Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education
Information Pack for General Practice Specialty Trainees
Primary Care School of Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education
Responsible Executive or Member
Dr Elizabeth Eley, Primary Care Dean
This pack is designed to contain all the necessary information and contact details that General Practice Specialty Trainees will require throughout their training
All General Practice Specialty Trainees within Postgraduate Medical Education
The Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education website.
Equality Act 2010
Due regard has been given to the Equality Act 2010 in preparing this information pack.
Please note information is correct at time of writing but may be subject to change.
Table of Contents
Before commencing the Specialty Training year one (ST1) you will be asked to complete an Enhanced Form R, this is related to revalidation (as explained later in the document) but also so you can be allocated a unique National Training Number (NTN) which is required in order to register for the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) ePortfolio. This number stays the same throughout all your training years.
If you have not received your number by the time you have started your training please contact the Helpdesk. It is important you keep this number for your records as it is required on a number of important forms throughout your training.
Please ensure that you register with the RCGP as an Associate in Training (AiT) for your Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP). Information regarding how to register will be sent out by the GP School in July before you commence your training.
There is a local AiT representative for GP trainees in the South West Peninsula, please email the School of Primary Care administration team if you would like to contact the local representative.
The MRCGP is an end point of assessment to make sure a doctor has satisfactorily completed training for GP and is safe to practise within the UK. It is a necessary requirement for you to gain your Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) and once you have passed you will be eligible for membership of the RCGP.
There are three elements in order to gain your MRCGP:
- Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) – an assessment of knowledge, similar to an MCQ
- Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) – an assessment of clinical, professional, communication and practical skills relevant to general practice, similar to an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
- Recorded Consultation Assessment - introduced in 2020 as an alternative to the face to face CSA exam.
- Workplace based Assessment (WPBA) – an evaluation of progress and performance over time, best assessed in the workplace setting and recorded through your ePortfolio.
More information about the assessments can be found on the RCGP website.
Before the General Medical Council (GMC) will issue you with a CCT you will need to have been successful with the MRCGP assessments and you cannot practice without the certificate. Full details of the procedure can be found here.
The RCGP will advise the GMC that all the relevant training has been successfully completed and the GMC will then issue your certificate. Please note that there is a fee for this and details can be found on the link above.
You also need to ensure you have the correct status on the Performers List (e.g. locum, salaried, principal) – this should be the list held by the Area Team in which you will carry out the majority of your work. Again, once you have been revalidated by Health Education England, you should contact the Area Team where you are working and make arrangements to transfer to the Area team responsible for updating the Performers List. You cannot be allocated an appraisal until this transfer is completed.
You must notify your local Patch Administrator as soon as possible if you have had/intend to have a change in circumstances, such as change of address or email etc, whilst you are in your GP training programme. You must also inform the School of Primary Care administration team
These changes also include your intention to take paternity/maternity/adoption/family leave or any other changes to your training programme. Changes could affect how your salary payments are made and your end of training date, therefore it is imperative you notify all relevant teams.
To notify us of any changes please complete the change of circumstance form and return it to your local Patch Administrator and the Helpdesk.
If you wish to train at less than full time please follow the link below for more information:
You must inform your local patch team as soon as possible if you wish to work less than full time. Subject to eligibility and approval, you can either work 50%, 60%, 70% or 80% whole time equivalent and your training time will be extended to reflect this accordingly.
Whilst working less than full time you are expected to complete the same amount of assessments as your full time colleagues but over a longer time frame. For example, at 60% it will take you 20 months to complete 12 month whole time equivalent, in which you will have the full 20 months to complete the same number of assessments that full time trainees need to complete in 12 months.GPST Committee
A representative from each Scheme attends quarterly meeting to represent trainees to raise and discuss training issues that arise. The committee members also include a BMA, an AiT (College) and a Less Than Full-Time representatives. To see who your Scheme representative is please go to the GPST Committee page.
It is possible for GPSTs to move between areas within the UK. The arrangements for this apply to both full time and part time trainees and you must have completed at least one full year of GP training. There are fixed application windows each year; please visit the National IDT website for details.Movement is at the discretion of the School of Primary Care you are currently part of and you will be expected to ensure that you have well-founded reasons for moving that were not present when you agreed to your training post. It is important that trainees give as much notice as possible when requesting a transfer as training vacancies in other areas may not be readily available and arrangements, therefore, may take some time to set up.
You can take one year out of your GP training for Out of Programme Experience (OOPE) this is usually only granted between your second and third year due to service provision, and there must be a clear educational element.
It is the policy of Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education that the trainees accept their allocated rotations and that no swaps will be authorised, unless in extreme extenuating circumstances.
Throughout your three year GP training programme your contract will be with the acute trust in which you are based. Doctors on rotations in their Specialty Training year one (ST1) and Specialty Training year two (ST2) will have an attachment at a training practice for (normally) six months whole time equivalent. The placements are designed to enable you to develop a wider range of the competencies needed for the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT). The level of competency expected in the attachment should reflect this.
Please see this information regarding relocation expenses.
