LETBs review the progress of all doctors in specialist (including GP and core) training on at least an annual basis, depending on when the doctor began their training programme.
Trainees who started on or after 1 August 2007 are covered by ARCP, details of which can be found in A Reference Guide for Postgraduate Specialty Training in the UK (’The Gold Guide’).
HEEoE panels conduct reviews and issue each trainee with an ARCP outcome (see table below). The panel may meet with the trainee in person or conduct a paper/e-portfolio review.
The objective is to determine the extent of the trainee’s progress against the competences described in a GMC approved specialty curriculum. This involves reviewing the evidence that trainees submit about their training, which may include:
• workplace based assessments
• a report from the trainee’s educational supervisor
• team observation summaries
• royal college or faculty professional exam results (this list is not exhaustive).
The Relevance of ARCP Outcome
During specialist training, a trainee progresses from a basic level through a programme of teaching and training to completion of training and entry onto the specialist or GP register.
The rate at which they progress is determined both by characteristics of the trainee themselves and the environment in which they are being trained. Therefore, in postgraduate training, outcomes other than standard progress are to be expected. Trainees who do not progress at the standard rate will usually undergo another ARCP meeting within six to 12 months.
The importance of the ARCP processes is to identify where a trainee is making progress and where they are not and to prescribe action to improve the progress where necessary. Therefore outcomes termed unsatisfactory are not necessarily undesirable. They may in fact reflect a supportive educational environment which proactively identifies issues and helps the trainees to correct them or identifies a deficiency in the educational environment that needs to be corrected for the trainee to be successful. Equally, a high proportion of satisfactory outcomes may reflect a less rigorous assessment process.
ARCP Outcome breakdown
Satisfactory progress - achieving progress and the development of competencies at the expected rate
Development of specific competencies required - additional training time not required
Inadequate progress - additional training time required (extension of anticipated core training programme end date or anticipated CCT/CESR(CP)/CEGPR(CP) date)
Released from training programme - with or without specified competencies
Incomplete evidence presented - additional training time may be required.
If you receive an outcome 5, you will be asked to provide additional information within a specific, short-term timeframe. After presentation of the extra evidence, the ARCP panel will update your ARCP outcome to either an outcome 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 or 8 depending on the additional evidence you have provided.
Gained all required competencies - will be recommended as having completed the training programme (core or specialty) and if in a run-through training programme or higher training programme, will be recommended for award of CCT or CESR(CP)/CEGPR(CP)
Out of programme for clinical experience, research or a career break (OOPE/OOPR/OOPC)
7.1 - Satisfactory progress for completion of the post
7.2 - Development of specific competencies required - additional training time not required
7.3 - Inadequate progress by the trainee (progress not sufficient for period of training to be formally recognised towards CCT/CESR(CP)/CEGPR(CP) or full CESR/CEGPR)
7.4 - Incomplete evidence presented
There are circumstances when an ARCP panel is not able to recommend an outcome. For example if a trainee is absent due to statutory leave. In these cases, the ARCP panel will record the reason why no ARCP outcome could be recommended.