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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).

Guidance for trainees who are shielding - 17 July 2020

Guidance for managing postgraduate medical trainees who are shielded due to COVID-19 can be viewed here.


Letters and statements

Letter and ARCP update from the four Statutory Education Bodies to all trainees, 3 June 2020

Trainee progression in August 2020 and beyond - a letter from the four Statutory Education Bodies to Medical Royal Colleges, 6 May 2020

Letter and ARCP update from the four Statutory Education Bodies to all trainees, 7 April 2020

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

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


Medical rotations to re-start this summer - 15 May 2020

Planned rotations were cancelled for May, June and July as a result of COVID-19. All trainees in Foundation and Core posts will rotate as usual at the start of August. Read more here.


Plans for Management of Medical Training Rotations  8 April 2020

Postgraduate medical trainees continue to provide a significant contribution to service and are an essential part of plans to support the response to COVID-19. Therefore, it has been agreed to cease all planned rotations in May, June and July. Download the letter here.

Plans for Management of Medical Training Rotations 16 March 2020

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.

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.

ARCP webinar

On 3 June, we hosted a webinar for medical trainees on ARCPs. The recording of the webinar is now available on the HEE YouTube channel.


ARCP process guidance documents - Guide for Local Offices, Heads of School and Training Programme Directors - 23 June 2020

This paper outlines possible options and alternatives for supporting trainees’ attainment of competences to meet curriculum requirements. The options described help with managing extensions/additional training time (ATT) and recognise the pressure on faculty capacity resulting from the impact of Covid 19.

This guidance document has been produced to instruct Training Programme Directors on providing post-ARCP feedback during the exceptional derogation from the Gold Guide due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes generic guidance and specific information on providing feedback fortrainees who receivean Outcome 10.1 or 10.2.

Letter to HEE Deans on Further Guidance

Letter to AoMRC asking for assistance and questions


Guidance to Training Programme Directors on giving post-ARCP feedback to trainees - 23 June 2020

This guidance document has been produced to instruct Training Programme Directors on providing post-ARCP feedback during the exceptional derogation from the Gold Guide due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes generic guidance and specific information on providing feedback for trainees who receive an Outcome 10.1 or 10.2.


Flexibility in the Medical Training Pathway – COVID-19 Interventions

We are committed to supporting trainees during and post COVID-19, by ensuring mechanisms are in place to support trainee’s wellbeing and educational provision.  As a result, we are providing an enhanced, specific flexibility offer. Find out more here.


Managing extensions to training  - 18 June 2020

Guidance and principles for managing extensions to training during Covid-19


Annual Review of Competency Progression  - Updated 4 June 2020

Guidance and FAQs on ARCPs for specialty trainees:

- Guidance for trainees and HEE PGME local teams (updated 4 June)

- Frequently asked questions (updated 15 May)

- Appeals process

- Self-declaration for the Revalidation of Doctors in Training - for information, actual form will be available alongside your Form R. Download the file to your desktop to view. 

Guidance on ARCPs for Foundation trainees:

- Guidance for foundation trainees

ARCP Outcomes Operational Guide


ARCPs during Covid-19 - 22 May 2020

This video presentation by Professor Jane Mamelok, provides detail on undertaking ARCPs during Covid-19, including how to use and apply outcome 10.


Deferrals Policy, for Specialty training only - 15 May 2020

Deferring the commencement date for specialty training programmes is generally only permitted for statutory reasons (e.g. maternity leave, sick leave, paternity leave).  With the Covid-19 pandemic, there are likely to be a number of successful applicants who are unable to commence training on the advertised start date, for a number of non-statutory reasons. Read more here.


Latest update on GP specialty training: letter about plans for increased support - 6 May 2020

This letter for trainees updates them on our plans to increase support for them. 


Update for trainees in their final year of GP specialty training - 6 May 2020

This letter provides an update on the solutions we have identified to address the current issues for trainees in their final year of GP specialty training

GP Training update - 29 April 2020

This letter provides an update for GP trainees on our efforts to address the current issues for trainees in their final year of GP specialty training.


Additional ARCP guidance materials - 28 April 2020

New ARCP guidance materials will be available from 1 May, this letter explains more.


Accrediting trainee experience during the current crisis - 24 April 2020

During the current situation, many trainees will have been redeployed to a different working environment to that which they were expecting during their training or have returned to clinical practice having been out-of-programme. Guidance for Trainees and Faculty.


Guidance for GP ST3s working additional overtime hours in an out of hours setting - 23 April 2020

We have received several queries in relation to whether GP ST3s are now able to work additional overtime hours in an out of hours (OOH) setting, their own training practice, or in other settings such as CCG hot hubs or for the 111 service, whilst adhering to the both the terms of their training programme and the terms upon which they are included as a ‘Registrar’ in the national performers list. A template letter sent to trainees and trainers can be found here.


