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:

  • at the start of the pandemic, medical royal colleges cancelled all exams. We have been working hard to make sure that these can get back up and running as soon as possible to support all trainees to progress
  • trainees will not be disadvantaged for missing exams due to circumstances out of their control that relate to coronavirus. Payments will carry over or be refunded, and progression won’t be automatically halted
  • we’ve worked with the medical royal colleges and faculties and doctors in training to develop guidance to enable exams to run safely during the pandemic while maintaining standards
  • 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 training. This explains the alternative assessments in place for ST3s nearing completion of their training.

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: