Table of Contents

The ARCP Process

  • ARCP panels are held monthly. They are required to have a minimum of 3 panel members. This consists of a Chair, and at least two other ADs/TPDs/ESs and sometimes a lay representative. Central panels will generally meet at the Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education offices, but you will be informed of the location via email.
  • Trainees and Supervisors are asked to ensure that all mandatory assessments, clinical supervisor and educational supervisor reports are completed a minimum of two weeks before the ARCP date.
  • For the summer panels, each GP Speciality Training Programme team is responsible for Stage 1 Assessment (Screen Review) of all the eportfolios of trainees due to come to the panel and to return the outcomes of this assessment to the GP Programme Coordinator
  • The face-to-face ARCP panels for ST1 and ST2 trainees take place in the local training programme patches while the ST3 and ST4 face-to-face ARCPs take place at the central office.


Address: Health Education England working across the South West, Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education, Plumer House, Tailyour Road, Crownhill, Plymouth, PL6 5DH.

Giving Feedback on Educational Supervisors’ Reports

Local Programme Screen Review panels will be looking at the quality of the ES Reports to give feedback to Educational Supervisors.

  • In cases where RCGP criteria are not met, feedback will be written on paper forms
  • Where the assessing pair at the stage 1 panel consider that the ESR is inadequate, the programme AD, or suitably experienced deputy, will scrutinise the ESR and write feedback
  • The APD will make sure to review the entirety of the ESR by looking at all four of the pages that the review is spread over. Don’t forget to check the Educators Notes section for additional information.
  • The APD will include constructive feedback about each of the criteria citing examples, particularly in areas that were found to need further development.
  • The aim of the feedback is to be helpful and supportive

The RCGP ESR criteria are as follows:

Needs Further Development Acceptable
a) The basis for judgements is not clear, i.e. they are not referenced to the evidence, i.e. they are not linked to evidence or there is a substantial lack of evidence to support the judgments made by the Educational Supervisor. Judgements are generally referenced to the available evidence
b) Where the judgements can be evaluated, they do not appear to be justifiable, i.e. where evidence has been cited for any judgments, the accuracy or robustness of the linked evidence is questionable. Judgements appear to be justifiable
c) Suggestions for trainee development are inadequate in number and/or quality. I.e. constructive suggestions for how the candidate might progress are lacking. Suggestions for trainee development are routinely made and appear to be appropriate

ARCP Outcomes

The Gold Guide says the following about the ARCP process:

The panel has two objectives:

  • To consider and approve the adequacy of the evidence and documentation provided by the trainee, which at a minimum must consist of a review of the trainee’s portfolio through a structured report from the educational supervisor, documenting assessments (as required by the specialty curriculum) and achievements. The panel should provide comment and feedback where applicable on the quality of the structured educational supervisor’s report or assessor’s documentation
  • Provided that adequate documentation has been presented, to make a judgement about the trainee’s suitability to progress to the next stage of training or confirm training has been satisfactorily completed.

Recommended Outcomes from ARCP Panel

Satisfactory Progress
1. Achieving progress and competences at the expected rate

Unsatisfactory or insufficient evidence (trainee must meet with panel)
2. Development of specific competences required – additional training time not required
3. Inadequate progress by the trainee – additional training time required
4. Released from training programme with or without specified competences
5. Incomplete evidence presented – additional training time may be required

Recommendation for completion of training
6. Gained all required competences

Outcomes for trainees out of programme or not in run-through training
8. Out of programme experience for approved clinical experience, research of career break

Hallmarks of good practice in information recording in the ePortfolio

(courtesy of the RCGP WPBA Standards group)

A log entry should ideally show:

  • some evidence of critical thinking and analysis, describing own thought processes
  • some self-awareness demonstrating openness and honesty about performance and some consideration of feelings generated
  • some evidence of learning, appropriately describing what needs to be learned, why and how
  • appropriate linkage to curriculum
  • demonstration of behaviour that allows linkage to one or more competency areas.

