North West School of Surgery - Assessments (ARCP and IPRs)

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North West School of Surgery

Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP)


Guidance on this page applies to the School of Surgery across both East and West Sectors of NHS England North West.


Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP)

An ARCP (Annual Review of Competence Progression) will take place for all postgraduate doctors in training (including LTFT doctors) at least once per calendar year. For most doctors this will take place in June/July, however some doctors may have their ARCP in December/January. Ad-hoc ARCPs may take place at other times of the year as required. The ARCP outcome will be decided at an ARCP Assessment Panel at which the postgraduate doctor in training will not be present, therefore all evidence must be on their ISCP portfolio seven working days before the ARCP Assessment Panel date (or by the deadline specified by the Training Programme Director). Postgraduate doctors in training will not normally attend the ARCP Assessment Panel, however the TPD may ask you to attend for an Educational Meeting which will take place after the Panel have decided the ARCP outcome. Doctors issued a developmental outcome (Outcome 2, 3, 4 or 5) must attend the ARCP Feedback Panel to discuss the outcome and objectives for the next period of training.


For a full guide of the standard NHS England North West process for ARCPs please visit our policies and procedures page:


Interim Progress Review (IPR)

Once a year, all postgraduate doctors in surgical training will also be invited to an IPR (Interim Progress Review) which will take place half way between ARCPs, or six months before the first ARCP for new postgraduate doctors in surgical training. IPRs usually take place in December/January each year, however some doctors may have their IPR in June/July if their ARCPs take place in December/January. The IPR is a formal face-to-face meeting to review your ISCP portfolio to assess your progress towards a satisfactory outcome at your next ARCP. The ISCP portfolio must be up to date and it is usually expected that doctors should have achieved approximately half of the annual requirements for the year (20/10 WPBAs) or evidence towards achieving the requirements (such as involvement in an audit) by the time of the IPR. The IPR is also a chance for doctors to discuss and feedback about their training experience.


Dates of Next Assessments

For details of the dates of the next assessments, please see the individual specialty's assessment page:



Form R

The Form R is a mandatory requirement from the GMC for all ARCPs. From August 2022, only Part B of the Form R is required to be completed for every ARCP (the Form R is not required for Interim Progress Reviews and the Form R Part A is no longer required for ARCP). The Form R must be completed within 4 weeks of the ARCP and by the deadline for evidence submission. If a Form R has not been completed within the month prior to the ARCP or is incomplete the panel will be unable to issue a satisfactory outcome.


It is important any ongoing or closed investigations/complaints since your last Form R are included.


You must make sure that all parts of the Form R are fully completed including the scope of practice section. The scope of practice should include:

  • Each of your training posts if you are or were in a training programme;
  • Any time out of programme, e.g. OOP, maternity leave, career break, etc;
  • Any voluntary or advisory work, work in non-NHS bodies, or self-employment;
  • Any work as a locum. For locum work, please group shifts with one employer within an unbroken period as one employer-entry. Include the number of shifts worked during each employer-period.

IMPORTANT: From August 2022, all Form Rs must be completed via TIS Self Service (TSS). Old style form Rs (Word or PDF versions) will not be accepted.

To use TSS you must first sign up using the email address that NHS England have recorded for you. Trying to sign up with any other email address means the sign up process will fail.

pdf icon TIS Self Service (TSS) sign up guidance

pdf icon TIS Self Service (TSS) user guide


Workplace Based Assessments (WPBAs)

All doctors in surgical training are expected to complete at least 40 WPBAs per year if on the pre-2021 curriculum, or 20 per year if on the 2021 curriculum, including one Multi-Source Feedback (MSF). All WPBAs must be validated before the ARCP Assessment Panel as the panel will not be able to see any un-validated assessments.


WPBAs should be carried out in a variety of settings with a variety of assessors and should be spread out evenly throughout the training year. Assessments should include comments by the assessor reflecting feedback given on performance and areas for improvement and a global rating indicating the level achieved.


Doctors should also complete Assessment of Audits (AoA), Observation of Teaching (OoT) and CEX for Consent where possible and should complete at least one during their training.


Guidance on the practicalities of WPBAs and information on assessment types is available on the ISCP website.


JCST Certification Guidelines

Certification guidelines for the 2021 curriculums can be found within the curriculum documents on ISCP.


NHS England North West Visitor Information

pdf icon Click here for Visitor Information for our Liverpool office (Regatta Place)

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Page Last Updated 1 April 2022