Learning Log - old WPBA programme

The Learning Log is your personal learning record. It’s used to collect evidence about your progress and share it with your supervisors and ARCP panel, as part of the Workplace Based Assessment component of the MRCGP exam.

How the Learning Log works

Maintaining your log is just as important as completing your formal assessments.

Entries you choose to ‘share’ can be read and commented on by your clinical or educational supervisor. These log entries will contribute to the evidence available to your supervisors and ARCP panels when they come to take a view on your capability progression.

Clinical experience groups

The RCGP curriculum has recently been updated. In the past learning logs needed to be linked to individual curriculum headings and to make it easier these have now been grouped into 9 clinical experience groups.  You can link your learning log entries to a maximum of 2 clinical experience groups if these are relevant.

Do not be put off from adding evidence into your learning log if none of the clinical experience groups apply as your entries can still be linked to the RCGP capabilities providing you have reflected on these within your entry.

The clinical experience groups are below:

  1. Infants, children and young people [under the age of 19yrs]
  2. Gender, reproductive and sexual health (including women’s, men’s, LGBTQ, gynae and breast)
  3. People with long-term conditions including cancer, multi-morbidity and disability
  4. Older adults including frailty and/or people at end of life
  5. Mental health (including addiction, alcohol and substance misuse)
  6. Urgent and unscheduled care
  7. People with health disadvantage and vulnerabilities (including veterans, mental capacity difficulties, safeguarding and those with communication difficulties/disability)
  8. Population Health and health promotion (including people with non-acute and/or non-chronic health problems)
  9. Clinical problems not linked to a specific clinical experience group

Evidence in the 13 capability areas

Your clinical or educational supervisor can only validate log entries against the capabilities if they are of sufficient quality.

Log entries should be reflective, demonstrating personal insight into how you are performing and learning from your everyday experiences. A good, reflective log entry will show:

  • some evidence of critical thinking and analysis, describing your own thought processes
  • some self-awareness, demonstrating openness and honesty about performance along with some consideration of your own feelings
  • some evidence of learning, appropriately describing what needs to be learned, why and how

You won’t be expected to produce perfect log entries from day one. But your educational supervisor will expect to see improvement in the quality of your Learning Log entries and insight as you progress.


Two documents have been produced jointly by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC), the Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans (COPMeD), the General Medical Council (GMC) and the Medical Schools Council (MSC). 

  1. The reflective practitioner guidance [PDF]
  2. Summary version of the reflective practitioner guidance [PDF]

Reflection is an important part of professional practice. By reflecting, doctors assess how well they are performing, as well as identifying their learning needs and enabling improvements to be made to their practice.

The guidance was developed following requests for clearer information on what is meant by reflection, and how those in training and engaging in revalidation should reflect as part of their practice. It has been developed with input from all four nations and is intended for use across the UK.

The guidance outlines the importance of reflection for personal development and learning; it highlights how reflection can help doctors and medical students to maintain and improve their professional practice and drive improvements in patient safety. It emphasises ten key elements of being a reflective practitioner, including how reflection is personal; that there is no one way to reflect; and that reflective notes don’t need to capture the full details of an experience, but should focus on learning outcomes and future plans. 

This work, which is a joint effort by all four organisations to provide clearer advice in this area, is part of a wider commitment to drive an open and honest learning culture. We will explore what other guidance or information could be developed to provide more practical support.

The documents are available on the COPMeD website, along with the Academy and COPMeD Reflective Practice Toolkit.

Example of a good reflective log entry

Current selections:

  • professional capability 6 - making a diagnosis / decisions 
  • professional capability 7 - clinical management
  • clinical experience group 1 - infants, children and young people [under the age of 19yrs]
  • clinical experience group 6 - urgent and unscheduled care
Date 25/11/19
 What happened?

A two week old baby was brought to the surgery with a history of a few days of coryzal symptoms and poor feeding. The parents thought that the baby had a viral infection. I examined the baby and thought that she had some crepitations on the left lung. She was also tachypnoeic and tachycardic. I was concerned about this baby as she was not feeding well and the parents mentioned that she had been more sleepy than usual. I discussed the case with the paediatric registrar on call, who said it sounded like bronchiolitis and suggested conservative management. However I stressed that I felt this baby needed to be assessed as she was not well and eventually the paediatric registrar agreed to see the child. 

What if anything happened subsequently?

While in the children’s emergency department, the baby had a cardiorespiratory arrest, was resuscitated and transferred to a hospital in London. She had coarctation of the aorta and left basal consolidation of the left lung. She was subsequently operated on and is now progressing well in intensive care.

What did you learn?

To be aware that accurate assessment of a baby is vital as they can be seriously unwell and only display non-specific symptoms. I am very glad that I insisted on sending the baby to hospital despite the objections of the paediatric registrar. It felt very awkward at the time, but it has taught me to trust my judgement and I will find it easier to be more assertive next time.

What will you do differently in the future?

On reflection, the baby arrested while she was in the CED. The parents took her there by car. I could have arranged a blue light ambulance to take her to hospital. However, although I thought she was unwell, I did not expect such a serious underlying problem and she was certainly not looking like a baby that was about to arrest.

What further learning needs did you identify?

Need to refresh my memory re: congenital heart disease and its presentation in neonates.

How and when will you address these?

GP notebook and paediatric textbook, in the next couple of weeks.

Record created

15/12/19 21:24:32


[16/12/19 18:50:36] (Educational Supervisor) You did extremely well here, recognising the baby was not well and sticking by your own clinical judgement when a more specialist doctor was suggesting an alternative. This can be a difficult thing to do and in this case saved this baby’s life. Well done.

Comments guidance

Useful links

Page last updated: 27 August 2020

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