Changes to support trainees continue into 2021

To ease pressure on doctors in training, we’re keeping changes that enable progression and minimise disruption during the pandemic.

Given the continuing huge challenges that professionals face, the currently agreed more flexible arrangements and derogations will continue until at least September 2021.

This includes retaining:
• The revised process for doctors completing an Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP)
• The amended process for ARCP appeals
• Derogations from the Gold Guide to permit the award of Outcome 10s
• GMC-approved curriculum derogations

Changes to the ARCP process (including amendments to panel composition, use of decision aids, curriculum and Gold Guide derogations, and arrangement of ARCP appeals), were introduced following the UK’s first major Covid-19 outbreak, in April 2020.

We’re extremely grateful to the trainees, trainers, panel members and administrative staff who ensured the smooth running of ARCPs over the summer. The majority of trainees were awarded standard outcomes but appropriate use was made of the new ‘no fault’ Outcome 10s.

This year has stretched us all to our limits, so while we hope these derogations offer some assurance to trainees about their progression, we know it is not the only concern they have.

We would urge trainees not to underestimate the importance of their own health and wellbeing and to seek help if they need it. Links to a range of resources and support services can be found on the following websites :

• HEE – https://www.hee.nhs.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/wellbeing
• NES – https://www.scotlanddeanery.nhs.scot/trainee-information/support-for-trainees/professional-support/
• HEIW https://heiw.nhs.wales/covid-19/health-and-wellbeing-resources/
• NIMDTA – https://www.nimdta.gov.uk/professional-support/mgt-of-trainees-req-support/
• GMC - https://www.gmc-uk.org/news/coronavirus/coronavirus-wellbeing-resources-for-doctors

We’ll keep monitoring the impact of the pandemic on training by working with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the GMC, to make sure these changes continue to offer the best possible support, whilst maintaining the outstanding reputation and standards for UK medical education.

Professor Adrian Brooke, Deputy Medical Director (Workforce Alignment), Health Education England

Dr Ian Steele Acting Postgraduate Dean, Northern Ireland Medical & Dental Training Agency

Professor Colin Melville Medical Director and Director, Education and Standards, GMC

Professor Pushpinder Mangat Medical Director, Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW)

Professor Rowan Parks Acting Medical Director, NHS Education for Scotland (NES)