Before training starts
The Wessex GP Programme team will send details of ST1 placements to new starters and programme lead employers no later than 12 weeks before the expected start date of training. In addition to this a Conditional Offer Letter will be sent no later than two months before the training programme start date. This letter includes important documents that applicants must complete to register onto the GP training programme so that the National Training Number (NTN) can be issued.
New starters to the GP training programme will then be able to register with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) as an Associate in Training (AiT) to set up their trainee Portfolio.
The GP Doctors in Training Portfolio
The GP portfolio for Doctors in Training (DiTs) is built on the Fourteen Fish platform. Detailed information about the system can be found on the RCGP website.
New starters to the training programme should register as an AiT at least four weeks before the expected start date of training so that their trainee Portfolio can be fully set up in time for inductions at the start of training.
Medical Performers List
Doctors are required to be included in the English Medical Performers List to work independently in NHS general medical practice in England. The regulations have been amended during the Covid-19 pandemic, and GP doctors in training are not required to be on the Performers list, and only need to take action to join at the end of their training programme as outlined below.
GP Doctors in Training need to apply at the right time, applying too early will cause additional unnecessary administration for the doctor and supporting teams with who we closely work.
It is anticipated that upcoming changes to the Regulations will make this permanent, so this advice applies until further notice:
For GP ST1 and ST2 Doctors in Training:
Please do not apply to the Performers List at this stage. Due to the Covid-19 amendment to the Performers List Regulations, GPRs are not required to be on the Performers List whilst in training. Whilst this is a temporary amendment, it is anticipated that upcoming changes to the Regulations will make this permanent.
For GP ST3 Doctors in Training:
GP ST3 Doctors in Training may already have their name included on the List as arrangements may previously have been made for your inclusion either before you started training or whilst you were in training, prior to the Pandemic rules. You can check if your name is already on the Performers List here Search – Performers List for England.
GP ST3 Doctors in Training who are not already included on the Performers List will need to make an application to join it, but not before they are within 6 calendar months of their anticipated CCT date.
ST3 Doctors in Training only should submit an application to join the Performers List no later than 3 months prior to CCT.
GP ST3 Doctors in Training should only complete an application between 6 and 3 months before their expected CCT date. If the application is started too late, it may result in the doctor not being able to work immediately as an independent qualified GP.
The PCSE Online application form can be started here PCSS: Login (england.nhs.uk) An application user guide, including information on how to register for an account and a list of documentation to upload as part of the application process, can be found here Performer List Applicant Guide (adobe.com)
It is essential that Doctors in Training apply to the Performers List as a GP Registrar and not as a GP Performer. This information is captured in the Capacity section of the application form. Select Medical and then GP Registrar.
The completed application will be considered by the regional NHS England Performers List team and, once accepted, the Doctor in Training will appear on the Performers List as a GP Registrar. A Doctor in Training can change their Performers List status after qualification, as described below.
For all newly qualified GPs:
Once a Doctor in Training has their CCT they are required to log into PCSE Online and change their status to GP Performer. Further details of now to do this can be found here: General enquiries – Primary Care Support England
This section is to ensure that GP Doctors in Training (DiT) are aware of the specific requirements and resources available for their Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP). Information and guidance on the ARCP process can be found on our Accreditation and Revalidation pages which must be used in conjunction with this page.
Specific GP evidence and documents required for ARCP are in addition to the documents stated on the Accreditation and Revalidation pages.
The Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) is a fundamental part of GP training. It is used to review each DiTs progress throughout their training and decide on an outcome. To have an ARCP doctors must have completed an up-to-date educational supervisors report (ESR) and Form R (to be saved in the compliance passport area of the Portfolio).
DiTs will have an ARCP at least once per year. If a doctor is less than full time (LTFT) or have had statutory leave, it’s likely they will have more than one ARCP per year as a review of evidence will be required at the gateway transition points ST1-2 and ST2-3, as well as on an annual basis. Between ARCPs, DiTs will be expected to do at least one more ESR.
ARCP dates are visible in the top right of the portfolio and DiTs should ensure all evidence is submitted 2 weeks before this date. If a DiT thinks this ARCP date may be wrong, please contact the GP programme team.
The Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP) panel look at all the evidence that is located in the Portfolio.
