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FAQs: moving to the single version of the core curriculum

This page provides answers to frequently asked questions about the move to the single curriculum.

The questions cover the following topics:

If you can’t find the answer to your question, please email us.

Changes to the curriculum

What changes have there been to the core curriculum?

The largest and most significant set of changes from the 2012 curriculum is the move of a number of core competencies in both O&G from the end of ST7 to the end of ST5. The affected modules are 2–4, 7–13, 16, 17 and 19. There are also new competencies in modules 2, 4, 7– 9, 11-13, 16 and 19.

The second most significant change is the requirement for all ST1 trainees appointed from August 2013 to complete basic ultrasound competencies by the end of ST3 (existing trainees have until the end of ST5 to complete these).

There are a variety of other changes which are summarised in full in the RCOG’s implementation plan for the move to the single curriculum (Excel document, 605 kb). These changes have all been approved by the GMC.

How will I know if there is a change planned to the curriculum?

It is important that you maintain contact with the RCOG throughout your training so that you are aware of developments. The RCOG has agreed that there will no significant changes to the curriculum during the transition period (1 August 2013 – December 2015).

Where can I find information on how to use the new curriculum?

Please read the RCOG’s guidance on implementing the new curriculum.

ePortfolio and logbook

The new curriculum requires trainees to record their progress/assessment using the ePortfolio. Will I need to use it?

Yes, you will need to use the RCOG ePortfolio. All Deaneries have been instructed to move all trainees on to the ePortfolio (except for the specific groups described below) with effect from 1 August 2013. You will need to update/enter your current competencies in the new eLogbook. You will not be required to gather data retrospectively (i.e. re-do workplace-based assessments).

The RCOG can provide specific guidance on the transfer of existing information from the paper logbook. Please email us with any queries about your ePortfolio account.

I’m currently using the hard copy logbook and now have to transfer to the ePortfolio. How will I do this?

All Deaneries have been instructed to move all trainees onto the ePortfolio and eLogbook from 1 August 2013. Although you don’t have to gather data retrospectively (i.e. re-do workplace-based assessments), you are required to transfer existing information from the paper logbook, which then has to go through a validation process by your Educational Supervisor.

Once the new curriculum is on the ePortfolio, you will need to sit down with your Educational Supervisor and get your competencies authenticated. This is so they can verify that you have completed the necessary WPBAs and sign off your competencies. You will also need to agree a plan with your Educational Supervisor about how you will obtain any required additional competencies – depending on the particular competencies required, you can be given up to 2 years to achieve this.

I’m already on the ePortfolio. Will I have to repeat the competencies I’ve already completed? What will happen to these competencies?

Please be reassured that you will not lose your existing curriculum on the ePortfolio. It will still be there to reference and any competencies you already have are still valid. They will not need to be repeated or re-signed off. Clear mechanisms to help you access these competencies will be available on the ePortfolio. If you used a paper logbook in addition to the ePortfolio, the paper logbook information will need to be transferred to the eLogbook – see the question above.

Without the logbook, I’m concerned about how my skills and experience will be signed off at the point of care and then transferred to the ePortfolio. How will this work?

Tools to assist with the electronic completion of competencies will be available from 1 August.

Will all consultants have access to the ePortfolio to sign me off for competencies? Currently only the Educational Supervisor has an account.

Tools to assist with the electronic completion of competencies will be available from 1 August. These tools include the ability to ticket external assessors.

Stages of training

I’m in my grace period after my expected CCT date. Will I have to transfer?

No. However, you must apply for your CCT within 6 months of your CCT date, as per GMC regulations.

I’m in my last year of training. Will I have to transfer?

If you move into ST7 or SpR5 before 31 October 2013, you will be exempt. For clarity, no trainee (including any less than full-time trainees or those out of programme) may remain in an ‘old’ curriculum after 1 January 2016.

I’m a subspecialty trainee. Will I have to transfer?

If you are already in subspecialty training on 1 August 2013, you do not have to transfer. If you are looking to enter subspecialty training after 1 August, you must transfer to the new curriculum. You will need to ensure that you have completed all the advanced competencies, including the new ones in the 2013 curriculum. Please review the curriculum competencies in the new ePortfolio to identify which you need to obtain, then consult with your College Tutor/Educational Supervisor as soon as possible to discuss how these can be achieved.

I’m an SpR trainee. Will I have to transfer?

