The Uncomplicated Trainee Pathway
Full-time trainees usually join a GP training scheme in February and August. Providing they remain full-time and don’t take any ‘additional leave’ (see definition below), they will rotate through jobs every 6 months (February and August) and they will move up an ST stage every 12 months (i.e. August every year). They will leave the scheme in August after completing 3 years. During every ST year, the RCGP says that trainees must always have a minimum of 3 types of reviews.
- TWO ES meetings every year (December & May – i.e roughly month 4 and month 9)
- ONE ANNUAL ARCP panel – to make sure trainees are progressing well AND/OR prior to an ST transition (e.g. ST1 to ST2, ST2 to ST3, ST3 to CCT). This review is to ensure that the trainee has met the stipulated requirements for trainee to enable approval of that move. Most schemes run ARCP panels in January and July. Your annual ARCP will be in one of these periods.
But life is not so simple. Many trainees end up taking Additional Leave
Definition (Additional leave): leave that is not anticipated. For instance, sick leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, carer’s leave, jury service, extended compassionate leave and so on. If the trainee takes more than 2 weeks leave on top of what is usually allowed (annual leave + study leave) in any one year, they will need to make up for that time.
Making up for that time then makes them become ‘out of sync’ (i.e. they no longer start and finish subsequent posts at February or August time). Instead, they start and finish at some other month and this means that their Educational Supervision might not fall on December and May.. In other words, they become ‘out-of-sync’ to the other trainees. The ES meetings end up falling in other months – and it will be different for each individual trainee.
All you need to remember is this..
- You need an ES meeting every 6 months – whether or not you are full-time, part-time, out-of-sync etc.
- You need an ARCP meeting ONCE a year – it will be either in January or July (check with your administrator)
Please double check the information on this pages with your GP Training Scheme Administrator as local areas might have slight variations or there may be major changes with time.
Types of Additional Leave that makes trainees 'Out-Of-Sync'
- Maternity Leave
- Going part-time (for whatever reason)
- Extended sickness leave
- Carer’s Leave
- Out of Programme Experience
- Other types of leave which totals to greater than 2 weeks in any one year (not including Annual or Study Leave) – e.g. a combination of jury leave, compassionate leave, sick leave etc.
Working out the dates
Work out your ES meeting dates as follows…
- You will need an ES meeting once every 6 months – irrespective of whether you are full-time or part-time.
- Arrange for the ES meeting at roughly month 4 or 5 for every 6 month segment of the post
- This means that if you are doing a post for 1 year part time at 50%, you will need to have two ES meetings despite the fact that this is equivalent to one full-time 6 month post.
- All these ES meetings should be recorded as an ESR on e portfolio . CSR is required as will be a pro-rata number of WPBA assessments. Make sure your log entries look good. Self-rating required too.
Working out your next ARCP date
- You have one ARCP every year. It is either going to be in January or July.
- Check with your scheme administrator.
- Prior to your ARCP you need to make sure you have done the full works: i.e. get CSR done, self-ratings, minimum number of assessments completed, learning logs look good, and ideally include Form R ES workbook, reflection on post, OOH is up to date if you are in GP and so on. If you are an ST3 coming towards the end of your training then additionally you’ll need to have demonstrated level 3 safeguarding, CPR and AED and a Quality Improvement Activity etc.
- If you are due a CCT, please get your dates carefully worked out and get all the things done – otherwise your CCT may be delayed!
BEFORE YOUR LEAVE (within 1 month before)
- Arrange a meeting with your Clinical Supervisor(or Educational Supervisor if you’re in a hospital post)
- To see where you are at
- To make plans for what you need to do when you come back
- The most important reason: the College guidance is that short posts (less than 3 months whole time equivalent) may count towards training PROVIDING that there is at least a minimum amount of evidence which has been officially reviewed before the trainee goes off. This minimum evidence translates to a pro-rata number of CBDs, COTs, Mini-CEXs, log entries, PDPs and so on – but also a CS Report. I’ve highlighted the CS report because this is essential and trainees often overlook the need for this before they go off on maternity. But without it, what you have done so far cannot count towards training! In Summary: a CS report, a pro-rata number of assessments done. Ensure log entries are on and ePortfolio up to scratch. Competency ratings ARE required.
This official ES review should be recorded in the Review Preparation section of the ePortfolio (i.e. the proper ES section). It needs to be formal because it is being formally used to certify the period of the post that has been completed so far so that it can count for training. The ES will need to record 3 things…
- The ES will need to make a comment on any substantial evidence submitted in that review period.
