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Annual Review of Competence Progression

The Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) is a formal review of a trainee's progress towards completing the PMST programme and eligibility for entry on to the GMC's specialist register for pharmaceutical medicine.

Trainees must participate in the ARCP each year. The ARCP process is important for the trainee to gain specialist certification and  to revalidate as fit to practise.

The ARCP process is conducted by a panel under the authority of the Postgraduate Dean for the Pharmaceutical Medicine Deanery.

The panel will review the trainee’s e-portfolio and the Educational Supervisor’s assessment of the trainee’s progress. The panel will, based on these sources of information, issue an appropriate ARCP outcome indicating either satisfactory or unsatisfactory progress in training.

The  panel also advises the Postgraduate Dean in her capacity as Responsible Officer for the Deanery on any concerns about a trainee’s fitness to practise.

ARCPs during the Covid-19 pandemic

Following the introduction of legal restrictions on the movement and gathering of people to delay the spread of Covid-19, we will change how we manage trainees’ ARCPs.

From May 2020, our ARCP process will be split into two parts – Part A and Part B.

The ARCP panel will hold a ‘Part A’ meeting by web-conference to agree the ARCP outcomes of the trainees under review. The web-conference and the decisions made at the meeting will be in the absence of the trainees. This is in keeping with the expectations in the Gold Guide.

The ‘Part B’ meetings, which will also be conducted by web-conference, will be between the panel and the trainees who were issued an unsatisfactory ARCP outcome. Some trainees who were anticipated to receive an unsatisfactory outcome will already have been scheduled to join this meeting. Other trainees who will be required to join a ‘Part B’ meeting include:

– Trainees with their first ARCP
– Trainees who are out of programme career break (OOPC)

This list is not exhaustive. Trainees who do not fall in one of these groups may still be required to join a ‘Part B’ meeting with the panel.

Trainees must continue to engage with their training programme and prepare for their ARCPs as normal. They must continue to:

– collect evidence of their curriculum competencies
– write their reflections
– undertake multi-source feedback (MSF) if in their second (ST4) or final (ST6) year of training
– complete their workplace-based assessments, and
– self-declare their fitness to practise annually

Trainees will also be required to complete the ‘Trainee self-assessment and declaration for use in ARCPs during Covid-19 pandemic’ form.

If you have any questions about your ARCP, please contact FPM’s Specialty Training Manager.

FAQs on ARCPs during the Covid-19 pandemic

Yes we will.

However, following 1) the introduction of legal restrictions on the movement and gathering of people to delay the spread of Covid-19 and 2) the publication of national guidance on the management of specialty training, we will be conducting all our ARCP sessions by web-conference.

We will only require the following trainees to join a web-conference with the ARCP panel to discuss their progress on the PMST programme or resumption of training:

– Trainees attending their first ARCP

– Trainees out of programme career break (OOPC)

– Trainees who have been issued an unsatisfactory ARCP outcome

This list is not exhaustive and trainees who do not fall into one of these groups might still be called to join a web-conference if the panel has concerns about their training.

ARCP Outcomes

The ARCP panel can issue a trainee one of the outcomes listed below. Please read the 'Reference Guide for Postgraduate Specialty Training in the UK' (the Gold Guide) for explanations of what each outcome means.

Satisfactory progress – achieving progress and the development of competences at the expected rate.

ARCP requirements

The trainee must:

a) link their evidence to the module items

b) complete five to 10 workplace-based assessments for each module, using the full range of assessments

c) reflect on their evidence at module item level (i.e. explain how their evidence demonstrates their achievement of the curriculum competencies)

d) have met the rate of progression according to the ARCP decision aid for their year of training

e) rate as “Achieved” completed module items

f) undertake MSF (only required in ST4 and ST6) with at least 12 responses

g) complete the self-declaration for revalidation – the Form R Part B

h) complete, if necessary, a Wider Scope of Practice Form if they do other work as a registered medical practitioner outside of their pharmaceutical medicine post for training

i) complete the ‘Trainee self-assessment and declaration for use in ARCPs during Covid-19 pandemic’ form, and

j) upload a copy of their GMC national training survey completion code to the e-portfolio personal library.

The Educational Supervisor must:

a) rate as “Achieved” completed module items

b) complete the ‘Pharmaceutical Medicine Supervisor’s Report’

c) complete the ‘Pharmaceutical Medicine Annual Appraisal’

d) validate the trainee’s ‘Trainee self-assessment and declaration for use in ARCPs during Covid-19 pandemic’ form

e) raise any concerns about the trainee’s fitness to practise in either of their supervisor’s report or annual appraisal

f) release the MSF summary report after the trainee has received at least 12 responses

g) raise and record any concerns that are reported in the MSF summary report, and

h) discuss the results of the MSF summary report with the trainee and record this discussion in either the supervisor’s report or annual appraisal form.

Further information

For the regulations that govern the ARCP process please download the current edition of ‘A Reference Guide for Postgraduate Foundation and Specialty Training in the UK’ (‘Gold Guide’).

Health Education England completed a year-long review of the ARCP process and has published an ARCP guide for trainees and posted a short video on the ARCP process.