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Guidance on the annual academic review process

This page provides guidance for academic trainees to help them prepare for their annual academic review.

Feedback from integrated academic trainees in O&G indicates that the procedures for annual academic review vary significantly between deaneries. The RCOG’s Academic Board has produced this guidance, based on the Academy of Medical Sciences guidelines for monitoring academic training and progress, to ensure annual academic reviews are consistent and fit for purpose and to enable the annual review of competence progression (ARCP) to fulfill its function for academic trainees.

The academic curriculum and academic training matrix are designed to support the annual appraisal process. Both you and your trainer should use the curriculum and matrix to understand what’s needed at each stage. You can then determine what you can realistically achieve when in a post with heavy clinical commitments.

Setting objectives for academic training

As an academic trainee, you need to understand the academic competencies expected of you. Your academic supervisor should meet with you within the first month of each training year to develop your personal development plan, which records your acquisition of academic skills.

Your PDP should identify the skills you need to achieve during the training year (columns A and B in the table in the PDP). You should meet with your academic supervisor on a regular basis to review and update your PDP and to agree objectives for the coming period.

Your academic supervisor needs to confirm that you have appended evidence of achievement (e.g. certificate of attendance at a course, or a copy of a Research Ethics Committee approval) in your portfolio, by signing column C of the PDP.

Academic Progress Form 1

Halfway through the year, Academic Progress Form 1 should be completed and will be a formative appraisal of progress against agreed academic assessments/outputs. This form will allow changes to be made to the training should any ‘deficiencies’ be noted.

For more information, please see the example of a completed table for a PDP.

Examples of academic skills

Academic skills can be broadly divided into three domains:

  • Generic and applied research skills
  • Research governance
  • Communication/education

For examples of these skills, please read the Academy of Medical Sciences guidelines for monitoring academic training and progress.

It’s your academic supervisor’s responsibility to determine which generic academic skills are relevant to you.

Annual report on academic progress

A more formal annual assessment of academic progress should take place at least one month before the ARCP panel convenes. The assessment should involve you, your academic supervisor and the director of the academic programme (or nominated deputy).

You’ll need to provide a written assessment of your progress and achievements since your last annual academic assessment in section 3 of the PDP. You should collect evidence supporting your acquisition of skills in your training portfolio, which you’ll need to bring to the assessment.

After the assessment, the report on academic progress will need to be agreed and signed by you, your academic supervisor and the director of the academic programme. The report will then be submitted to the joint academic/clinical ARCP panel.

In addition, Academic Progress Form 2 should be completed before the ARCP to inform the ARCP process and to help with the development of the PDP. The completed from should be submitted to the joint academic/clinical ARCP panel with the report on academic progress.