2018 ARCP Dates for GP Trainees

Table of Contents

 What is the ARCP panel?

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 at least every 12 months of training although may be more frequent.  Less than Full time (LTFT) trainees also need annual ARCPs. If you are unsure of the date of your next review, please contact the GP Support Managers.   

 Who sits on a panel and what happens?

There are three large ARCP Panels each summer in June and July.  They consist of two stages. Stage 1 takes place at the level of the local programme where the ePortfolio is assessed by local TPDs. The progress of each trainee is assessed exclusively by the evidence present in the eportfolio and no other documentation is considered. The stage 2 Panel takes place centrally one week later and is attended by at least one senior educator from each of the 5 deanery GP Programmes, as well as the chair, one or two lay assessors and usually an external advisor from the RCGP.   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.

The panel will assess and feedback regarding the quality of the Educational Supervisor's report (ESR).

 What is a mini Panel?

Those 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 mini panels. This will usually consist of two Associate Postgraduate Deans, a trained lay member and the panel Chair. They will either meet face to face or the eportfolio will be looked at online by each member followed by a phone conference.  Mini panels occur once a month except in June, July and August.

 What are the possible outcomes of a panel?

  • Outcome 1 Achieving progress and the development of competences at the expected rate
  • Outcome 2 Development of specific competences required – additional training time not required
  • Outcome 3 Inadequate progress by the trainee – additional training time required
  • Outcome 4 Released from training programme with or without specific competences
  • Outcome 5 Incomplete 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)

 Who needs to attend a face to face review and what happens?

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.

 What happens if I have a prolonged absence from training?

The has RCGP has new 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 the Deanery if you think this will affect you. 

 Reports and Quality Assurance of previous ARCP panels

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 the Deanery.

  • 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
  • If you wish to see any past QA reports please contact the GP School Manager

 Certificate of Completion of Training

For virtually all GP trainees the route to gaining your CCT is via the certification unit at the RCGP.  All of the School’s training programmes are fully approved, so all you need to do is to satisfactorily complete your posts 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.  The button somewhat miraculously becomes active once the college has been notified of your success – a process that usually takes a couple of weeks. More information is available on RCGP Certification Overview Page

 Certificate of Eligibility for GP Registration (CEGPR)

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 GP Associate Postgraduate Dean for help early in the process, via your local training programme office

The GP School is always keen to help its trainees with CEGPR and ATCF applications, and Dr Simon Newton 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…!

 Appeals Procedure

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.