What is an ARCP?
The Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP) process is the means by which doctors in training are reviewed each year to ensure that they are offering safe, quality patient care, and to assess their progression against standards set down in the curriculum for their training programme.
It is also the process through which their full scope of work review is undertaken to satisfy revalidation requirements.
The animation on the HEE website provides a short and simple guide for trainees and trainers to how the ARCP process should take place in England. It also outlines what it does, and does not cover, and how to get additional support.
It should normally be undertaken annually and in Health Education England Thames Valley occurs in June/July for August starters and December/January for February starters. Less than full time trainees have an ARCP every 12 months.
What happens at an ARCP?
At least six weeks before the ARCP panel date, trainees will be sent an invitation to attend, a list of evidence to present to the ARCP panel, and the cutoff date for evidence submission. The cutoff date for evidence submission is two weeks prior to the ARCP panel date.
After the cutoff date, Consultant Anaesthetists and Intensivists on the ARCP panel will review the evidence submitted via the RCoA e-portfolio/Lifelong Learning Platform or ICM eportfolio.
On the day of the ARCP panel, the panel convene in the morning, review the evidence and then recommend an ARCP outcome. As the ARCP process is the panel review of the evidence submitted, the trainee is not present for this. Possible outcomes are:
Satisfactory progress – Achieving progress and competences at expected rate
Development of specific competencies required - additional training time NOT required
Inadequate progress - Additional training time required
Released from programme with or without specified competencies.
Incomplete evidence presented – additional training time may be required
Completion of training – all necessary competencies have been achieved
[LAT/FTSTA outcomes - no longer applicable]
Out of programme experience for approved clinical experience, research or career break
It is anticipated that at an ARCP, trainees not being recommended an outcome 1 satisfactory progress will already be aware of issues through discussion with their Educational Supervisor.
In the afternoon after the ARCP process, trainees attend for face-to-face feedback of their ARCP outcome recommendation. Their ARCP outcome form will be completed and added to the trainees's training record. The RCoA require that trainees upload all of their signed paper ARCP outcome forms to the RCoA eportfolio/Lifelong Learning Platform. In future, all ARCP outcome forms will be completed on the Lifelong Learning Platform.
The ARCP process incorporates consideration of fitness to practice as part of the process to support the Postgraduate Dean's recommendation for revalidation.
The ARCP process is important, and professional behaviour is expected from trainees (e.g. adequate time booked off, appropriate dress etc). For more information on the ARCP process please refer to the Gold Guide.