- The ES will need to make a comment about your progress.
- The ES will need to set out a development plan to be followed upon your return to the programme.
- In some circumstances, you may need an extra ARCP before going on leave. The important thing to remember is that trainees should not have periods of training which are not assessed at ARCP, (it can be difficult to fully review a period and ESR done a long time ago so booking an ARCP to prevent this is often useful). This will also ensure that the trainee gets feedback and directions for actions if appropriate as close to the period of training as possible. Check with your scheme’s administrator if you think this will apply to you.
WHILST YOU ARE ON MATERNITY
- Trainees on maternity leave may add log entries during their maternity leave, they may go on courses or do ‘keeping in touch’ days. These are all good things and evidence of their commitment to their training, but not compulsory.
WHEN YOU COME BACK FROM MATERNITY
- Arrange for an INFORMAL ES review early on – within 2 months of your return. The purpose of this is
- To touch base and help both you and your Educational Supervisor get your bearings right
- To see where you left off and that you are both clear in your minds about what needs doing and by when. (The ES needs to document this bit in the Educator’s Notes).
- This informal ES meeting does NOT need a CS report NOR extra assessments as you will have only just come back. No competency ratings required. Ensure log entries are on and ePortfolio is tidy.
- This informal review should be recorded as an Educator’s Note titled ‘Informal ES review’ – there probably won’t be that much new evidence to review.
- Within 1 month of your return, work out your PERSONAL TRAINING MAP as per guidance below (where you work out the date of your next ESR, ST transition and ARCP panel).
- Double check these with your GP Training Scheme Administrator who will cross check to make sure your ePortfolio reads the same. If their is variance or any queries, please raise it with your GP Training Scheme Administrator.
- Then arrange for an OFFICIAL ES review later on.
- If you are coming back as full-time, this will usually a month or two before the end of the post. And if you are due an ARCP – the ES meeting must be WITHIN 2 months before this date – and not any longer!
- If you have gone part-time (i.e. LTFTT) – then please read the instructions above for part-time and out-of-sync trainees (the official ES meeting will be approximately at month 4/5 from your return).
- Before these official ES meetings, you will need a CS report and the remaining WPBA things done. Ensure existing log entries good and ePortfolio up to scratch. Competency ratings are required.
- This OFFICIAL ES review should be recorded in the “reviews” section of the ePortfolio (i.e. the proper ES section) – because it is officially signing off the period of training just completed.
WORKING OUT YOUR NEXT ARCP DATE
- Determine when your last ARCP was done. Your ARCP might have been done whilst you were on Maternity Leave. An ARCP marked off as OOP whilst the trainee was away is still considered an ARCP. The trainee does need an ARCP every year – if this falls on maternity or some other leave the trainee is given an outcome 8 – OOP and a further ARCP date is set, usually about 12 months after that. Look at your ePortfolio – you will find it your last ARCP date under ‘ARCP’ on the home page and note the date of the last one. If you’re ST1 and not had any as of yet, take the date you started the scheme as this date.
- Now work out one year from the last ARCP. This will be a PROGRESS ARCP review. If this date has passed, please contact your GP Training Scheme Administrator as soon as possible.
- Also work out the date you are due to move up an ST stage (e.g St1 to ST2, or ST2 to ST3 etc). This will be a TRANSITION ARCP review.
Your next ARCP date is the date in 2 or 3 – whichever is the sooner. Actually, the the panel will be around one month before this date. If this date is close to June, it can be done along with all the regular June ARCPs that your scheme will hold anyway. Otherwise, it will be done separately at some other time. If you’re an ST3 and due to be completing the scheme, remember that you final ARCP has to be 2 months before your CCT (completion) date. This gives the College enough time to get your CCT certificate processed. Otherwise, you won’t get it in time.
IF YOU’RE COMING BACK FROM MATERNITY AS PART-TIME
If you’re coming back as part-time (i.e. LTFTT) – then all the advice in this section still applies. But please read the advice above for part-time (LTFTT) trainees too and double check your dates still marry up. If you are unsure, check with your GP Training Scheme Administrator.
HOW MANY WPBA ASSESSMENTS DO YOU NEED TO DO?
- If you have come back full-time, you basically do what every other full-time trainee needs to do.
- If you are part time – then the minimum number of WPBA assessments that you need to do is reduced pro rata accordingly. So, a part time ST2 trainee doing a 1 year post at 50% needs to do a MINIMUM of 1.5 CBDs every 6 months (or 3 in the 12 month period). An similar 50% trainee at ST3 level would need to do a minimum of 3 CBDs every 6 months (or 6 in the 12 month period).
