ARCP introduction

All doctors in training must undergo an Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP). The ARCP provides a formal process that reviews the evidence presented by the foundation doctor (FD) and their supervisors, relating to the FD’s progress in the training programme. It enables the FD, the postgraduate dean/deputy, and employers to document that the capabilities required are being gained at an appropriate rate and through appropriate experience. At the ARCP, the doctor’s e-portfolio is reviewed by an ARCP panel and the panel decide whether the doctor has completed all the requirements of the training programme for that year. More information in the Gold Guide: A Reference Guide for Postgraduate Foundation and Specialty Training in the UK.

The ARCP usually occurs at a regular time each year, which is usually around the time of a critical progression point when most doctors in the programme are due to move to the next grade. For the vast majority of FDs, the panel will convene in June. Where an FD has undertaken an extension or is working less than full time (LTFT), the panel will still conduct a review annually but a further panel will need to convene when the FD is approaching their next critical progression point.

The decision about whether or not an FD’s performance in each of the 13 Foundation Professional Capabilities (FPCs) has met or exceeded the minimum required standard will involve an overall judgement based on:

  • the ES end of year report,
  • a review of the other summative assessments, and
  • the contents of the e-portfolio presented to the ARCP panel.

The ARCP panel judgement will include review of any concerns that have been raised, submitted by the FD via ‘Form R’/’SOAR’ or equivalent, and the attendance record. Although the Foundation Programme is UK-wide, there are a small number of differences, based on the requirements of the devolved governments, which mean the criteria used for ARCP vary slightly between the four nations of the UK. FDs and educators should ensure they are familiar with these in good time to ensure FDs are fully prepared for the ARCP process.