Learning Log

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.

Learning Log formats

There are following learning log types:

The learning logs are grouped in a manner that mirrors your post-CCT GMC requirements:  

  1. Reflection on reviewing what you do, and learning from cases, data and events.
  2. Seeking and reflecting on feedback about what you do.
  3. Evidence of keeping up to date (for trainees, becoming up to date across the curriculum) – Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

You can find more information about each log type below:

Clinical experience groups

Clinical Experience Groups map to the RCGP curriculum. Instead of linking individual learning logs to individual sub headings of the curriculum, these curriculum headings have been grouped into Clinical Experience Groups. Up to two Clinical Experience Groups can be linked to each learning log. Your supervisor is encouraged to review the links and amend/remove any inappropriate links. 

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 19 years)
  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

GP trainees are reminded to regularly review the topic guides in the curriculum for further understanding of these areas. 

Capability linkage

The majority of the reflective learning log entries require you to suggest links to the 13 GP Capabilities (the basis of ‘Being a General Practitioner’). Most of which also require justification, describing how your actions and approach link to the capability suggested.  This should help focus your thinking when writing entries and helps alignment with the Educational Supervisors Review, where you are required to demonstrate how you are meeting the Capabilities.

The revised format for learning logs is intended to reduce the time you spend time summarising the case in detail, commenting on what you have done or learnt and possibly identifying some learning needs, without any clear connection to the Capabilities that you are trying to demonstrate. Your supervisor will be able to confirm each of your suggested links and add further comments about the capabilities chosen. The text inputted when justifying the capabilities chosen will be autopopulated and available to you as part of your Educational Supervisors Review, in addition to those entries purely linked. You and your supervisor should be aware that the links to be made to Clinical Experience Groups is to enable you to demonstrate that you are competent in each of the Capabilities across the range of Clinical Experience Groups with whom GPs work.

It is expected that by the end of training there should be sufficient coverage of the  Clinical Experience Groups to demonstrate your ability to work as a General  Practitioner in the UK in a range of settings. The coverage of the Clinical Experience Groups in each Capability should be reviewed at your placement planning meeting and periodic Educational Supervisor meetings. You therefore need to be aware at each stage of training whether you are accumulating sufficient evidence. Minimum expected numbers have deliberately not been set and should not be set locally as the demonstration of Capability depends on your educational needs, the quality of evidence, and the reflections on learning rather than on numbers alone.   

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.

Reflection

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.

Comments guidance

Useful links

Page last updated: 21 January 2020

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