Please see this information regarding travel expenses for GP home visit mileage.
You cannot claim travel expenses for planned educational days (VTS teaching or deanery-wide events) or Annual Review of Competence Progression panels. You may claim travel for courses that you attend as part of study leave. All the details of how to claim study leave expenses, together with the appropriate form are on our website via this link.
The Out Of Hours requirements have recently changed; please refer to the updated information here.
The ARCP panel is an essential part of your approval for progress from one year to the next, and in your final year it is your sign off to initiate the CCT process. The panel meet to review every STs evidence of competence to progress to the next year or training, or completion of training. It is, therefore, very important that you provide the evidence by the dates given if you wish to continue or complete your training.
The ARCP review is part of the ePortfolio and relies on the evidence from your Work Place Based Assessments (WPBAs). You must submit the evidence requested via the ePortfolio in advance of being ‘screen reviewed’ three weeks before the panel are due to sit. If you do not have all the necessary evidence it is likely you will be called to attend the panel in person. Unlike other hospital-based specialty training, within the GP programme, not all trainees are expected to attend panel face-to-face. Only those who have failed to complete the necessary evidence, failed exams or have been recommended to attend the panel by their Educational Supervisor are called.
Less Than Full Time trainees will generally have more panels than their full time colleagues. This is due to trainees having to have at least one ARCP per year, regardless of whether they are progressing from one training year to the next training year, or completing their training
Education in Training
As a GP trainee you will have an Educational Supervisor (ES) throughout your training programme. You should contact your ES within 6 weeks of starting your training to arrange an initial meeting; this must be documented on your ePortfolio and various electronic agreements signed. You will then meet your ES every six months to complete the necessary six monthly reviews. At the end of your training year the review triggers the ARCP and therefore, it is vital these are completed well and in a timely manner. These meetings are a compulsory part of your training. The necessary evidence required for each review can be found on the RCGP website.
Throughout the first two years of your training programme you will generally have the same ES who will then become your Clinical Supervisor (CS) whilst you are in a placement at the same practice as the individual.
Whilst you are in hospital posts your CS will be a member of the ward team who has undergone the necessary training to become an approved CS, and it is your responsibility to arrange this. They will not be added to your ePortfolio as any necessary assessments can be completed without a log in from the main ePortfolio page.
In your third year when you change practices your ES will also change to a GP within the same practice as your placement.
Your ES will be a skilled educationalist and experienced GP, who is ideally placed to support you and facilitate your development in the first two years of GP training. The success of the relationship between you and your ES will greatly depend on how well you prepare for your meetings and how effectively you use this relationship to enable your development. We hope that you will find your ES to be a useful resource to help and support you as you progress through your training.
Each of the five patches across Devon and Cornwall deliver the three year training programme for GPSTs. This means a series of day release meetings in ST1 and ST2. In ST3 the meetings are more regular and in the form of half day or full day release, depending on which patch you are in. The local Training Programme Directors (TPDs) plan and deliver this programme.
Study leave time:
The allocation of study leave time runs from Aug - Aug, in line with the academic year.
Full time trainees have 30 days study leave per year; 15 of these are deducted to cover attendance at VTS teaching; this is pro rata for less than full time trainees.
Study leave should be split equally between a trainee's posts; for example, if a trainee's rotation is made up of 3 x 4mo posts, they should take 5 days study leave per post.
For information on eligibility and how to claim, please see the HEE SW GP study leave page
You must complete a change of circumstance form and forward to the local Postgraduate administrators (see VTSchemes) and the hospital/practice as soon as possible if you are going on maternity leave and they will be able to give you guidance. Within the school of Primary Care your main point of contact is the Helpdesk. You must also confirm your return to work date as soon as this is known, this is due to arranging your posts for when you return. There is no guarantee that you will be able to return to the posts you were previously allocated to.
Absences from training, other than for study leave or annual leave, may have an impact on a doctor’s ability to demonstrate competence and progression through the curriculum. The General Medical Council has determined therefore that within each 12 month period where a trainee has been absent for a total of 14 days or more (when a trainee would normally be at work), a review of whether the trainee needs to have their CCT date extended will be triggered.
If you have had more than 14 days off in any one year (August to August) due to sickness, maternity/paternity leave, jury service or other unforeseen circumstances, this will affect your training time and any days above this must be added to your completion of training date, thus extending your programme.
If you are absent from training for any reason, you must inform your Lead Employer and the School of Primary Care.
Supported Return To Training (SuppoRTT)
For trainees who have been absent from training for a prolonged period (usually 3 months or more), a specific range of support measures have been developed. Please see information about this on our website here.
The RCGP have released a number of principles regarding absence from training. The following should be referred to when a trainee has been absent from training due to sickness, jury service, maternity leave or paternity leave.
- The RCGP will allow time off from the training programme for sickness absence, jury service, maternity leave or paternity leave.
- Trainees should confirm with the RCGP and their School of Primary Care that their plans to make up lost time will mean that their programme of training conforms, on completion, with regulatory requirements.
