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Revalidation for trainees: preparing for your ARCP

This page outlines the changes to how trainees need to prepare for their ARCP (Annual Review of Competence Progression) following the introduction of revalidation. For trainees, the revalidation process is seamless with the ARCP.


You’ll need to complete the enhanced FORM R (available from your deanery’s website) and bring it to your pre-ARCP meeting (document review), together with the enhanced ARCP form. You’ll need to use the enhanced forms every year, regardless of whether it’s your revalidation year.


The General Medical Council (GMC) states that you have to bring evidence of having considered:


  • Continuing professional development (CPD)
  • Quality improvement activities
  • Significant events
  • Feedback from colleagues
  • Feedback from patients
  • Review of complaints and compliments

Evidence of CPD, quality improvement activities, feedback from colleagues and the review of complaints and compliments will be provided through your ARCP process and from the medical director of your hospital.

Significant events


You’ll need to show evidence that you’ve reflected on significant events with your Educational Supervisor. This doesn’t mean that the significant event will affect your revalidation.


A significant event:

  • Is something out of the ordinary or unexpected
  • Has the potential to cause serious harm and/or attract public or media interest
  • Occurs on NHS premises or in the provision of an NHS or commissioned service

A significant event may involve a large number of patients, raise questions of poor clinical or managerial judgement, a service may have failed, a patient may have died under unusual circumstances – or there may be a perception that any of these issues have occurred. Significant events aren’t exclusively clinical issues; for example, an electrical failure could have consequences that make it a significant event.


Deciding whether an incident constitutes a significant event is fundamentally a judgement call, and may be open to interpretation. Therefore, clear evidence that the assessment criteria have been considered should be available and audited.


You’ll therefore need to make decisions about which incidents you class as significant events and subsequently formally reflect on and discuss with your Educational Supervisor. The following list is not exhaustive, but helps to clarify the types of incident you should discuss:

  • Any incident for which your trust requests a formal report
  • Any incident involving the coroner
  • Any incident involving a root cause analysis
  • Any incident involving the unexpected death of a mother or baby
  • Any one of the NHS ‘never events’

Feedback from patients


The GMC website states that doctors need to include patient feedback in their dossier to be revalidated. However, until this is made a formal part of the ARCP process, trainees are exempt from this requirement.

Revalidation decision


Revalidation isn’t a route for referral to the GMC; therefore, there shouldn’t be any surprises. Your responsible officer (your Postgraduate Dean) can recommend only ‘recommend revalidation’ or ‘defer’. Deferral may be recommended because more information is needed (because of non-engagement with the process) or because a doctor is already in the GMC’s Fitness to Practice programme.


Revalidation isn’t directly linked to progress through training. A doctor who isn’t progressing towards being an O&G CCT holder may be struggling with O&G but could be fine to revalidate as a doctor.

Find out more


For more information, please read the RCOG’s FAQs about revalidation for trainees, or the GMC’s generic guidance about revalidation for doctors in training.


If you have a specific query about revalidation, please contact your Local Education Training Board (LETB).