For the exact requirements for GP training, DiT should frequently refer to the RCGP website
Do not forget that to complete GP training you will need to pass a tripos of assessments. DiT must continually engage with workplace-based assessments (WPBA), and pass both the applied knowledge test (AKT) and clinical skills assessment (RCA) exam.
From Dr Jonathan Rial, GP Associate Dean for ARCP
Enhanced learning opportunities for GP trainees
In Wessex we have a long history of offering opportunities for trainees to broaden their knowledge of the NHS and how it works. Some examples of these are:
In-practice fellowships – working with the CCGs across Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight, in ST3, to allow you to understand more about how CCGs and health systems work, but in addition to voice your clinical thoughts as the current workforce, to guide key decisions; working with the RCGP Wessex faculty guiding the offer the faculty makes to its members and experiencing how the RCGP works
Wessex has strong links with both clinical and education research, working as an academic clinical fellow with the unit in Southampton medical school or with the programme directors. Wessex presents at national and international conferences every year and we encourage our trainees to get involved
We ask for Doctors in Training (DiT) to be integrally involved with the trainers’ courses, to make sure we are meeting the needs of DiT and to take into account developments in new ways of working
To find out more in respect of medical education or quality improvement in the NHS on a broader basis than just GP the Wessex Post Graduate Medical and Dental Education team runs medical education and quality improvement fellowships.
From Professor Johnny Lyon-Maris, GP Associate Dean for Southampton and Jersey Patch
The Wessex Post Graduate Medical and Dental Education team has a strong network of professional support. We offer exam up-skilling courses, assessment for specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia), GP specific exam courses and personal support for DiTs that may be having difficulties with their educational programme.
Please explore the Wessex Professional Support and Wellbeing Unit (PSW) pages for further information.
Less Than Full Time Training for GP Doctors in Training
In order to provide clarity and consistency across Wessex GP School, please note that LTFT posts for GP doctors in training are considered at 60 or 80% in the majority of cases unless exceptional circumstances apply such as an occupational health assessment, when consideration will be made on a case by case basis.
We will continue to honour posts offered or currently being worked by trainees at different percentages so this will only apply to future posts in the Wessex GP Training Programme.
Information and guidance on LTFT Training and the process to apply can be found on our Less Than Full Time Training Pages
Out of Programme for GP Doctors in Training
GP Doctors in Training (DiT) must approach their Patch Associate Dean, Training Programme Director and Educational supervisor in the first instance to discuss a potential application to take time out of the training programme.
Due to the short nature of the GP training programme only Out of Programme Career Break (OOPC) will be considered and unless due to exceptional circumstances doctors in training are not eligible to apply in their ST1 training year.
A DiT should consult the Reference Guide for Postgraduate Foundation and Specialty Training in the UK (Gold Guide 9th Edition) before discussing their application to ensure they are eligible to apply for OOPC.
All GP DiT are required to fully complete the GP OOP application form and obtain the necessary signatures. The completed form should be sent to their Patch Associate Dean who will then arrange to forward to the Wessex General Practice Programme Team for consideration by the Head of School for General Practice and the Wessex Post Graduate Dean.
The process for OOP applications can take several weeks so GP DiT are encouraged to submit their request to the Programme Team no later than 3 months prior to the start date of their OOP.
It is the responsibility of the DiT to ensure their supervisor, Patch team and Programme Lead Employer are aware of their start dates of OOP and we expect the doctor to contact us a minimum of 3 months, ideally 6 months before their return date. There is no guarantee of placements for a DiT’s return so early contact for return dates is essential.
Further information on Out of Programme and the process to apply can be found on our Out of Programme pages
Medical Indemnity for GP Doctors in Training
All Wessex GP Doctors in Training have access to free indemnity cover via MPS. Health Education England – Wessex provides details of new trainees to MPS who make direct contact. We encourage all Doctors in Training to take up the offer of this cover as it provides support and advice unlike the NHS indemnity scheme which will only cover the financial aspects of a negligence claim. For example, in the event of a GMC referral or an attendance at a coroner’s court, they can provide detailed medico-legal advice.
This cover is free of charge during the GP Training Programme. We strongly recommend that Wessex Doctors in Training take up this offer when they join the programme.