ARCP FAQs

What is an ARCP?

All doctors in training must undergo an Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP). This 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. At the ARCP, the doctor’s 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. For foundation, most ARCPs take place in June. More information in the Gold Guide: A Reference Guide for Postgraduate Foundation and Specialty Training in the UK.

I am working LTFT/have been on maternity leave/OOP – do I need an ARCP?

Yes, all doctors in the programme must undergo ARCP in June/July and when they are due to complete their grade of training. A further panel will be convened when you reach the next critical progression point to allow you to progress.

How do I prepare for the ARCP?

You need to ensure all the relevant evidence is in your e-portfolio. This includes evidence against curriculum requirements, supervisor reports and TAB. A full list (the ‘ARCP checklist’) is on our ARCP page (which is extracted from the curriculum, pages 49 and 50). If you think you have a gap in the required evidence, you should speak to your CS or ES.

More information can be found in the ‘Rough Guide’, which is on our Curriculum page under “The curriculum” heading.

How do I know there is enough evidence for each FPC?

As stated in the curriculum, to satisfy the ARCP panel you must have adequate evidence to show that you have demonstrated each of the Foundation Programme Capabilities (FPCs). For HLO 1, which covers clinical skills, you need evidence that you have done something to demonstrate each capability in the workplace, such as a mini-CEX or DOPS. This can be supported by evidence of demonstrating capabilities in simulation and by evidence of knowledge such as a CBD or online/f2f learning.

There is no specific number of pieces of evidence although your e-portfolio will allow up to ten pieces of evidence for each FPC. You can explain your choice of evidence in the summary narrative for each HLO. Remember, you need to demonstrate capabilities in managing mental as well as physical health.

For HLOs 2 and 3, much of the evidence will come from TAB, reflection, clinical supervisor reports and the portfolio itself although you should consider using SLEs too including the LEADER tool and Developing the Clinical Teacher (DCT). Again, you should explain your choice of evidence using the summary narrative.

If you are unsure, you should ask your ES for advice.

Do I need to pass an ALS course?

No. There are no specific course requirements. An ALS course is a very good way to show evidence of many of the capabilities in FPC2 but you will need to underpin this with evidence of dealing with acute mental health issues and with evidence of caring for the sick patient in the workplace.

My last TAB was incomplete/unsatisfactory – do I need to repeat it?

Yes. You should invite the appropriate raters in your current placement using the e-portfolio. If you are unsure how to do this, speak to the foundation administrator at your main trust/hospital or contact your ES.

My supervisor from a previous placement has not completed the CSR – what should I do?

You should arrange a meeting with them and, if this proves difficult, you should contact your ES and/or the foundation admin team at your main trust/hospital.

Do I need to organise a PSG report?

You need at least one satisfactory PSG report at each level of training (F1 and F2).  Your clinical supervisors are responsible for collecting responses from the placement supervision group. If you do not have a formal PSG report in your portfolio you should speak to your current CS and/or your ES.

When do I need to be ready for my ARCP?

Most foundation ARCPs are done in June. This allows the results to be ready in plenty of time for F1s to obtain full registration and to ensure results are available prior to starting specialty training for F2s. You will need to ensure you portfolio is complete by the end of May.

What if I do not provide enough evidence?

If the panel thinks you have probably reached the required standard but feel there are gaps in the evidence you have provided, you will most likely be awarded an outcome 5 and given two weeks to provide the evidence that is missing.

If the panel thinks you have not met the required standard, you will be awarded an outcome 3 or 4. (See ‘What will happen at ARCP?’ below).

What is an ARCP panel?

The panel usually consists of two clinicians and one administrator. The chair of the panel is usually an FTPD or FSD. The other clinician is usually an ES or FTPD. The administrator is usually one of the foundation team.

What will happen at the ARCP?

The panel will review your portfolio and decide if there is enough evidence to support your progression to the next stage of training/continue in training. After reviewing your portfolio, they will issue an ‘outcome’. The commonest outcomes are: 1 for progression to F2, 6 for completion of F2. Other commonly used outcomes are: 5 if more evidence is required, 3 for more time required in training. If you are awarded an outcome 4 you will be asked to leave the training programme.

Do I need to attend the ARCP?

No, ARCPs are carried out without the trainee present. The panel will review your e-portfolio and any other notable records (for example, absence records, if applicable), so it is especially important that you provide all the necessary information and evidence in your e-portfolio. If the panel awards an outcome 3 or 4 you will be asked to attend after the panel has met and the decision explained to you. This meeting may occur remotely.

Can I appeal the outcome of an ARCP?

If you have received an outcome 3 or 4 and you feel the panel have not followed the correct process in deciding your outcome, you have the right to appeal in writing to the PG dean within 10 working days.