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Confidentiality statement and data privacy policy

This page provides information about how the College uses the data and information from your training evaluation form (TEF).

Your completed TEFs provide important information to the Heads of school, trainee representatives and the College about your O&G training. Both the Specialty Education Advisory Committee (the most senior College committee dealing with training) and the Trainees’ Committee have agreed that the TEF is not only a useful source of information for the LETBs/deaneries, but also for the College’s own understanding of where there are problems as well as good practice.

TEF data will enable the College to take a more proactive approach to monitoring the quality of training, by triangulating with other data and by working with other departments to come to an overall view about a department or unit – this will be good for patient safety.

The TEF data as supplied to LETBs/deaneries will assist with their quality management arrangements, by providing an additional source of information that can be used to triangulate with other data sources such as the GMC Trainee Survey. It is expected that TEF data will be also be used by representative trainee committees.

In terms of confidentiality, your survey responses fall into two categories:

  1. Answers to multiple choice questions
  2. Free text comments on bullying and undermining behaviour

Answers to multiple choice questions

The reports we produce are aggregated from your answers to multiple choice questions and anonymised. This means that individuals are not identifiable and your answers should remain confidential.

In instances where there are only a few trainees or even a single trainee working in a unit then the aggregate data will be still be shared with the Heads of School and Trainee Committee Chairs. This will mean that although the identity of the trainees completing the survey will not be shared their identity may be deduced by those in receipt of the data. This is done to ensure that all trainees have the opportunity to give feedback on their training.

Your individual answers to multiple choice questions will be accessed by, and visible only to, the RCOG ePortfolio Manager. We may share individual answers to multiple choice questions with the RCOG Clinical Quality Directorate, but not to any other organisation or individual outside of the College.

Typically, Heads of School will look at very good and very poor results in the survey and may conduct investigations (including checking against other information they hold and talking to the trust/board, hospital or practice). In some cases this may trigger a deanery/LETB visit to the local education provider (your employer).

Free text comments raising bullying/undermining concerns

Concerns about bullying/undermining that you raise within the survey will be treated as confidential, and will not be made public by the RCOG or shared outside the RCOG, subject to two exceptions.

First, your comments will be shared verbatim within other parts of the RCOG, the RCOG Workplace Behaviours Advisor, Heads of School and Postgraduate Deans. We won’t share your identity as standard procedure, but we will provide your training location and training level. However, if it becomes necessary to the investigation, with the agreement of the Vice President (Education), we will ask your permission to share your identity with your deanery/LETB.

Secondly, if any concerns that you raise about bullying/undermining become relevant to a fitness to practise investigation (in relation to another doctor, or to yourself) then we will share your comments with the GMC’s Fitness to Practise Directorate and you may be asked to assist the investigation. You should be aware that if a doctor acts dishonestly or in bad faith in raising concerns with us through the survey, then this can lead to fitness to practise proceedings being taken against that doctor.

Please also note that it is not appropriate to raise a concern about a doctor’s fitness to practise in the TEF. You should do this through the proper channels (please see the GMC’s guidance on making a complaint about a doctor) which may include going through your LEP or LETB/deanery processes.

Acting honestly and in good faith

If you do raise a concern about bullying/undermining, it is important that you do so honestly, and in good faith.

If a doctor acts dishonestly or in bad faith in raising concerns with us through the survey, then this can lead to fitness to practise proceedings being taken against that doctor. Where there are grounds to believe that a doctor has acted in this way, then information provided in answer to the survey may be shared with persons involved in the investigation of fitness to practise concerns, including the GMC’s Fitness to Practise Directorate.

ePortfolio Data Privacy Policy

As you are using the ePortfolio to complete the TEF, your data will be protected according to the ePortfolio data privacy policy. See more information on the RCOG’s approach to online privacy.

Elsewhere on the site

The complete specialty training programme in O&G – core curriculum, ultrasound, ATSMs, subspecialty and academic
MRCOG exams
How to prepare for the Part 1 and Part 2 MRCOG exams (the RCOG’s membership exams)