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Reviewing the annual review of competence progression process

Junior doctors are a vital part of the NHS family, playing a key role in the delivery of much needed healthcare to patients up and down the country. As part of a wider package of measures and initiatives to improve the experience of doctors in training and improve their working lives, it is important that we support them in fulfilling their career goals.

To do this, we are taking forward a review of the annual review of competence progression process (ARCP) to make it simpler, less stressful and more supportive of the aspirations of individual doctors.

This review will aim to improve opportunities to support career progression on the basis of competency, add value to the experience gained outside formal training programmes and introduce more flexibility. It will also consider how the NHS can support the career aspirations of doctors not in formal training programmes.


Our work will include:

  • ‘appraisal approach’ and ‘assessment methodology’, which will seek to develop a more reflective, developmental approach to appraisal and a clear, consistent, efficient and well-understood approach to assessment.
  • ‘individualised training pathways’, will explore the barriers and opportunities to achieving greater flexibility within training pathways.
  • ‘wider workforce’, considering whether part of the process could be applied for our wider workforce e.g. advanced roles supporting medical and multi-disciplinary teams.
  • ‘resources and feasibility’, looking at the support infrastructure and the practical, logistical and financial impact of any changes proposed.

Enabling workstreams will also look at:

  • the UK and regulatory perspective, to consider any issues that may require four nations discussions and to engage and raise awareness amongst UK and regulatory partners
  • learner involvement and engagement to uphold the very strong principle of ‘no decision about me, without me’ and to ensure trainees and wider students can contribute fully to the process
  • patient and public engagement, ensuring we put patients and the public at the heart of designing, developing and delivering all aspects of education and training.

The ARCP review presents us with a fantastic opportunity to revolutionise the way we assure competence and recognise excellence. We want it to be a transformational enabler that unlocks opportunities across the wider workforce.

This review will begin will  in January 2017 and run for a year, aiming to culminate with a formal report with recommendations for change in 2018.


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