MRCGP & GP Training

The Curriculum

What is the MRCGP Curriculum?

The RCGP curriculum sets out what’s required to practise as an independent General Practitioner in the UK NHS. It defines 

  1. the knowledge, 
  2. the skills and 
  3. the qualities (attitudes or values) expected of GPs.

The curriculum forms the foundation for GP training and assessment across the UK, and is relevant to GPs throughout their career, including preparation for revalidation.   

Am I meant to cover the whole of the curriculum before the end of training?

The curriculum is there to serve as a guide on the sorts of things that come up in General Practice.   Because of its vastness you are not expected to cover it all in the 3 year training period.  However, you should be able to cover most areas to some degree.     Use the curriculum to help you revise for your AKT – use the self assessment tool above to identify your deficient areas in order to strengthen them.

I get confused between the curriculum and the competencies

We understand the confusion – they both start with a C and they are both educational terms.  But they mean totally different things.   

  • The curriculum in simple terms is basically the set of subjects that make up a course of study in a school or college.  In other words, they are all the topics you are meant to know about during your GP training programme; the curriculum defines the knowledge, skills and attitudes associated with each topic.   An independent GP has to have some knowledge and skills and develop certain attitudes.  The curriculum will help you identify what is what.
  • Competencies are abilities or attributes, described in terms of behaviour, key to effective performance within a particular job.  They provide a common language for describing performance and the abilities/attributes displayed by individuals. Currently the RCGP defines 13 competencies.   Put another way, everything any competent GP does can be mapped out into one or more of these 13 broad areas (competencies).    Therefore, if by the end of training a trainee can demonstrate that they are good (i.e. competent) at all 13 areas, then it makes logical sense that they are also competent at being an independent GP.
During training, you have to pay attention to two things over the 3 years.  Cover the curriculum and build your knowledge, skills and attitudes.   And show evidence that you are competent in all the 13 professional competency areas.

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