- Trainees who have been on sick leave and have returned to training on reduced hours because of an occupational health recommendation should meet with their TPD to ensure that they will be completing the required three years of training.
- It is RCGP and GMC guidance that training periods of less than three months in duration will not normally count towards a CCT. However, in cases where a GP in training has to make up time lost through sickness, jury service and/or maternity/paternity leave. The RCGP may be able to request that the GMC accept training periods of less than three months towards CCT as long as a full three year training programme is completed. The final decision regarding this lies with the GMC.
The RCGP have also issued guidance regarding prolonged absence and returning to training. This may now affect when you can CCT if you have had longer than 12 months off and are returning to training with less than three months to CCT.
Please see more detailed information here.
Revalidation is the GMC’s new way of regulating licensed doctors. The aim is to support doctors in their professional development, helping to improve quality, patient safety and public confidence in the profession.
Licensed doctors, including, doctors in Foundation Year two and Specialty Training will have to revalidate every five years, they will also be revalidated when they receive their CCT. However, if their training is less than five years as with GP training the first revalidation will be at the point of their CCT.
The employing practice will be asked, every six months, if their trainee/s have been involved in any formal Serious Untoward Incidents (SUIs) or Significant Event Investigations (SEIs) and whether these have been resolved or not. Practices will also be asked whether trainees have been involved in any conduct or capability investigations or complaints.
All trainees will have to annually complete an Enhanced Form R prior to their ARCP. This is a mandatory form that required them to answer questions about whether they have been involved in any complaints or investigated incidents over the last year.
The information provided by the practice and the trainee will be made available to the trainees ARCP panel who will complete a section on the ARCP form as to whether there are any current unresolved causes of concern. In turn these pieces of information will be given to the Revalidation Manager who will be able to advise the Responsible Officer whether this trainee can be recommended for Revalidation to the GMC, or if further investigation needs to take place.
If you have any questions regarding Revalidation please email Revalidation.SW@hee.nhs.uk. More information regarding Revalidation can be found on the following websites:
Health Education England, working across the South West
Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education
Please note: Due to coronavirus, the Plymouth office is not receiving post at present. Please email any documents or forms, as well as any queries, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Office hours are 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am to 4pm on Fridays.
Please note that the office is closed between Christmas and New Year. Please do not submit anything one week prior to this.
The contact details for the administration staff are as follows:
- Education Team Manager – Amber Shipley
- Education Programme Officer – Richard Sloman
- Education Programme Officer - Gemma Sams
- Education Programme Coordinator - Claire Elvin-Smith
- Education Programme Coordinator - Position Vacant
- Plymouth VTS Administrator - Sarah Anderson
The contact details for the medical workforce within the School of Primary Care are as follows:
- Primary Care Dean- Elizabeth Eley
- Head of School of Primary Care - Sarah.Ansell@hee.nhs.uk
- Associate Dean for Quality - Susanna.email@example.com
- Associate Dean for Cornwall – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Associate Dean for Exeter - Helen.email@example.com
- Associate Dean for North Devon – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Associate Dean for Plymouth - David.email@example.com
- Associate Dean for Torbay – Helen.Paley@hee.nhs.uk
- Associate Deans - Post-CCT - Sarah.firstname.lastname@example.org and Ben Tutty
Each area within the Peninsula has a number of GPs (the TPDs) who lead on the training delivery and education, these are as follows
- TPDs for Cornwall -
Jim Evans, Matthew Bull, Stephanie Jackson, Noor Hamad and Rebecca Matthews
- TPDs for Exeter – Jon Williams, John Fox, Edward Fitzherbert Hannah Claxton and William Edney
- TPDs for North Devon – Amy Parkinson, Michelle Higgs and Theon Rogers
- TPDs for Plymouth – Stephen Ward-Booth, Mel Lemon and Samantha Wheeler
- TPDs for Torbay – Jenny Corser, Kate Warner and Lucy Loveday
The Gold Guide
The Gold Guide is a reference guide for postgraduate specialty training in the UK - read it here
Details can be found here.
The GMC is the body responsible for postgraduate medical education and training. The website is full of useful information for GPSTs:
The RCGP leads on all aspects of GP training across the UK through providing guidance and running the GP assessments. They can provide information on the assessments a GPST is required to complete during their training and can also help with any problems with the ePortfolio.
- Main telephone – 020 3188 7400
- Examinations email – email@example.com
- General enquiries – firstname.lastname@example.org
- ePortfolio problems – email@example.com
- Website – www.rcgp.org.uk
The BMA can provide guidance on a number of issues regarding trainees, such as contract etc.
- Main telephone – 020 7387 4499
For BMA members who require new employment advice and information queries, there are a number of other contact details:
- Telephone – 0300 123 1233
- Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
120 Blythswood Street
Contact Email: email@example.com
Contact number: 0141 2281272
Website and Media
The website is full of useful information and links. It is regularly updated so please use it as a first resource if you have any questions. Constructive feedback of the website is welcome, and if you think there is anything which needs to be added please contact Sarah Anderson