CPR, AED and Safeguarding

Satisfactory completion of the WBPA component of part of the MRCGP examination includes the requirement to demonstrate competence in Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Automated External Defibrillation (AED) and Child and Adult safeguarding.

Throughout the guidance and requirements for both CPR/AED and Child and Adult safeguarding, there are references made to evidence being required every 12 months. For clarity, this refers to a consecutive 12-month period (e.g. 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024) - not to a training year, which could, for a variety of reasons, be longer than 12 months. Where the requirements instead relate to training years (i.e. ST1, ST2 and ST3), this is clearly stated in the guidance and requirements. 


CPR and AED - The requirements

Trainees must provide evidence of competence in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillation (AED) every 12 months. This should include demonstrating competence in these areas for both children and adults, unless there is no paediatric exposure in any placement during that period in which case there is only a need to show adult CPR and AED competence.

Competence should be demonstrated by attendance every 12 months at a training session run by an approved Resuscitation Council trainer/assessor or equivalent. This should be a hands-on/face-to-face course, not an online course – online only evidence of CPR and AED is not acceptable. 

Following attendance at a course, you must scan, upload and attach a valid certificate of competence into a learning log entry in the ‘supporting documentation’ section of your Portfolio. Your Educational Supervisor can then validate it. This will be checked to ensure it is in date at each ARCP panel.

We are aware that some Intermediate Life Support (ILS) courses separate adult and paediatric resuscitation. If the ILS course did not include a paediatric component, you will need to provide more evidence of demonstrating competence in this area.

For example: by taking a Basic Life Support (BLS) course that does include a paediatric component or the separate paediatric ILS.

Additionally, we are aware that some certificates don't explicitly refer to paediatric CPR and AED. It is the responsibility of trainees to ensure that the course they attend allows them to show competence in paediatric CPR and AED and demonstrate this in their Portfolio (e.g. via a learning log entry demonstrating that the course covered paediatric CPR and AED) if the certificate doesn't state paediatric CPR and AED competence. ARCP panels have the flexibility to take pragmatic decisions in how requirements have been demonstrated within the portfolio. 

The certificate must be issued by a Resuscitation Council (UK) instructor or equivalent and conform to the Resuscitation Council (UK) guidelines in place at that time. Certificates should be added to Supporting Documentation and the Compliance Passport. It is essential that the certificate is valid at the time of CCT and extends beyond the end date of training. 

Some certificates – particularly those issued following attendance at an Advanced Life Support (ALS) course state they are valid for 3-4 years. For clarity, you must still demonstrate competence in CPR and AED every 12 months, by attending an appropriate course every 12 months. 

•    Resuscitation Council UK

If you are unable to undertake CPR and/or AED due to a physical disability, you can still demonstrate competence in this area if, for example, you can show your ability to direct others to undertake CPR and use an Automatic External Defibrillator. You would still be required to provide evidence of competence in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillation (AED) every 12 months, by attendance at a training session run by an approved Resuscitation Council trainer/assessor or equivalent.

Child and adult safeguarding

Safeguarding training is an integral and ongoing part of both GP training and professional development as a qualified GP. The GP curriculum states that all GPs should be competent in dealing with safeguarding. This includes:

  • recognising abuse
  • knowing about local arrangements for safeguarding
  • referring effectively
  • playing a part in assessment and continuing management including prevention of further abuse.

GP trainees need to be able to apply the following skills when the need arises:

  • appropriate knowledge
  • clinical skills
  • contextual understanding of safeguarding.

All trainees at all stages of training (from the beginning of ST1 onwards) need evidence of Level 3 Adult AND Child safeguarding. This should be evidenced with a certificate of completion of a Level 3 safeguarding course in their Learning Log.

Going forwards all trainees then need a knowledge update every 12 months and this needs to include:

•    a demonstration of their safeguarding knowledge
•    key safeguarding information
•    appropriate action to take if there are any concerns.

Examples of these knowledge updates include:

•    Attending face to face training
•    Webinars
•    Attendance at safeguarding practice meetings
•    eLearning

In addition, all trainees need a minimum of one Clinical Case Review in each training year (ST1/2/3) that shows the application of safeguarding knowledge. This does not need to include a referral to a safeguarding body but should include consideration of safeguarding issues, how they should be managed, and the appropriate people/organisations to involve. 

If a trainee does not have experience in a case that allows them to directly apply their safeguarding knowledge, they can fulfil this requirement by demonstrating that they have participated in, for example: 

•    Group case discussions (for example at VTS teaching) where you discuss a case which you have been directly involved with, or a case which you have not been directly involved with and reflect on the learning from the case. For example, If a colleague brings a case for discussion regarding a pregnant woman where there is a concern about substance misuse, and you actively participate in the discussion and learn how to apply your knowledge, then you can reflect on this case in a Clinical Case Review.
•    Discussing a case at a practice safeguarding meeting (either a case which you have been directly involved with and have presented, or a case which you have not been directly involved with) and reflecting on the learning from the case. For example, you may have a concern about an elderly man who lives alone and is vulnerable. Having presented this case at a practice safeguarding meeting and learned how to apply your knowledge, you can then reflect on this case in a Clinical Case Review.

Evidence of both the knowledge update, and application of knowledge, must be documented in a learning log entry. It should be linked to the clinical experience group, 'People with health disadvantages and vulnerabilities'.

If 36 months pass since completing a Level 3 Adult and Child Safeguarding course, trainees will need to undertake another Level 3 Adult and Child Safeguarding course. This would then be counted as the knowledge update for the 12-month period it was completed.

For CCT, trainees need to have, for both adult and child safeguarding:

•    an in-date level 3 certificate uploaded to the relevant section of the Trainee Portfolio
•    evidence of a knowledge update in the last 12 months if an appropriate level 3 safeguarding course is not completed in that period.
•    clinical case review demonstrating the application of safeguarding knowledge in the ST3 year.

As with all areas of the curriculum, the Educational Supervisor will be asked if the trainee demonstrates capability in safeguarding in their final review.

If in any post the supervisor has concerns about the trainee, the trainee should be closely supervised and supported when dealing with any cases that may have safeguarding implications.

If a trainee does not have any posts within a specific training year that include children, it is not mandatory (though still recommended) that they understand and document their learning about child safeguarding.

The Intercollegiate Documents and RCGP supplementary guidance on safeguarding

Nationally recognised frameworks have been designed to guide all health professionals and their teams to identify the competencies they need in order to safeguard children and adults. These include:

The ICDs and the RCGP supplementary guide refer to a minimum number of hours required for safeguarding training. GP trainees are not expected to reference ‘number of hours’ within their learning log. If a trainee demonstrates within each training year a range of participatory and non-participatory learning in both child and adult safeguarding as documented above, this will be considered equivalent.

Page last updated: 7 November 2023