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Reviewing the annual review of competence progression process

Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP) is the means by which doctors in postgraduate training are reviewed each year to assess their progression against standards set down in the curriculum for their training programme. It is also the means by which their full scope of work review is undertaken to satisfy revalidation requirements.


In March this year Health Education England (HEE) initiated a programme to deliver our mandate action to ‘review the mechanisms by which doctors receive feedback to progress through training, including the ARCP to improve the training processes’.

The review aims to explore the totality of the assessment and appraisal functions for junior doctors with a view to ensuring consistency for trainees. As a part of the review we are considering both processes and outcomes, and assesing how the ARCP process can best be utilised to ensure that safety and revalidation requirements are met whilst providing  a process that meets trainees needs. To that end we are reviewing how trainees are asked to prepare for ARCP, the evidence required for submission, the operation of the panel itself, how feedback is provided from panel and how appraisal processes within different placements can support the process.

We have received feedback that there is  inconsistency in the ARCP process across HEE localities and specialities, and the review is therefore an opportunity to draw out where processes are working most effectively and to spread this good practice.

Alongside the review, we are undertaking a wider programme of activity aimed to improve the working lives of junior doctors.  

The programme is also providing  an opportunity to look at how some aspects of the ARCP might be extended to the wider workforce. This could acilitate greater access to learning and development and ensure current and future patient and service needs can be met.

To date we have undertaken a comprehensive engagement process, holding two stakeholder engagement events with over 120 individuals attending each. We have worked closely with trainees, trainers, regulators, royal colleges and representatives from across the four nations to progress the review, and are developing recommendations through a model of co-production.

Call for evidence

In order to help shape these recommendations, we are now commencing a call for evidence based upon the feedback we have received to date. This is an opportunity for our stakeholders to express their opinions on some of our developing hypotheses and to submit evidence to be considered when finalising our proposals. We specifically would like stakeholders to submit any work they have undertaken around the effective assessment and appraisal of junior doctors, and case studies based upon where the ARCP and appraisal processes have  worked either effectively or poorly.

Our call for evidence is a number of questions shaped by the opinions we have heard to date. You do not need to answer every question. If you could submit any evidence you have supporting your views it would be welcomed.

The call for evidence will be open until 23:59 GMT on Tuesday 29 August. Where possible we would like to use the opinions and evidence submitted in our final recommendations report to be published early in 2018, please indicate if you would prefer us not to use your submission.

For further information contact ARCP@hee.nhs.uk

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