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What is the ARCP?

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The Annual Review of Competence Progression is the process all Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs) use to confirm that GP Trainees undertaking specialist training are progressing satisfactorily: specifically that trainees are developing the expected competencies and skills at the expected rate and that the required evidence to support progression is present. The guidelines for the ARCP proccess are laid down in the Gold Guide.

An ARCP panel will review the ePortfolio evidence and together decide which outcome is appropriate for each Trainee for their current stage of training. The panel literally reviews the progress of the Trainee in obtaining the skills required to become a fully competent independent General Practitioner. For a panel to be able to review a Trainee, there needs to be a recent Educational Supervisor's Report (ESR) present on the ePortfolio. An ESR should be completed every six calendar months and an ARCP review every 12 calendar months, regardless of whether a Trainee is out of programme, on maternity leave, or on sick leave. The panel will also review the quanitity and quality of learning log entries, the Workplace Based Assessments (WPBA) as well as the PDP, Audit and Significant Event entries.

The reviews occur regularly and continuously like a metronome and aim to produce a comprehensive training record which ultimately the RCGP use as evidence, enabling the Trainee to be issued with their Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT). The Trainee’s evidence, the Educational Supervisors' reports and the Deanery ARCP Panel reports are all stored in one central place; the ePortfolio database. The RCGP will be using only the information stored in the ePortfolio to decide on whether the Trainee can be issued with a CCT.

It is the Trainee’s responsibility to make sure that all the necessary data is collected in a timely fashion and that it is correct.

Who sits on a Panel?

  • A minimum of three clinicians who have been involved in GP education within the last two years.
  • A lay advisor to represent the public to ensure the panel process is satisfactory and that the panel decisions are fair for the trainee and the public.
  • A RCGP representative will usually attend the main summer panels as an external adviser to oversee the process to ensure the panels are meeting their quality standards.


The Panel process

Before the Panel meets we check every ePortfolio coming up for review to make sure that it meets minimum quality standards. We then scrutinize some of these ePortfolios in more depth:

  • Those where the Educational Supervisor has made a “Panel Opinion Requested’ or an ‘Unsatisfactory Progress” recommendation.
  • Those where the pre-check identifies any problems with the ePortfolio. (for example a trainee may be rated as meeting "Satisfactory Progress" by their supervisor, but may be missing evidence of out of hours work and other WPBAs).
  • A random sample of 10-20% of the rest to look at standards and provide a focus for future feedback to trainers/trainees.

If a trainee is issued an unsatisfactory outcome they will be invited to attend a follow up meeting where the ARCP panel will discuss the outcome and outline the reasons why it was given and also their recommendations for progression. The Trainee will then be reviewed in six months time.

For more information about the panel and assessment process please refer to the Gold Guide:


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