The GP Curriculum & Work Place Based Assessment

The RCGP has developed a national training curriculum for general practitioners (approved by the General Medical Council). It was introduced in 2007. Throughout their training, GP trainees are expected to cover this curriculum.

The Curriculum

The curriculum is a lengthly document but it can help you;

  • identify areas in which you are weak and thus
  • identify ways in which you might be able to address those needs

There are 26 curriculum statements, each of which is split into a number of areas of expertise, known as domains. Each domain contains a number of learning outcomes; these describe an item of knowledge, skill or expertise that a GP is expected to master. Many of the curriculum statements also contain a Knowledge Base, which describes the symptoms, common conditions, treatments and other items of clinical knowledge that a GP is expected to learn for a particular topic.

The curriculum documents are available from the RCGP Curriculum Site http://www.rcgp-curriculum.org.uk/ along with a wide range of information and resources relating to the MRCGP and the new curriculum.

As a hospital-based trainee you may wish to discuss your learning needs with you clinical supervisor with reference to the Super Condensed GP Curriculum Guide for that speciality. These are produced by the Scotland Deanery and can be accessed here.

Assessment

The MRCGP examination is the single training and assessment system for UK trained doctors wishing to obtain a CCT (Certificate of Completion of Training) in General Practice. The MRCGP assessments are mapped to the GP curriculum and address the wide-ranging knowledge, clinical skills and communication skills required by doctors who will specialise in general practice. Satisfactory completion of MRCGP is a pre-requisite for the issue of a CCT in general practice and confirms eligibility for membership of the RCGP.

The primary purpose of the MRCGP is to confirm that a doctor has satisfactorily completed specialty training for general practice and is sufficiently safe and proficient to enter independent general practice in the UK. The MRCGP also provides feedback on progress during training for trainee GPs, their trainers and deaneries, particularly through workplace-based assessment.

 The MRCGP is an integrated training and assessment programme that consists of three compulsory elements:

  • Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) - a summative assessment of the knowledge base that underpins independent general practice within the United Kingdom.

  • Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) - an assessment of a doctor’s ability to integrate and apply clinical, professional, communication and practical skills appropriate for general practice.

  • Workplace-based Assessment (WPBA) - the evaluation of a doctor’s progress in their performance over time, in those areas of professional practice best tested in the workplace. The evidence for WPBA will be recorded in a web-based e-Portfolio personal to each trainee.

  • Each of these components is independent and test different skills, but together they cover the GP curriculum. It is an outcomes-based assessment system which covers the entire three year training programme and sets the standard expected of doctors being licensed to practise independently as general practitioners in the UK. 

Registration

  1. All doctors must register with the RCGP at the start of their training programme.

  2. Registration is online. To register with the RCGP please visit the RCGP website or click on the following link to take you there http://www.rcgp.org.uk/ait. For further information about registering please click here.

  3. GP StRs are issued with logins for the RCGP ePortfolio once they have registered with the RCGP. The ePortfolio is an essential part of the assessment process. It supports the evaluation and assessment of a GP StR’s progress in their performance over time. The RCGP has prepared a guide for trainees which can be accessed at the following page: http://www.rcgp.org.uk/training-exams/mrcgp-trainee-eportfolio.aspx .

  4. Further information about the MRCGP: the CCT and Membership Assessment can also be found on the RCGP’s site. To go to the relevant section of the site click on the following link: http://www.rcgp.org.uk/training-exams/becoming-a-gp/entry-to-gp-the-register.aspx.

  5. The e-Portfolio Serves Two Main Purposes: primarily HELPING YOU to identify what you're doing well at and what needs further development and providing evidence for others that you are progressing well enough to move onto the next ST stage or certification (ARCP panels, trainers, educational supervisors).