Guidance on Supervision/Support for GP Trainees in GP Placements During the Covid-19 Emergency - 23 April 2020

Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on service pressures in primary care, the normal split of the GPST working week into 7 clinical and 3 educational sessions has been suspended. Currently all 10 sessions can be allocated to clinical work, subject to the guidance here.


Supporting the COVID-19 Response: Enabling Progression at ARCP - 20 April 2020:

To enable as many trainees to progress to the next stage in their training as possible, a number of changes have been introduced for ARCPs which are scheduled to take place before August 2020. Find out more about these changes here. 

Two further documents (ARCP Decision aid and Coding for ARCP) can be accessed on the COPMeD website


For Foundation Interim year 1 doctors being employed in Trusts, HEE proposes the following support arrangements - 9 April 2020:

- The employing Trust will pay the salary, NI and pension cost of these doctors, and reclaim that from government using the COVID 19 budget code now set up for the NHS. Employing Trusts should  endeavour to minimise COVID 19 costs by offsetting against any unutilised undergraduate medical placement tariff funding.

- HEE local teams will provide any information and advice which Trusts need to record these costs against the COVID budget code

- Where these doctors are backfilling existing Foundation year 1 training posts, supervision will already be in place

- Where any new, temporary Foundation Interim year 1 post is created in a Trust, the HEE local team should be notified in advance, and HEE will make a one off payment of £2,000 to the Trust to cover any additional supervision costs associated with that post.


Guidance on Management of Less Than Full Time Trainees - 9 April 2020

Updated guidance on principles to facilitate LTFT trainees into frontline service.


Guidance on facilitating the return of trainees on flexible training pathways - 9 April 2020

Updated guidance to support trainees on flexible training pathways, many want to return or have returned to the frontline.


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.


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.

Supporting the response to COVID-19: Professional Indemnity - Explanatory Note 29 - April 2020

An explanatory note on the latest guidance from NHS Resolution (NHSR) on the professional indemnity arrangements in place for staff supporting the COVID-19 outbreak.


An approach to deploying trainees unable work in a COVID-19 facing service - 24 April 2020

This paper outlines initial thoughts to identify and re-deploy those trainees that are currently unable to participate in patient care related to COVID-19 infection to other areas of the system.


Guidance for postgraduate medical and dental trainees – redeployment to NHS Nightingale Hospitals, 14 April 2020

To support the response to COVID 19 and as NHS Nightingale Hospitals become operational, it is anticipated that there may be requests for medical and dental trainees to be redeployed to NHS Nightingale Hospitals.  Principles for trainees redeployed to a Nightingale Hospital.


Guidance for Acting up as a Consultant (AUC) during Covid-19 8 April 2020

This paper is for: Trainees, Training Programme Directors, Heads of School, Medical Staffing and Directors of Medical Education.


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.

Dental Specialty Advisory Committee Decision Aids (published 16 July 2020)

-   Dental & Maxillofacial Radiology 1) ADS SAC Guide to COVID ARCP Outcomes for Dental & Maxillofacial Radiology  2) Information to DMFR Trainees in relation to ARCPs Oct 2020 

-   Dental Public Health Dental Public Health Specialty Advisory Committee Decision Aid

-   Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Decision Aid

-   Oral Medicine Oral Medicine SAC Decision Aid

-   Oral Surgery Oral Surgery SAC Decision Aid

-   Orthodontics ARCP Guidance for Orthodontic Specialty Trainees 2020 and Appendix 1 Decision Aid for COVID Outcomes and Outcome 6

-   Paediatric Dentistry Paediatric Dentistry Decision Aid 1, Decision Aid 2 and Training Disruption Notification Form

-   Restorative Dentistry Restorative Dentistry Decision Aid

-   Special Care Dentistry Special Care Dentistry Decision Aid

-   COVID 19 Training Disruption Notification Form (published 16 July 2020) Training Disruption Notification Form


Dental Foundation Training in England - Guidance on the Management of RCP Outcome 6C

The purpose of this Guidance is to implement a process to support current Foundation Dentists in England whose placement has been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.RCP Outcome 6C is designed to enable dentists to gain further experience in any competencies not fully demonstrated during Dental Foundation Training in a supported manner, whilst working in the NHS General or Personal Dental Services (GDS or PDS) or in Dental Core Training.


Annual Review of Competency Progression  - 15 May 2020

Guidance and FAQs on ARCPs for dental trainees:

ARCP Guidance for Dental Specialty Trainees

- Outcome 10 Supplementary Codes

Appeals process


Final Review of Competency Progression for Dental Core Training - 5 May 2020

Guidance and associated annexes regarding competency progression for Dental Core Training can be found below:

Guidance document

Annex A: Structured Educational Supervisor's report

Annex B: Outcome 10 Coding

Annex C: DCT FRCP Checklist

More information on the COPDEND website.


Contingency planning for ARCPs/RCPs for Dental Trainees – 24 April 2020

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 assessments will be adapted to ensure patient care remains a primary focus. Read more here from COPDEND.


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 updated* 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.


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.

*statement updated on Monday 20 April 2020

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.