- Please remember, these are MINIMUMS – and you should be aiming to do a lot more.
- Click the button below for a summary of the minimum assessments required for a full-timer – this should help you work out what you need to do on a pro-rata basis if you are part-time.
I started my ST3 post in Oct 2018 and I am part-time at 50%. My last proper ARCP was 17.6.2017. This was a transition review for ST2. I was Out of Programme after that for a career break. Another ARCP was completed whilst I was away on 27.06.18 – but that simply marked me off for ‘Out of Programme’ (OOP). What do I need to do?
- An ARCP marked off as OOP whilst the trainee was away is still considered and ARCP. The trainee does need an ARCP every year – if this falls on maternity or some other leave the trainee is given an outcome 8 – OOP and a further ARCP date is set, usually about 12 months after that.
- Remember, every trainee must have once ARCP every year – this should be roughly one year from the last ARCP – even if the trainee is not transitioning at this point.
- Of course, the trainee will need another ARCP near the time of ST transition (unless this is v. close to the other one, in which case it can be combined).
ST3-1 will be Oct 13-Oct19 @ 50%
For this period, one ES meeting every 6m segment of the post. But the trainee needs an informal ES meeting soon after they come back because they have been off for a while. The trainee also needs a progress ARCP and not a transition ARCP (as not moving up an ST stage).
- INFORMAL ES meeting within two months of the trainee’s return = Oct/Nov 2018 = to catch up and determine where the trainee left off. No need for a CS report. No need for any assessments or competency ratings; just a catch up and planning ahead session.
- Another INFORMAL ES meeting at month 5 = March 2019 = record in Educator’s Notes. Need a CS report and a pro-rata number of assessments done. Ensure log entries are on and ePortfolio up to scratch.No competency ratings required.
- PROGRESS ARCP = around one year after the last one – which in this case will be June 2019 (last one was 27.06.18). As most ARCPs for most trainees happen in June, the local scheme can do this – but the trainee is advised to double check with the scheme to ensure everyone is in the know.
- OFFICIAL ES meeting at month 10 = August 2019 = record in the ES section of ePortfolio. Needs a CS report and the remaining assessments done. Ensure log entries good and ePortfolio up to scratch. Competency ratings are required. Fill in ‘The ES Workbook’ (see under Ed Supervision downloads section).
ST3-2 will be Oct 19 – Oct [email protected] 50%
For this period, one ES meeting every 6m segment of the post. Will need a progress AND a transition ARCP. The former because the last one was in June 2019 (needs another June 2020) and the latter because of completing the scheme in Oct (so needs one in Sept 2020).
- INFORMAL ES meeting at month 5 = March 2020 = record in Educator’s Notes. Need a CS report and a pro-rata number of assessments done. Ensure log entries are on and ePortfolio up to scratch. No competency ratings required.
- PROGRESS ARCP = June 2020 (i.e. one year from last one – last one was June 2019). As other trainees on the scheme usually have an ARCP at this time, it will be done locally by the scheme.
- OFFICIAL ES meeting at month 9 = July 2020 = record in the ES section of ePortfolio. It’s month 9 rather than the usual month 10 because the trainee will be completing in Oct 2020 – which means an ARCP needs to be done 2m before (i.e. August 2020). This means the ES meeting cannot happen in month 10 (also August!) because it has to happen before the ARCP! Yes – it is all rather complicated. Anyway, this official ES meeting will require a CS report and the remaining assessments done. Ensure existing log entries good and ePortfolio up to scratch. Competency ratings are required. Fill in ‘The ES Workbook’ (see under Ed Supervision downloads section).
- TRANSITION ARCP (for CCT) meeting at month 10 (2 months before CCT date which is Oct 2020) = Aug 2020 = inform Deanery as they will organise your ARCP (because you are out-of-sync). Need to ensure all the evidence up to scratch and ePortfolio looks super good to ensure CCT.
Make a Personal Training Map of Dates
We would strongly urge ALL trainees to create their own Personal Training Map to help
- map out their rotations – noting start and finish dates
- log their periods of absence,
- work out their ES meeting dates
- work out their ARCP panel dates.
This map, once created, will then need to be kept up to date if any additional leave is taken – but this will be easier once the baseline one is created in the first place. Forward it onto the scheme’s administrator to double check. It needn’t be anything complicated looking – something like the following should help.
Dates of Post
Is this a Transition (T) or Progress (P) ARCP?
