationally required expectations have been fulfilled and the evidence reviewed carefully. Other “advised” evidence (in colour) is often useful for trainees to have and its absence may suggest a concern about a competency area. The inclusion of e.g. fewer SEAs than advised on its own however is not a reason for an adverse outcome as there is no nationally mandated minimum number of SEA. (But a lack of SEA would be relevant when reviewing Maintaining Performance Learning and Teaching, and Organisation, Management and Leadership and other competency areas.).
The majority of panel reviews fall in June/July each year with a smaller amount taking place in December.
Important Points to Note for Educational Supervisors ahead of ARCP panels:
- All Educational Supervisor's Reviews which have been set as saved need to be completed and submitted by the Educational Supervisor on the ePortfolio..
- If you have accidently submitted the review with the wrong dates or elements are incomplete and your GP StR has accepted it, please ask the trainee to contact the RCGP at TeP@rcgp.org.uk and ask for their signature to be removed from the appropriate review. This will allow the Educational Supervisor to edit and resubmit the review. Please be aware that the trainee will have to re-sign the review after this has taken place.
- For a final review your GP StR(s) must have all of the evidence they need to support their progression from ST3 to CCT in place before their final Educational Supervision meeting and review.
See the following guidance and information:
Information for approved and potential ARCP Panel Chairs:
Trainees will be contacted by their Scheme Administrator or by the local HEE Programme Support Team to notify a trainee of when they will be assessed. Deadlines for all evidence to be submitted will be two weeks prior to the ARCP as detailed in your invite letter.
Please follow the link to Royal College GP Curriculum Overview page by which each training year will be assessed.
Dates for Central ARCPs can be viewed here
We are aware of a cohort of trainees who have been issued an Outcome 4 (released from training) and subsequently sat the CSA either within their remaining training time, or in the first few weeks outside of training. Some of these trainees are being given incorrect advice as to the appropriate route to registration (CCT or CEGPR). We therefore wish to provide guidance on how individuals in differing situations should be dealt with.
1. If a trainee has been given an Outcome 4 but then has the opportunity to take the CSA before the end of training date they can receive a CCT (providing that the only reason for the O4 was CSA fail)
For those in this situation, the Outcome 4 ARCP should be rolled back and replaced with an Outcome 3 to the end of their extension period. They can then be placed ‘Out of Programme’ to await the results. In this situation they retain their NTN and are considered to be ‘in training’
Following the release of results a panel should be held to give a final ARCP with either an Outcome 6 if the CSA was passed or an Outcome 4 if the CSA was failed (or in special circumstances Outcome 3, a further extension given, determined by the deanery)
2. If a trainee has been given an Outcome 4 (sole reason being a CSA fail) and has not been able to take the exam before the end of training period, then the CSA will have been taken outside of training and the trainee cannot be awarded a CCT and would have to apply for a CEGPR
3. If an appeal is lodged, and the CSA passed whilst waiting for the appeal, this fact can be considered by the appeal panel, who may overturn the ARCP panel decision and substitute an alternative Outcome (3 or 5) for the previous Outcome 4. An ARCP panel can then be reconvened considering the new evidence and may issue an Outcome 6.
4. If an appeal had already been lodged and the Outcome 4 decision upheld by the appeal panel, or the trainee had withdrawn from the appeal process, and the CSA subsequently passed, then again the appropriate route is CEGPR. There is no further appeal process.
All elements of the MRCGP have to be passed ‘in training’ in order that a trainee can achieve CCT. This is prescribed in regulation and the RCGP does not have the authority to change this. An exam can be taken ‘out of programme’ (where the trainee retains their NTN) but not ‘out of training’ as once the training programme is ended, the trainee is no longer in possession of a valid NTN and therefore is no longer eligible for a CCT. We understand that this may not seem fair but unfortunately we cannot change legislation.
The GP School recognises that ARCP panels should have some clear guidance as to the length of extensions that trainees might be recommended when the extension is necessary for failure to pass the external college exams alone; either Clinical Skills Assessment, Applied Knowledge Test or both. This is to provide an equitable approach when faced with limited opportunities to sit the exams within a finite remediation budget.
Trainees should have been encouraged to sit both exams at least twice within their original described training programme of three years. The guidance is that the length of any initial extension after this normal training period should allow for the trainee to have one further attempt at the required exam, plus an additional period for a further panel to review the trainees evidence again after the results are released (usually 2 weeks). This extension should be described by an end date and trainees should be informed that this end date will be the same whether they are working full time or less-than-full-time.
In these circumstances (where the trainees extension is for the sole purpose of attaining a pass in either or both exams, and they have not achieved this), it is expected that the trainee would receive an Outcome 4 and that any further attempt would then be taken out of programme with the trainee applying for CEGPR through the college if successful.
If there are any new circumstances that have occurred or come to light during the extension of training the panel still retains the right to request an additional ‘exceptional’ period of extension as per the Gold Guide, with any further training granted at the discretion of the Postgraduate Dean on reviewing the request.
Form R and Revalidation
Revalidation is the General Medical Council’s new way of regulating licensed doctors. As a Doctor in training in Yorkshire and the Humber, your Responsible Officer (RO) is Dr David Eadington who is the Deputy Dean. The RO makes his recommendation about revalidation based on your participation in the Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) process.. The Form R has 2 parts, Part A which is completed upon initial registration for a training programme and Part B which is completed annually.
Doctors in training must complete a Form R Part B (found at the bottom of the page) ahead of their Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP), this is essential as it:
- Ensures the doctor is registered on the Health Education England working across Yorkshire and the Humber database
- Initiates the Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) process
- Forms a part of the mandatory Revalidation Process. Trainees cannot be revalidated without this.
The Form R will be sent to trainees by a member of the programme support team a few weeks before the scheduled ARCP. Guidance on how to complete the Form R (Parts A and B) can be found here:
View the more detailed information on the Revalidation process