Workforce, training and education
East of England

All trainees will have an Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) organised by the School of Psychiatry. It is a formal review of how well a trainee is progressing in relation to their learning agreement for their training programme and assesses their ability to progress to the next level.  The reviews should occur at least yearly (even for Less Than Full Time Trainees) but may occur more frequently in special circumstances.

The assessment is based on the trainee's portfolio including their supervisors' reports, work place based assessments (WPBA) and other content such as reflective practice notes, log books or evidence of other training.

Clinical and Educational Supervisor's reports are now completed on the RCPsych online portfolio.  Getting the information together for an ARCP can take a bit of time.  While most of your work place based assessments will have gradually built up over the year, the mini-PAT (360 degree feedback, which should be completed for each post) can take a few weeks to complete.  Likewise arranging meetings with your clinical and educational supervisors is important and best not left to the last minute.

Note that the outcome of the ARCP is determined by the panel based on the reports and portfolio, and not by interview. On most occasions trainees will not be expected to attend in person.  There can be many reasons that a trainee is invited to attend their ARCP in person and the final decision is usually made by the Training Programme Director.  Some possible reasons are as follows:

It is essential for a trainee to attend when:

  • They are expecting an Outcome 2, 3 or 4 (each of these outcomes require further discussion and / or guidance)
  • An ARCP following an Outcome 2 or 3, to determine progress

Trainees might also attend if:

  • They are approaching CCT or the end of their training programme (eg core training)

Trainees may wish to attend (or be invited) if:

  • They have returned to training after an absence
  • Their route through training has been complicated and may benefit from direct discussion

If you are unsure if you need to attend then please discuss this with your Educational Supervisor and/or Training Programme Director.

​Further information about the ARCP process can be found in the Gold Guide (for the general rules about the ARCP process, outcomes, appeal processes etc.), and in the relevant curriculum from the RCPsych (link).  The curricula includes minimum WBPA recommendations for core and higher training, and appropriate competencies for different levels of training and how they might be demonstrated.

A selection of videos on how to get the best our of the portfolio, and help trainees prepare for their ARCP is being collected here:

There is also a shorter guide for Core Training that can be downloaded from the bottom of this page.

ARCP dates - Summer 2022

The following is a guide to the ARCP dates for Summer 2022 (not yet finalised):

General Adult


Core Psychiatry


Core Psychiatry


General Adult


General Adult


Core Psychiatry


Old Age


General Adult


Core Psychiatry


Core Psychiatry




Please note that invitations for trainees (particularly later in this process) will continue to be sent through March into early May, so don't worry if you haven't been emailed yet.  In general if you haven't received an invitation 6 weeks before your above date then please get in touch with the ARCP team ( ) to check the email address they have for you is correct. 


How can I help make my ARCP go smoothly ? (for trainees)

ARCPs are are review of your portfolio and supporting evidence from your clinical and educational supervisors.  Here are some things you can do to help to process work well:

- Plan well in advance.  Most of the evidence, such as WBPAs, need to be collected throughout your post.  The mini-PAT (needed for each post) in particular can take several weeks to complete so don't leave it too late.  Likewise your supervisors will need some time to fill in the forms, and might not appreciate being told at the last minute.

- Please fill in the career section of the portfolio.  This is very helpful for the panel who can then see what posts you have been doing since the last ARCP - and if you've had time out of training you may wish to upload a CV or similar document to help the panel see what has been happening.

- Do NOT put any information in your portfolio that identifies specific patients.

- If you have had more than 14 working days out of training (eg for sickness) in a year then the panel will need to review your CCT date.  It isn't necessarily delayed, but it helps the panel if you have discussed this with your educational supervisor and there is some guidance for the panel in the report.

- Look at the guidance above about whether you need to attend and when invited let the Deanery know if you don't need to attend (this will generally be something that you will have more information about with your ES than the Deanery at that stage).

See also the advice for educational supervisors on this page.

How can I help my trainees' ARCPs go smoothly ? (for Educational Supervisors)

Many thanks for helping support and monitor your trainees' progress through training.  Your input into the ARCP process is vital (and you should be getting experience on ARCP panels at least every 3 years which can support your educational appraisal).  Some suggestions to help ensure your trainees' ARCPs go smoothly:

- The Level 1 report is for clinical supervisors, the Level 2 for Educational supervisors.  Please make sure you are using the form that is appropriate for the level/curriculum your trainee is doing (eg core / general adult / CAMH etc).  If the form has the name of a subspecialty then that is for higher training rather than core.

- Please be aware of the possible outcomes of the ARCPs as above.  The Educational Supervisor form asks for a recommendation as to the outcome;  trainees who need extra time in training (often for exams, but sometimes other purposes) will need an outcome 3.  Trainees who have successfully completed training (eg Core or Higher) will receive an outcome 6.  Trainees should be aware of the likely outcome from an ARCP panel prior to the panel meeting, and adverse outcomes will require their attendance

- Any absence of more than 14 working days (eg sickness, compassionate leave etc) requires a review of the trainees CCT date / end date.  If this could be considered in comments about the trainee's progression the panels will find this very helpful

Tuesday, 5 March, 2019
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Tuesday, 5 March, 2019