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Scotland Deanery

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Trainer information

Key Principles


1. The Scotland Deanery ARCP process is based on the recommendations of the:

  • Gold Guide (Reference Guide for Postgraduate Specialty Training in the UK: 8th edition, 2020)

2. The Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) usually takes place once per year (for all trainees, including LTFT), and with a maximum interval of 15 months to facilitate revalidation. The Gold Guide allows for more than one ARCP within a 12-month period if required (GG 4.39).

3. The ARCP process is comprised of 2 parts:

  • ARCP (Desktop review by ARCP panel, trainee not in attendance)
  • Face-to-face meetings (trainee in attendance): for unsatisfactory outcomes (2, 3, 4) a COVID ARCP Outcome (10.2), or for LATS only an ARCP Outcome (7.3, 7.4) and some satisfactory outcomes (1 or 6 for specialties with specific way points, e.g. PYA).

4. The ARCP (desktop review) is a review of the documented and submitted evidence that is presented by the trainee and as such the trainee should not attend the panel. (GG 4.81)

5. The trainee meeting provides an opportunity for the panel, or a small number of senior educators, to meet with the trainee and discuss their outcome in full, and provide support and direction for the trainee going forward.

6. The ARCP process does not require that all trainees are met with on a face-to-face basis, however, some programme directors find there is benefit in meeting with all their trainees on an annual basis. Educational review meetings of this sort can be arranged; however these are separate to the ARCP process.

7. The deanery has created standard emails and documentation for the ARCP process. There should not be any requirement for standard documentation/emails to be amended unless there are unique/exceptional circumstances. Links to derogated College decision aids are available on the Scotland Deanery website, further/different evidence requirements should not be added to standard documentation/emails.

8. The deanery has agreed that for ARCP, all trainees are required to submit their evidence at least two weeks before the date of the desk-top review. The deanery expects a level of professionalism from all trainees and educational supervisors in this respect and requires trainees to work towards and meet this submission date. Failure to do so will result in the issue of an outcome 5, unless exceptional circumstances apply, e.g. bereavement or illness of trainee/educational supervisor. Exceptional circumstances must be declared before/on the submission date and will not be taken into account following that date.

9. Where a single outcome 5 is issued, it is viewed as a neutral outcome, or ‘holding response’, it is not an unsatisfactory outcome in the same way that an outcome 2, 3 or 4 is considered; although repeated outcome 5s can point towards a lack of engagement from a trainee which should raise concern.  In all cases, a follow up outcome will be issued once all evidence has been submitted/reviewed.

10. The deanery has devised a flowchart for the management of outcome 5s which aims to cover the most common circumstances. If panels or TM administrator is unsure how to proceed in relation to an outcome 5 they should consult with a senior member of TM staff. Arrangements will be in place to ensure access to a senior member of TM staff during ARCPs.

This page was last updated on: 14.04.2021 at 09.02