ARCPs. An insider’s view

This week I had the opportunity to sit on an ARCP panel. We conducted three paper reviews and three face-to-face reviews. I obviously won’t give any specific details away, but I have learned several things that others might benefit from reading about. 

1. Being a dual ICM trainee is really complicated!

Matching up two training schemes is no easy task for the Training Programme Director. Each trainee is considered individually and given a rotational programme to suit their needs. 

Dual trainees must have an ARCP in each of their specialties every year. In Wessex, it has been agreed that the school for a trainees current post will undertake this face-to-face, whilst the other will conduct a paper-review. 

For example, if a dual ICM/Anaesthesia trainee is posted to anaesthesia for their ‘Special Skills’ year,  then the School Board for Anaesthesia will invite them for a face-to-face whilst the School Board for ICM will conduct a paper-based review. 

Importantly, this means two ARCPs, reviewing both portfolios, every year. Don’t get complacent. Dual trainees must maintain both portfolios. 

2. Maintain both e-Portfolios

The final line in point one is so important it’s worth its own mention. Again, dual trainees must keep both e-Portfolios comprehensively complete. Relevant evidence can be duplicated but they must be stored in each e-Portfolio. 

Whilst some Deaneries have said a statement signed by an Educational Supervisor is sufficient, and duplication of the evidence is not necessary, this is not supported by the School Board here in Wessex.  

3. Use a sensible filing system

The ARCP panel will be looking through your evidence in your portfolio. They will be doing this with reference to the FICM ARCP Decision said (see below). File your uploaded evidence in a sensible way to help them. Perhaps use folder structures according to stage of training then ARCP year, rather than topic (like Governance, Research, Teaching). 

Further more, the panel will be looking for dates. When did you conduct that teaching? When did you complete that audit? The dates in the portfolio record when you uploaded the evidence. Consider naming the files including the date of