Unless you move into SpR5 before 31 October 2013, then yes, you will have to transfer. The RCOG recognises that this group presents more difficulties in changing to the single version of the curriculum because there are more differences between the SpR curriculum and the ST curriculum – notably the introduction of mandatory ATSMs and two basic ultrasound modules. If you have not yet heard from your College Tutor, Educational Supervisor or Head of School, please contact them as soon as possible.

The RCOG has developed specific guidance for SpRs.

A curriculum mapping process has been undertaken for those who have completed the SpR logbook (it is anticipated that this is the situation for most trainees). For those who have not completed the SpR logbook, any competencies not completed in the SpR curriculum must be added to those defined in the map.

Many of the competencies in the current logbook are not new competencies but are described in more detail – this is true for many obstetric and ultrasound competencies.

All trainees will need to undertake and complete two ATSMs by the end of their training. Please contact your Head of School if you have not already heard from them to discuss your transfer.

I’m looking at becoming a less than full-time (LTFT) trainee, which would extend my CCT date beyond January 2016. Will I have to transfer?

Yes, you will have to transfer.

I’m a less than full-time (LTFT) trainee entering my last year of training before 31 October 2013. My completion date is July 2015. Will I need to transfer to the new curriculum?

No, you will not have to transfer.

I’m currently in research. What will happen to me?

Trainees who are out of programme (OOP) but not counting time towards CCT (e.g. undertaking OOPE, undertaking a full-time research commitment during OOP(R), etc.) will need to move to the single curriculum and be registered for the ePortfolio when restarting clinical training. The RCOG advises that the sooner this is done the better, but recognises that this can be complicated if the OOP is away from clinical training units. It is recommended that trainees in this situation liaise with their Head of School on how to progress with moving to the single curriculum.

I’m currently in out of programme experience approved for training. What will happen to me?

You will be transferred to the current curriculum in the same way as other trainees on 1 August 2013 (this will not wait until your return to ST training). You should agree a plan with your Educational Supervisor as soon as practicable after 1 August. As the clock effectively stops when you are out of programme, you would have up to 2 years to gain competencies when returning to training. If some of your OOP is to be counted towards CCT, part of this 2-year period will occur during your OOP.

You should make sure your ePortfolio is kept up to date to prepare for your ARCP. If you are moving from the hard copy logbook, you may not be able to undertake a process of electronic verification with your Educational Supervisor until you return to programme due to location.

My forthcoming out of programme experience has been approved based on the ‘old’ curriculum. What does this mean for me?

You will be transferred to the current curriculum in the same way as other trainees from 1 August 2013. Although you can continue your OOP, you should review the new curriculum competencies to identify which you will need to obtain when you return to training. You should meet with your Educational Supervisor as soon as possible to discuss any competencies that you have not achieved.

I’m on maternity leave. What will happen to me?

You will be transferred to the current curriculum in the same way as other trainees. If you are moving from the hard copy logbook, you will not be able to undertake a process of electronic verification with your Educational Supervisor until you return to training.

Locums Appointed for Training (LAT)/Locums Appointed for Service (LAS)

If you are a LAT, you should transfer to the 2013 version of the curriculum on the ePortfolio, unless you are in the last year of your training. You should consult your Head of School, as you are a deanery trainee, about the transfer process. If you are a LAS, you will need to consult your head of service, as you are not the responsibility of deaneries/LETBs.

Planning the transition

Where can I find guidance on how to achieve the new competencies?

In the first instance, please review the new curriculum and identify which competencies you still need to obtain. You should consider if you could achieve these in your current placement. If not, then discuss any queries you have with your Educational Supervisor and/or College Tutor. Any anticipated difficulties in achieving certain competencies would then need to be discussed with your Training Programme Director and/or Head of School. Deaneries/Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs) are responsible for delivery of training. The RCOG has provided information to assist Heads of School.

How long do I have to complete additional competencies?

For the implementation of the single curriculum, the RCOG has allowed up to 2 training years within the specialty training programme to allow trainees sufficient time to obtain the amended and new competencies. You should discuss with your Educational Supervisor/College Tutor how your placements will be planned in order to obtain these competencies. You should organise this meeting as soon as possible after 1 August.

A change to the curriculum has been made in ST3. I’m in ST5. Will I have to go back and do this training?

