Updates for GP trainees during COVID-19

We've been updating trainees about exams and assessments during COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a run down of everything we’ve said.

Update on the booking process for the Applied Knowledge Test

An update on the booking process for the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) in August, and confirmation for further sittings of the AKT in October 2020 and January 2021. These dates are available on the College website.

This message was also emailed to all AiTs.

Timings for the Recorded Consultation Assessment

An update with clarity around timings for the Recorded Consultation Assessment (RCA) in August, and confirmation for a further sitting of the RCA in November 2020. These dates are available on the College website.

This message was also emailed to all AiTs.

Updates from RCGP to trainees

Updates for trainees on the Applied Knowledge Test and the Workplace Based Assessment - 10 June 2020

Extract: For the August sitting of the AKT, I can now confirm the following dates:

  • Application window: 7-10 July
  • AKT exam: 19 August
  • Results published: 8 September

Additionally, we are aware that Trainees and GP Educators are keen to know what the requirements for WPBA post-August 2020 will be. The RCGP and COGPED have produced a guidance document on this area, that can be found on the College website.

This message was also emailed to all AiTs.

Booking details for new Recorded Consultation Assessment - 4 June 2020

Extract: Following on from my emails to you earlier this week, I am now pleased to be able to share some further key dates for the July sitting of the Recorded Consultation Assessment (RCA). These dates are available on the College website.

Please note that all dates may be subject to change and that appropriate notice of any changes will be given at the earliest opportunity.

This message was also emailed to all AiTs.

Update for trainees on fees for new Recorded Consultation Assessment - 3 June 2020

The booking window for the July sitting of the RCA will open on 11 June and the national Statutory Education Boards that oversee GP training will be implementing a prioritisation system to ensure that those who are due to complete training at the beginning of August have the opportunity to complete their training programme on schedule.

This message was also emailed to all AiTs.

Providing clarity to trainees around the Recorded Consultation Assessment - 1 June 2020

We've received a lot of queries from trainees as to how long the RCA will run. Due to the ongoing uncertainty around COVID-19, it’s impossible for us to give an exact ‘end date’ for the RCA. We are, however, keen to provide as much clarity as possible.

This message was also emailed to all AiTs.

This week's COVID-19 update from your College Chair - 22 May 2020

The temporary new assessment to replace the Clinical Skills Assessment, calls for a clear testing plan, and GPs delivering care in residential homes are discussed by RCGP Chair Professor Martin Marshall in his weekly review.

This message was sent to all members.

Recorded Consultation Assessment candidate handbook and exam policy update - 22 May 2020

Today, we are publishing our new candidate handbook and examination policy, which we hope you will find useful in explaining the main changes and requirements for the MRCGP, brought about as a result of the pandemic. 

This message was also emailed to all AiTs.

Recorded Consultation Assessment offered in place of the CSA during the disruption caused by COVID-19 - 19 May 2020

We are now in a position to begin to share details of the Recorded Consultation Assessment (RCA), which will be offered in place of the CSA during the period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This message was also emailed to all AiTs.

New guidance on Workplace Based Assessment for ST3s during COVID-19. Email to all AITs from Dr Michael Mulholland, RCGP Vice Chair, Professional Development - 14 May 2020

Extract: We know many of you have been waiting for this and would like to thank you for your patience while it was developed and agreed. The guidance also contains an FAQ section, which should hopefully answer any queries you may have on this area.">

Applied Knowledge Test exams 2020 update - 12 May 2020

Pearson VUE are working with the RCGP exams team and have been granted special permission to open some test centres safely for medical keyworkers such as qualifying GP trainees (and paramedics). In the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic this will mean reduced test centre occupancy, adherence to strict social distancing rules and more time required to check candidates in.

Response of GPs and our teams to COVID-19 has been well recognised - 7 May 2020

Yesterday, we announced that a 'recorded assessment' will be used to assess the clinical skills of this cohort of trainees, rather than the usual CSA exam. This is a temporary and pragmatic measure to get us through the pandemic and ensure that as many ST3s can join the general practice workforce as planned.

