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How do you progress in your training

Getting into Foundation/specialty training is just the start of the process. Throughout your training you will be expected to continue to develop your skills and demonstrate these. Indeed CT1/ST1, ST3 and consultant interviews will all be predicated on evidence of your successful progression as a doctor. There are several elements to this which include:

  • ARCP (Annual Review of Competence Progression)
  • Specialty Exams
  • Completing an E-Portfolio
  • Revalidation


ARCPs are an annual appraisal of your development as a doctor in the previous year. They take place in every year of your training in postgraduate medicine. In most instances they are very similar but there are some distinct differences between Foundation ARCP and Specialty ARCP, most notably that you are NOT present in ARCP panels in Foundation training, whereas the trainee is present in ARCP panels in specialty. For more information on these processes please look at:

Foundation ARCP

Specialty ARCP - The Gold Guide contains generic information about Specialty ARCP. For each particular postgraduate specialty ARCP requirements, check with the relevant colleges.

Specialty Exams

Exams are required at various stages throughout your training. Postgraduate membership exams need to be passed at certain times and you only have a defined number of attempts. There is a list of exams and links to the relevant colleges here.

Completing an E-Portfolio

ARCP panel decisions are based, in the main, on evidence you have included in your eportfolio. Each part of your training, including Foundation Training, requires a portfolio to be kept. It is important to remember that whilst the process of completing the portfolio may seem time consuming, this is a vital piece of your progression and if you don't engage you run the risk of either having your training extended or indeed terminated.

The UKFPO have provided a breakdown of what is in the FP portfolio and how best to use it. You can access this here.

Specialties each have their own portfolio therefore we would recommend you check with the respective Colleges here.


Revalidation is the General Medical Council’s way of regulating licensed doctors to give extra confidence to patients that their doctors are up to date and fit to practice. Licensed doctors, including doctors in foundation year two and specialty training, will haveto revalidate, usually every five years. In addition, for doctors in postgraduate training, youwill also revalidate when you receive your Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) or CESR CP.

For more information please visit the HEE Medical Trainee Revalidation site.