The following table provides a framework for assessing reflection in the eportfolio:

Not Acceptable Acceptable Excellent (in addition to acceptable)
Information Provided - Entirely descriptive e.g. lists of learning events/ certificates of attendance with no evidence of reflection Limited use of other sources of information to put the event into context Demonstrates well developed analysis and critical thinking e.g. using the evidence base to justify or change behaviour
Critical Analysis - No evidence of analysis (i.e. an attempt to make sense of thoughts, perceptions and emotions) Some evidence of critical thinking and analysis, describing own thought processes Shows insight, seeing performance in relation to what might be expected of doctors
Self Awareness - No self awareness Some self awareness, demonstrating openness & honesty about performance and some consideration of feelings generated Consideration of the thoughts and feelings of others as well as him/herself
Evidence of Learning - No evidence of learning( i.e. clarification of what needs to be learned & why) Some evidence of learning, appropriately describing what needs to be learned, why & how. Uses a range of sources to clarify thoughts & feelings Good evidence of learning, with critical assessment, prioritisation and planning of learning

Other issues to consider when looking at the e-portfolio

1. Educators Notes: These may contain extra, miscellaneous information that may be pertinent to the ARCP decision taken.

2. Assessments: This should include: CSA, AKT, WPBA assessment tools, naturally occurring evidence (Audits; SEAs; Journal Clubs; Projects; Research; Log Entries), PDP, MSF;,PSQ. Consider issues such as:

  • Quality of feedback; is it addressed in the learning log?
  • Is the PDP SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timebound (rather than a repeat of the log); have any of the outcomes been achieved?
  • How long did the tools take to complete; what grade was the assessor; are there a range of assessors (particularly in hospital posts); do the tick boxes match the free text?

3. Achievements: See the learning log entries for items such as courses, certificates and e-learning.

4. Learning log: Consider the below points:

  • Ensure the learner has a mix of personal reflective learning, such as clinical encounters as well as formal teaching sessions (see Appendix C)
  • Clinical encounters. Are trainees learning from their patients? Will the learning plan address the identified needs? Are the curriculum areas highlighted the correct ones? (If the learner has wrongly linked curriculum areas then you will need to go to curriculum coverage and look at the linked log entries, particularly for areas where there are few entries, in order to ensure that those that are there are accurate).
  • Do the log entries go beyond simple description and into reflection and developing learning needs and action plans for achieving these?
  • Has the Educational Supervisor commented on the trainee’s entries? Do they promote learning?
  • Professional conversations. Any highlighted problems, including any interventions that may have been from the Programme Directors?
  • Note that HEE has recommended a minimum number of learning log entries (Appendix C). Trainees who have not achieved these recommendations will need further panel discussion to consider if there is either evidence of failing to progress in one or more competencies, or if there is insufficient evidence to judge progress (Outcome 5). Note, that failure to have met the learning log recommendations is not in itself evidence of poor progress or engagement if the evidence for the relevant competencies can be found elsewhere in the eportfolio.

5. Clinical Supervisor’s report: Are there any concerns not picked up by the Educational Supervisor?

6. Are there any other concerns (apparent to you) that have not been picked up elsewhere?

7. Check there is eportfolio evidence of learning for all posts, especially short posts (under 3 months, but at least 2 months long). Suitable evidence would be some WPBAs and entries within the learning log.

Information for Panel Chairs

The panel Chair will lead all discussions where there is disagreement about the panel outcome and/or where an unsatisfactory outcome is being considered. The Chair will normally be the APD for Assessment, or another APD in his absence. For screen reviews, the Chair will normal be the programme APD. The Chair who has been involved in the original panel discussion will sign off the ARCP form electronically after it has been prepared by the GP Programme Coordinator.

Further information about decision-making in panels can be found in the ARCP Panel Chair Guide which contains information produced by the Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education assessment leads group.

The overall regulations for GP Specialty training can be found in the Reference Guide for Postgraduate Specialty training in the UK (the Gold Guide)

If there are any questions about this guide or the ARCP panel process, then please contact the APD for assessment

Appendix A

RCGP eportfolio Assessment Process and Panel Criteria

Appendix B

School of Primary Care ESR Feedback

Appendix C

School of Primary Care Learning Log requirements (Naturally Occurring Evidence)