Important announcement on completion of GP training for ST3s - 6 May 2020

The College has issued a joint statement with the major health, education and regulatory bodies involved in GP training and assessment across the UK on new arrangements that will enable ST3s to complete their training this summer, despite the disruption caused by COVID-19.

This message was also emailed to all AITs.

Giving evidence to House of Commons Health Select Committee during COVID-19 - 1 May 2020

Concerns around the future of our ST3 trainees who have had their training suspended as a direct result of the pandemic were also raised at the Committee. Earlier this week, I wrote to Jeremy Hunt, Jo Churchill, the Primary Care Minister for England, and various MPs to explain our current position.

This message was also emailed to all members.

RCGP Chair at the Health and Social Care Committee to give evidence on COVID-19 - 1 May 2020

Professor Martin Marshall, RCGP Chair gave evidence to the House of Commons Health and Social Care select committee. The session explored how to continue delivering crucial patient services during and after #COVID19.

GP Training COVID-19 Update email to all AITs from Professor Martin Marshall - 29 April 2020

Extract: "Tonight, I will be joining a meeting of our Associates in Training Committee to discuss the College’s current position and the work that is currently underway. Committee Chair Anthony James has been part of our discussions and decision-making on this issue, but this will be an opportunity to hear and take questions from the wider group of your representatives at all stages of training."

Has our wellbeing taken a backseat during this crisis? - 24 April 2020

As I wrote last week, the College Officers and I are in daily dialogue with the many organisations involved in the delivery and assessment of GP training to try and reach a speedy solution that will support our trainees without compromising patient safety.

This message was also emailed to all members.

Email to all AITs from Dr Michael Mulholland, RCGP Vice Chair, Professional Development - 23 April 2020

Extract: "We are working collaboratively to find a solution and were able to identify a number of options which will enable trainees to be assessed while meeting the necessary regulatory requirements, and which we will now develop further.

I want you to be assured that we are approaching this with an open mind and that our aim is to provide ST3s with a choice in how you complete your training. The College will do everything we can to make sure that this decision is not made for you, but made with you..."

I will keep you updated as things progress and thank you again for your patience and professionalism during what I know is an exceptionally difficult time for you.

Email to all AITs from Prof. Martin Marshall Chair of Council Dr Michael Mulholland, RCGP Vice Chair, Professional Development - 23 April 2020

Extract: "The College is considering all possible options for managing the assessment of training, including expediting the required assessments, so that they can be delivered as soon as government social distancing restrictions allow, looking at ways that the MRCGP could be modified or adapted in order to reflect the realities of your current situation and the impact it has had on your training, and exploring what flexibility we can apply to the assessment of standards, while continuing to ensure patient safety...."

#RCGPTogether during COVID-19, Dr Anthony James - 15 April 2020

RCGP AiT Chair Anthony James discusses the importance of finding community and dealing with uncertainty in challenging times as part of our #RCGPTogether campaign.

What impact is COVID-19 having on trainee GPs? - 9 April 2020

Dr. Anthony James and Dr. Michael Mullholland (RCGP Vice Chair for Professional Development) discuss the impact of coronavirus pandemic on trainee GPs wanting to sit exams (CSA and AKT). How can trainees progress?

Email to all AITs from Dr Michael Mulholland, Vice Chair, Professional Development and Dr MeiLing Denney, Chief Examiner - 27 March 2020

Extract: "The RCGP understands the immense pressure that you, as well as your trainers, are under right now, and that you will be facing clinical and professional challenges for which you may not feel prepared. We're devoting every effort into working with your deaneries to ensure that your training and exam preparation remains a priority. To support you at this challenging and difficult time the College is creating a range of resources to help all primary care clinicians to manage the challenges created by Covid-19 and we would encourage you to look at these for guidance and advice..."

COVID-19 Member Forum for AiTs - email from Amanda Howe RCGP President - 24 March 2020

Extract: "To keep you connected, up to date and on the pulse with the latest around COVID-19, we have created a new members forum. On the forum you can ask questions, discuss and share hints and tips, practical and useful resources and the latest info on COVID-19, but you can also use the space to connect with other GPs right across the UK..."

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