Aug 19–Feb 20
Feb 20–Aug 20
Aug 20–Nov 20
Oct/Nov 2020 (informal ES before leaving)
Nov 20–Sept 21
Sept 21–Dec 21
Sept 2021 (informal ES shortly after returning)
Nov 2021 (official ES within last 2m before end of post
If you are part time – then the minimum number of WPBA assessments that you need to do is reduced pro-rata accordingly. So, a part time ST2 trainee doing a 1 year post at 50% needs to do a MINIMUM of 1.5 CBDs every 6 months (or 3 in the 12 month period). An similar 50% trainee at ST3 level would need to do a minimum of 3 CBDs every 6 months (or 6 in the 12 month period). Please remember, these are MINIMUMS – and you should be aiming to do a lot more. Click on the PINK button above for a summary of the minimum assessments required for a full-timer who is ‘in-sync’ – this page should help you work out what you need to do on a pro-rata basis if you are part-time.
An ARCP marked off as OOP whilst the trainee was away is still considered and ARCP. The Gold Guide does not talk about different types of ARCP. In summary, an ARCP = any ARCP whether in programme or not. The trainee does need an ARCP every year – if this falls on maternity or some other leave the trainee is given an outcome 8 – OOP and a further ARCP date is set, usually about 12 months after that. It is acceptable to the Certification Unit to add a note to the comments section of an OOP ARCP outcome form to confirm that a period of training has been reviewed and deemed to be satisfactory, even though the outcome is OOP as the trainee is not in training when the panel takes place. We would encourage the ARCP reviewers to do this. The important thing to remember is that trainees should not have periods of training which are not assessed at ARCP. It can be difficult to fully review a period and ESR done a long time ago so booking an ARCP to prevent this is often useful. This will also ensure that the trainee gets feedback and directions for actions if appropriate as close to the period of training as possible.
Moonlighting is any job you have secondary to your primary job. It doesn’t have to relate to your main job. Trainees who are eligible for LTFTT should note that it is the usual policies of most Deaneries/regional HEE’s that they are not permitted to undertake any regular employment, either within or out of the NHS, in addition to their 50% timetable and their timetabled out of hours work.
However, if your local hospital department is desperately seeking someone for an occasional additional shift due to unexpected circumstances (i.e. a colleague on sick leave) trainees are encouraged to assist their fellow team members. It should be noted that this is not for planned absences (i.e. annual leave).
The process close to the completion of training needs to be clearly planned. It will need an ESR before going on leave so that the trainee is able to get CCT on time. If very little training time (less than 6 weeks) remains after an ST3 trainee returns from planned leave then
- The penultimate ESR should state (on the last page of the ESR section of the ePortfolio) that
- (i) the trainee is fully competent and
- (ii) the ESR is happy to recommend them for CCT once the remainder of their training time is completed
- The penultimate ARCP (in the Additional Comments section of the ARCP form) should similarly state that
- (i) the trainee is fully competent and
- (ii) the ARCP panel is happy to recommend them for CCT once the remainder of their training time is completed.
- During their time off…
- the trainee should be advised to continue to make some entries on their ePortfolio and gather evidence that they are (or remain) competent.
- However this cannot be mandated and can only happen with their consent. One would ‘carefully‘ (=mindful of employment law) make them aware that CCT could be delayed if they don’t engage.
- The final ESR should make reference to the penultimate ESR and the evidence after that date – hopefully indicating CCT recommendation.
- The final ARCP should make reference to the penultimate ARCP and the final ESR (in the Additional Comments section) as a basis for approving CCT recommendation.
It depends on the type of ARCP review it is .
- Transition Reviews
- Do a full thorough ARCP review looking at all the evidence within the last ST period – including all the MSFs, PSQs and CSRs.
- Make sure the trainee has done the minimum WPBA requirements
- Make sure the trainee is making good progress (log entries etc)
- Check that there are no big complaints.
- Progress Reviews – The panel will simply review the evidence collected for the period since you have been back. This judgement can be quite subjective – in essence, they are trying to determine…
- Whether you are making adequate progress
- Whether you have collated a reasonable amount of evidence during the time period you have been back and
- That there are no major complaints.
Expecting a trainee who has only been back for a month to have had six CBDs and six COTs done is unreasonable. But maybe having one or two of each isn’t. Having no log entries would be unacceptable but may be having around 4 or more would be satisfactory.
Please leave a comment
What do you think of this page? Is there anything we have missed? Anything inaccurate, errors or broken links? Anything you would have liked included? Or even ask a question to get a discussion going. Please leave a comment below and we’ll update the page. If you would prefer to email me or send me something to share with others, contact [email protected]