The RCOG has mapped the old curricula, including the SpR, to the new 2013 core curriculum for each year of training. The full information (Excel document, 604 kb) has been sent to your Head of School. Depending on the nature of the change, and if you have adjusted competencies that you have not already obtained, you may need an adjustment to your placements or to have targeted training to support the achievement of the curriculum requirements. The aim is to ensure that all trainees at CCT possess appropriate competencies that are up to date and fit for purpose. You should agree a plan with your College Tutor and Educational Supervisor as soon as possible after 1 August. Remember that there is a transition period of 2 years for most competencies.

Will the changes affect the ATSMs?

ATSMs have been on the ePortfolio since August 2012 and are in a separate section of the ePortfolio from the core curriculum, so these will not be affected. However, if you are doing a paper-based ATSM, you should continue on this rather than transfer.

The new curriculum stipulates a specific requirement that will be difficult to achieve at my current stage of training. What should I do?

Your College Tutor and Educational Supervisor will work with you to arrange the training that you need to complete the requirements of the new curriculum. Every effort will be made to do this via targeted training rather than an extension to training. You should agree a plan with your Educational Supervisor as soon as possible after 1 August. Don’t forget you will have a period of time to do this depending on what stage you are at, and you will not be assessed against the new curriculum until summer 2014.

I have an outcome 3 or RITA E. Where will I transfer?

You will transfer into the current curriculum at the point when you were last considered to have satisfactorily completed training. The transfer to the 2013 curriculum will not give you additional opportunities for training extensions. This is part of the GMC guidance.

CCT

I’ve already had the maximum extension to training permitted in the Gold Guide. What will happen to me if the transfer requires an extension to my training?

Every effort will be made to enable trainees to achieve additional requirements via targeted training. However, if an extension to training is required, this will be a decision for the Postgraduate Dean. Individual trainee circumstances in this situation would be discussed between the Head of School and Postgraduate Dean. You should contact your Head of School if you have concerns that this will affect you as it is better to have discussions earlier than later.

My expected CCT date has been extended as I haven’t been able to demonstrate the required competencies. I didn’t originally have to transfer – will I now have to do so?

Where an extension is for 6 months, you are not required to transfer; if the extension is for more than 6 months, you will need to transfer. As outlined above, all trainees will be required to transfer to the current curriculum to ensure they will be fully up to date with current requirements for their specialty in the interests of patient safety. This guidance has been determined by the GMC in conjunction with the Postgraduate Deans.

CESR applicants

If you intend to obtain specialist registration with CESR (Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration), for your CESR assessment you’ll be expected to provide evidence of having achieved the competencies expected of a CCT trainee as set out in the most recent curriculum. Therefore, unless you’re close to applying for the CESR and already have evidence of having achieved the necessary competencies, you’re advised to obtain an ePortfolio training account. To open an account, you need to subscribe to the Trainees’ Register. If you need any advice, please email the Policy Coordinator (Equivalence and Curriculum) or call +44 20 7772 6451.

ARCP

Will the move affect my ARCP?

No. Because the competencies you have already completed will still be visible, there should be no difference to the ARCP process itself, i.e. the information will still be discussed between the Head of School and Postgraduate Dean and be available to the ARCP panel. Progress in achieving curriculum objectives will be undertaken against the 2013 curriculum from 2014.

I have not yet had my ARCP as my Deanery is on an October start date. What do I need to do?

If you have had time to undertake your individual assessments against the 2013 curriculum competencies and get all your data into the ePortfolio before your ARCP, your potential training needs could be highlighted in part as achieving new curriculum items – this could be very useful. If you have not, your ARCP should proceed as normal as all your previously entered data will be there. This guidance applies also if you are having a delayed or additional ARCP. In any case, your College Tutor and Educational Supervisor will advise you. The RCOG will issue specific guidance for these ARCPs.

Will the move affect the RCOG progression matrix?

Trainees will be assessed against the 2013–2014 training matrix objectives at their ARCP in 2014. The curriculum objectives described in the 2013–14 matrix will match the 2013 curriculum. The move to the 2013 curriculum will not affect the progression of current trainees as outlined in the 2012–13 matrix applicable for those attending ARCP in 2013.

Elsewhere on the site

Assessment of training
Information about sign-off of competencies, workplace-based assessments, ARCPs and more
Resources and support for trainees
Training guidelines, advice, useful resources and sources of support for trainees