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Health Education England to lead review to increase support for junior doctors career progression

30 November 2016

Health Education England (HEE) will lead a major review to give doctors in training greater flexibility to achieve their career goals it has been announced today.

Speaking to delegates at the NHS Providers annual conference in Birmingham, Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, has confirmed that Health Education England (HEE) will take forward a review of the annual review of competence progression (ARCP) process to make it simpler, less stressful and more supportive of the aspirations of individual doctors.

The review aims to improve opportunities to support career progression on the basis of competency, add value to the experience gained outside formal training programmes and introduce more flexibility. It will also consider how the NHS can support the career aspirations of doctors not in formal training programmes.

Welcoming the announcement, Professor Wendy Reid, Medical Director, Health Education England said:

We are delighted to be given the go ahead for this important piece of work. We will involve and engage junior doctors at every level in the review.

Junior Doctors are a vital part of the NHS family, playing a key role in the delivery of much needed healthcare to patients up and down the country. It is important that we support them in fulfilling their career goals.

The ARCP review presents us with a fantastic opportunity to revolutionise the way we assure competence and recognise excellence. We want it to be a transformational enabler that unlocks opportunities across the wider workforce.

A governance structure is currently being established to take forward the review, which will comprise a number of work streams. They are:

  • ‘Appraisal Approach’ and ‘Assessment Methodology’, two strands which have significant overlap and interdependencies. This work will seek to develop a more reflective, developmental approach to appraisal and a clear, consistent, efficient and well-understood approach to assessment.
  • ‘Individualised Training Pathways’, which will explore the barriers and opportunities to achieving greater flexibility within training pathways.
  • ‘Wider workforce’, exploring opportunities to consider whether elements of the process could be made available to the wider workforce e.g. advanced roles supporting medical and multi-disciplinary teams.
  • ‘Resources and Feasibility’, which will look at the support infrastructure as well as the practical, logistical and financial impact of any proposed changes within the review.

This review will begin in January 2017 and run for a year. A formal report with recommendations for change will be available in January 2018.

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