COVID-19 - developing capabilities around the Progress curriculum

As always, we're supporting paediatric trainees in the UK. As we move into an unprecedented and extremely challenging period, we provide some guidance on how trainees can continue to gain valuable capabilities around the curriculum, and provide examples and practical tips.
Last modified
26 March 2020

We are reviewing this content on a regular basis, and will publish any updated guidance.

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RCPCH Progress capabilities

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, doctors in paediatric training are likely to be asked to undertake a wider range of roles over the coming months, potentially with greater involvement in service reconfiguration, clinical work outside of their sub-specialty or in an adult specialty, and facing challenging situations outside of usual day to day practice.

During this unprecedented time doctors may be concerned that there will be limited or no formal training activity, such as teaching and workplace based assessments.

As our VP for Training and Assessment wrote, do not worry about your training; your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of your patients should always be paramount.

We have more detailed information on the impact on training (for example, your workplace-based assessments and ARCPs, or annual reviews of competence of progression). Despite this, there will still be countless opportunities for learning, and developing capabilities relevant to the RCPCH Progress domains. This page offers ideas for those who wish to record evidence for this purpose or for personal reflection.

Recording evidence

It may not be feasible to complete assessments or full reflections at this time, but trainees wishing to capture evidence could do so in bullet point or note form to return to at a later date. The development log section of RCPCH ePortfolio offers an ideal, secure way of doing this and a new ‘Service Experience’ developmental log has been added to ePortfolio for the purpose of easily recording any event you feel evidences your training. A quick guide to note taking is available to download at the bottom of this page.

Remember to anonymise any patient data in notes to ensure confidentiality. As a doctor, you may find it helpful to record notes at the end of a shift as a self-support tool, and not only with the curriculum in mind. When you feel able to, you can return to these notes to reflect either on individual cases/activities or on several as a group - individually or in discussion with their supervisors.

You can download our guidance on taking notes efficiently and quickly below.

As a reminder, you can also can read our ePortfolio guidance for trainees and log in to ePortfolio.

Example curriculum evidence

The following are examples of the range of experiences and evidence doctors may wish to record and reflect on, for various RCPCH Progress domains. These will vary depending on location, setting, training grade/experiences, and whether experience is being gained in other specialties. 



1. Professional values, behaviours and knowledge

  • Taking steps to protect own health and wellbeing (physical and mental), and adhering to isolation procedures where appropriate
  • Provides practical or emotional support for colleagues
  • Acts up within the safe limits of their capabilities

2. Professional skills: communication

  • Adapting communication approaches when wearing PPE (personal protective equipment); breaking bad news and managing patient/family concerns
  • Initiating/participating in conversations regarding escalation of care, resuscitation decisions, and end of life care
  • Use of remote communications with CYP (children and young people) and families for triage, outpatient clinics, or in other circumstances
  • Provide information to CYP and their families regarding risks, safeguarding, procedures etc.

3. Professional skills: procedures

  • The adaptation of clinical procedures taking into account PPE, and the risks to CYP, their relatives, and healthcare professionals

4. Professional skills: patient management

  • Changes in patient management taking into account likely pathogens, the risk of hospitalisation, and other factors specific to pre-existing conditions or COVID-19
  • Supervision of colleagues including non-paediatricians and allied healthcare professionals in the care of CYP
  • The use of appropriate resources to empower CYP to manage their own health in the context of self and family isolation
  • Shows flexibility when working within the healthcare system in the management of children and young people presenting during a pandemic

5. Health promotion & illness prevention

  • Discussing self-isolation and social distancing with CYP and their families/carers
  • Identify/implement additional precautions for vulnerable CYP, family members and the general public
  • Participates in Major incident management
  • Applies protocols for PPE use

6. Leadership & team working

  • Leading or assisting with service reconfiguration, implementation of new systems, etc.
  • Managing complex rotas in a fluid situation
  • Liaising with and/or providing additional support (within own capability) for colleagues in other paediatric sub-specialties or adult specialties
  • Providing support and guidance for colleagues returning to or new to clinical practice
  • Prioritising resource in departments with depleted staffing

7. Patient safety including safe prescribing

  • Identifying and escalating patient safety concerns appropriately to Consultants and senior managers
  • Uses PPE appropriately in accordance with local and national policies to mitigate risk to themselves, CYP, their families and the public

8. Quality improvement

  • Using innovative ways of working to reflect changing situation, guidelines or patient need e.g. implementing remote triage and appointments
  • Shares examples of best practice with colleagues to improve care, patient flow and safety within the healthcare system
  • Understands the role of departmental, Trust, regional, national and international guidance in the care of CYP with suspected COVID-19

9. Safeguarding

  • Recognises and manages safeguarding concerns in the context of a pandemic response including the ability of parents and carers to provide a safe environment for CYP
  • Works flexibly to address safeguarding concerns in the context of a healthcare system under pressure

10. Education & training

  • Organising remote teaching sessions using online learning platforms, video conferencing software or social media, for example on Zoom, Skype
  • Identifying own or other’s knowledge/skills training needs, and ways of addressing these
  • Providing  support and guidance for colleagues returning to or new to clinical practice

11. Research & scholarship

  • Critical appraisal of evidence as it emerges, and use to inform future practice and/or local guideline development