Information for trainees

Like all doctors, trainees have been asked to work flexibly during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This could mean carrying out alternative tasks or working in different clinical contexts.

We’ve worked with your postgraduate deans* to develop guiding principles for those involved in your training. We’re all committed to making sure the pandemic does not compromise your long-term training needs. Patient safety must remain the primary focus, while enabling as many trainees as possible to progress in their training at the normal rate and supporting the health services.

The principles include that:

  • you shouldn’t be asked to carry out any activities beyond your level of competence
  • you should receive appropriate induction and supervision if you’re moved to a different clinical area
  • your Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) should account for disruption to your training caused by coronavirus.

Read the full joint statement on medical education and training

Exams for doctors in training

We understand you may have concerns about postgraduate exams scheduled this year. We’re working with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans, and the four UK governments and health services to support you, while making sure we maintain standards and patient safety.

Following advice by the UK government:

  • Colleges have decided to cancel all exams.
  • Trainees will not be disadvantaged for missing exams due to circumstances out of their control that relate to coronavirus. Payments will carry over to next spring or be refunded, and progression won’t be automatically halted.
  • We’ve worked with the Royal College of GPs and postgraduate deans to address the issues for trainees in their final year of GP specialty trainingThis explains the proposed alternative ways ST3s can aim to complete their training this summer. 
  • We’re continuing to discuss options for those due to sit an exit exam required for CCT. We’ll provide further advice on this soon.

Read the full statement on exams for doctors in training 

Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP)

We recognise that it may be challenging for trainees to meet the competencies or prepare for and provide evidence for ARCP. We’ve worked with postgraduate deans, medical royal colleges and faculties to support you by:

Rotations scheduled for 2020

All postgraduate training rotations due to take place from April to July 2020 have been paused. This would have involved over 20,000 trainees moving to new workplace settings at an already pressurised time for healthcare services.

Health Education England and NHS Education for Scotland have confirmed that their postgraduate training rotations are taking place in August 2020. We’ll continue to keep you updated on the latest information for training across the UK.