ARCPs for GP Trainees
Table of Contents
The ARCP panel seeks to confirm that all GP trainees undertaking specialist training are progressing satisfactorily. Specifically, that trainees are developing the required competencies and skills at the expected rate and that the necessary evidence to support progression is present. A review needs to take place to authorise progression from one ST year to the next or every 12 months which ever is the shorter period. Timings of reviews are more complicated for less than full time (LTFT) trainees and those out-of-sync due to prolonged leave.
There are two large ARCP panels each summer in June and July. They consist of two stages. Stage 1 consists of the screen review where the ePortfolio is assessed by the ARCP panel members: the panel Chair who is a GP Associate Postgraduate Dean, and two panel members who will be either GP TPDs or Educational Supervisors. The progress of each trainee is assessed exclusively by the evidence present in the eportfolio and no other documentation is considered. Stage 2 consists of the face-to-face ARCP panel consisting of the same panel members. Trainees considered by the stage 1 panel to be progressing satisfactorily will be signed off by the stage 2 panel Chair. Those portfolios which are thought to need more scrutiny are examined further, with a final outcome given and the trainee called to meet the panel face-to-face.
The panel will assess and feedback regarding the quality of the Educational Supervisor's report (ESR).
- For general information about panels and the assessment process, see the Gold Guide.
- For detailed information about the process of ARCP panels, the assessment and feedback of ESRs, and the pre-panel screening criteria see the Guide to ARCP panels
- For learning and discussion points to further aid decision making see the ARCP Panel Chair Guide
- To prepare for you ARCP please read: information about how to prepare for a panel.
Trainees whose training is out-of-sync with others due to being less than full time (LTFT), or having had maternity or other special leave, are assessed at out-of-sync panels. These panels will usually consist of an Associate Postgraduate Dean as the panel Chair and two panel members who will either be TPDs or Educational Supervisors. The panel consists of two stages. Stage 1 is the screen review when each panel member reviews the eportfolio online. Stage 2 is the face-to-face ARCP panel when trainees are called to attend their ARCP in person.Out-of-sync panels occur once a month except in June and July.
Outcome 1 - Satisfactory Progress - Achieving progress and the development of competences at the expected rate
Outcome 2 - Unsatisfactory Progress - Development of specific competences required – additional training time not required
Outcome 3 - Unsatisfactory Progress - Inadequate progress by the trainee – additional training time required
Outcome 4 - Released from training programme with or without specific competences
Outcome 5 - Insufficient evidence presented – additional training time may be required
Outcome 6 - Gained all required competences; will be recommended as having completed the training programme and for award for a certificate of completion of training (CCT)
Whilst ARCP panels take place in the absence of the trainee concerned, if you are judged to have outcome 2 (need to acquire additional skills), outcome 3 (need extended training) or outcome 4 (be required to leave the training programme) the panel will meet with you to outline its decision face-to-face and to detail the remedial action required (if appropriate). See guidance about training requirements during extensions.
The RCGP has guidelines which may require you to undertake further training if you are absent for more than 12 months due to maternity/paternity leave or illness. Please contact us if you think this will affect you.
There are a number of processes to monitor and improve the quality of the ARCP process and associated educational supervision and work place based assessment within HEESW.
At least annually, following completion of ARCP panels, the process is reviewed internally with recommendations for changes.The RCGP provides external quality assurance. An RCGP external advisor sits in and observes at least one panel a year and produces a report. The RCGP also examines a sample of eportfolios centrally once a year to examine specific quality issues and provide comparative data.
For virtually all GP trainees the route to gaining your CCT is via the certification unit at the RCGP. All of the training programmes are fully approved, so all you need to do is satisfactorily complete your placements and pass the MRCGP assessments.
Your application for a CCT is automated and can be made simply by pressing a button on your eportfolio after you have signed off your final ARCP. More information is available on the RCGP website.
Dealing with the RCGP can be quite daunting, particularly in the case of CEGPR applications - RCGP Certificate of Eligibility for GP Registration. If you think that you will need to go down this route, you would probably be wise to contact a friendly local Associate Postgraduate Dean for help early in the process, via your local training scheme office.
HEE is always keen to help its trainees with CEGPR applications, and the Head of School can also advise you if you run into a particularly thorny issue.
In particular it is worth knowing that:
The RCGP doesn’t accept electronic ARCP outcome forms – so you will need to get these printed off and authenticated.
CEGPR applications take quite a long time to process – so start your application well in advance of your anticipated date of completion of training.
The fee for CEGPR applications is set somewhere between “brisk” and “excessive”, so start saving…!
We sincerely hope you won't need to read this section!
The regulations regarding training assessments, supervision and the ARCP process are detailed in the Gold Guide. If you wish to appeal an ARCP decision, in the cases of outcomes 3 and 4, then you should do so in writing to the Postgraduate Dean, within 10 working days. The process that will be followed is detailed in the Gold Guide and you should study this carefully before embarking on the process.
Such situations are understandably stressful, and the School will do its best to provide you with support and advice from a member of its faculty unconnected with your case.