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Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information for trainees

This page has up-to-date guidance and information for trainees in response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Letter from Professor Wendy Reid to all trainees, 25 March 2020

I am writing to provide reassurance around how HEE and NHS England and NHS Improvement are supporting doctors in training through the COVID-19 pandemic. These are exceptional times with unprecedented demands for frontline healthcare service delivery and we are grateful to all of you for your important and valued contribution during these challenging circumstances. Read the letter in full here.

Principles for all trainees across all four UK nations

The respective governments and health departments have been working to develop a UK-wide Coronavirus Action Plan and together with the four Chief Medical Officers have been in regular contact with the General Medical Council, Statutory Education Bodies (SEBs) and Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.

The four Statutory Education Bodies have been liaising closely to consider contingency arrangements for postgraduate medical education and training processes during this emergent phase of the COVID-19 outbreak and will continue to monitor and advise as required over the coming days and weeks.

The letter here sets out the agreed principles for all trainees across all four UK nations.

Academy of Medical Royal Colleges COVID-19 guidance

General Medical Council Coronavirus information and guidance

Guidance for Pre-reg Trainee Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians 

16 March 2020

Plans for Management of Medical Training Rotations

All planned rotations due to take place during the “delay phase” of COVID-19 will cease, with trainees being asked to stay in their present working environment, unless local arrangements allow otherwise, or wider clinical circumstances require it. Rotations may only occur where departmental inductions, appropriate supervision and support can be guaranteed. Download more information here.

Update on contingency plans for specialty recruitment 2 April 2020

Thank you for your patience whilst contingency plans have been put in place and approved. We are now in a position to confirm further details in this statement.


Covid-19 Specialty Recruitment Plans 30 March 2020

Following the cancellation of all face-to-face recruitment, contingency plans have been reviewed for all medical and surgical specialties by senior clinical representatives from across the four nations, and junior doctor representatives from the BMA JDC and AoMRC trainees’ committee, supported by the Medical and Dental Recruitment and Selection (MDRS) team. A number of general principles have been agreed to support the appointment of doctors to Medical training programmes, which will allow August 2020 start dates to be maintained. Read more here.


Medical Recruitment Update

We are keen that medical recruitment is disrupted no more than absolutely necessary and, as such, are urgently working will all Royal College recruitment teams to reschedule these recruitment events. A copy of the letter sent to trainees can be found here.

Postponement of General Practice National Recruitment

General practice national recruitment has been postponed. This includes the postponement of the MSRA at all global Pearson VUE and Pearson VUE third-party testing centres.

National efforts are underway to implement a revised recruitment timeline and delivering alternative methods of recruitment and selection processes during this current exceptional period; applicants will be advised of this in due course. 

Face to Face Specialty Recruitment Interviews CANCELLED

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and recent developments with regards to social distancing, a decision has been made to cancel all face to face specialty recruitment interviews with immediate effect. A letter has been sent directly to applicants, download the letter here.

Postponement of Dental Core SJT

In light of recent developments, a decision has been taken to postpone the Dental Core SJT at this time. Dental trainees have been informed directly, a copy of the email can be found here.

Intensive Care Medicine (ICM) National Recruitment 17-19 March 2020 POSTPONED

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic a decision has been made to cancel the ICM interviews being held between 17-19 March 2020, for admission to the Intensive Care Medicine Specialty Training Programme.

A letter has been issued to all applicants, download the letter here.

Interview event for Scientist Training Programme CANCELLED

Health Education England and the National School of Healthcare Science have made the decision to cancel the interview event for admission to the Scientist Training Programme.

A letter has been issued to all applicants, download the letter here.

Oncology recruitment 17 March 2020 cancelled

Due to dealing with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak the Oncology recruitment event planned for London on 17 March 2020 has had to be cancelled as medical colleagues focus on supporting front line services. We are sorry. HEE will be in contact with all candidates to rearrange as soon as possible if we have not already managed to contact you.

COPMED Guidance on managing revalidation arrangements for doctors in postgraduate training during the GMC’s 6-month deferral of revalidation recommendations 3 April 2020

To alleviate pressures on clinicians involved in dealing with the pandemic, the GMC is deferring all revalidation recommendations due between now and the end of September 2020 by 1 year. Read more here.

Healthcare Scientist update for trainees 27 March 2020

An update from the National School of Healthcare Scientists is available to view here.

Supporting pregnant trainees who are well to work and learn during the COVID-19 pandemic

We have been contacted by pregnant trainees who wish to support the NHS COVID-19 response and ongoing care needs whilst also ensuring their own protection. This guidance relates to the limitations on pregnant doctors working in front-line patient contact roles. It does not cover any other aspect of the care and support of pregnant employees. All normal employment rights and practices should continue.

Exams for doctors in training 

Statement from Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, COPMED and GMC 

National Supported Return to Training Guide

Guidance has been produced to help you through the SuppoRTT Process and signpost learning material during your return to training.

Contingency planning for ARCPs

As the four UK Statutory Education Bodies (HEE, NES, NIMDTA and HEIW) respond with the health systems to the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented demands placed on healthcare delivery, the Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) assessments will be adapted to ensure patient care remains a primary focus. Read more here.

Temporary suspension of Penultimate Year Assessment process

Download letter requesting PYA processes supported and co-delivered by the JRCPTB are temporarily suspended.

Statement on Psychiatry Specialty Trainees

Statement on postponed pre-registration pharmacist examinations

Joint statement from Health Education England, NHS Education for Scotland and Health Education and Improvement Wales - about the postponement of both the June and September 2020 pre-registration pharmacist examinations.

Secondments to the NHS from academic work

In response to the need for significantly more experienced clinicians to be available to the NHS over the next few months. We have written to medical academic trainees and medical trainees to ask if they would agree to be seconded back to the NHS from their academic work. The letter can be found here.

Update on dental recruitment

We are keen that dental recruitment is disrupted no more than absolutely necessary and, as such, are urgently working with all recruitment teams to reschedule these recruitment events. This joint statement provides more information.


Joint statement on arrangements for dental and dental care professional students and recent graduates, while restrictions are in place to control the spread of COVID-19

The restrictions now in place across the UK to control the spread of COVID-19 mean that clinical teaching, lectures, tutorials and final exams for students can no longer take place in the normal way. This statement is primarily for dental and dental care professional students and those in training posts in the UK, who are understandably concerned about completing their studies or training.

A new page has been set up with frequently asked questions for trainees, we will continue to update this page regularly - please come back to keep updated.