RCPCH Progress - guidance and support

The RCPCH Progress curriculum is approved for delivery from 1 August. Here are some answers to questions you may have.
Last modified
28 April 2018

What is different about RCPCH Progress?

The new curriculum is based on a framework of learning outcomes as opposed to the current list of competencies, and incorporates the Generic Professional Capabilities the GMC expect of all doctors. Collecting evidence for an outcomes based curriculum will be very different from getting a competency signed off. This new approach will allow greater flexibility for you to demonstrate achievement.

The new curriculum will be much more user friendly and will support you in your practice. It will allow you to focus on those areas of practice which are relevant to your working area, as opposed to getting a list of things ‘ticked off’.

Read the learning outcomes and full curriculum

How is the new curriculum structured?

RCPCH Progress is structured around 11 curriculum domains (eg procedures, communication, leadership and team working), and there is a Learning Outcome stating the standard trainees must have met for each domain, for each of the three levels of paediatric training.  All trainees need to demonstrate all these generic Learning Outcomes.  At level three, trainees will need to meet additional Learning Outcomes specific to either General Paediatrics, or their GRID sub-specialty.

To support trainees and supervisors and to ensure consistency, there are a small number of ‘key capabilities’ specified for each Learning Outcome.  These are mandatory things the trainee must evidence in order for the Learning Outcome to be met.  At the back of each syllabus document, an assessment grid suggests assessment tools which may be used to evidence each key capability.

For every Learning Outcome there are also a range of illustrations, which are examples of other evidence that trainees may wish to use to demonstrate they have fully met the outcome.  Trainees are not required to do any specific illustrations, they are simply there as prompts, and they may use other evidence to demonstrate their achievement of the Learning Outcome. 

How do I use the new curriculum to support my training?

The curriculum Learning Outcomes inform the trainee and the trainer of the standard the trainee needs to have met to progress satisfactorily through each level of training.  The key capabilities help ensure that the judgements made are consistent, fair and transparent.

The Learning Outcomes for all levels and sub-specialties are found within the main ‘curriculum’ document.  Generic syllabi for levels 1, 2 and 3 also contain the Learning Outcomes for each level, along with the key capabilities and illustrations for each outcome, and a grid of suggested assessment tools. Similar syllabi have been produced for Level 3 General Paediatrics, and each of the Level 3 sub-specialties.

Will trainees undertaking a SPIN module complete three curricula at level three training (generic, general paediatrics, and SPIN)?

That’s correct, there is no change for how clinicians undertake SPIN modules at present. Trainees will continue to need to demonstrate how they meet the generic and general paediatric standards as they do now (we’ve just tried to make the separation of those clearer under Progress), albeit against the new Progress standards not the old ones, plus they need to show they’ve met the requirements of their SPIN module. The SPIN curriculum part of your ePortfolio will be unchanged.

As new SPIN curricula are produced, or old ones reviewed, we’re intending to update the format so over time they will all be structured in the same way as the new curriculum, with Learning Outcomes, Key Capabilities and Illustrations. This will be phased in over time though, so won’t impact on trainees already on the existing SPINs.

Will the new curriculum mean any changes to the CCT I receive?

No, there has been no change to the CCT.  All trainees completing the training programme will continue to receive a CCT in ‘Paediatrics’.  Trainees who have also completed a GRID sub-specialty post will continue to have this included in brackets eg ‘Paediatrics (Community Child Health)’.

What are the timescales for implementing RCPCH Progress?

The new curriculum will become the approved curriculum to be used for training from 1 August 2018. Most trainees will need to start using the new curriculum at this point, as they move to their next year of training.

I’m currently a trainee. Will I have to switch to the new curriculum?

All trainees will move from the current curriculum to RCPCH Progress, unless they are due to CCT before 15 September 2019.  You will not need to re-demonstrate achievement of training levels already completed under the old curriculum ie Level 2 trainees will not need to evidence again that they have met the requirements of Level 1 training.

What support will there be for trainees and trainers?

The College will be providing a range of short videos, fact sheets and other supporting tools for College Tutors, supervisors and trainees, which will be launched in a phased way throughout Spring 2018.  This will include a toolkit for College Tutors to help them ensure all trainers and trainees at their site are prepared for the implementation of RCPCH Progress in August 2018.

How can I get involved with the launch and implementation?

We are looking for trainees, tutors and supervisors who can help us spread the word about RCPCH Progress.  Using slides/videos provided by the College, we need volunteers to help present to others locally, and/or to help at national events.  If there is an event happening where you would like to speak about the new curriculum, or you would like to volunteer to help with any other part of our launch programme, please contact us at progress@rcpch.ac.uk.

Assessment and ePortfolio: Are there any new assessments?

No, trainees will still complete the MRCPCH exams, RCPCHStart and use the existing workplace based assessment tools. There will be a wider range of reflective notes which can be used to record other evidence against the Learning Outcomes, but these are not mandatory. When carrying out and reflecting on a workplace based assessment, trainees should focus on which Learning Outcome they were seeking to address.

The College is developing new assessments of Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) for Level 1 trainees, and these will be piloted prior to introduction to the assessment strategy. For more information, please see the assessment strategy document.

What will happen to my existing evidence in ePortfolio?

All evidence already recorded in ePortfolio will still remain and can be used to demonstrate achievement of the new curriculum.  Where trainees have evidence tagged to a competence in the current curriculum, this will be mapped by the College to the Learning Outcome we think it is most likely to apply to. Trainees will need to review this after 1 August and can move evidence to a different Learning Outcome if needed. Any untagged ePortfolio evidence will remain untagged, and so trainees will need to attach this to a Learning Outcome if they wish to use it to demonstrate achievement of the outcome.

Guidance for trainees ePortfolio

What will happen to untagged entries in ePortfolio when the switch to Progress happens on 1 August?

Any evidence that is untagged will remain in the portfolio in an untagged state. No evidence will be removed from ePortfolio.  If trainees wish to use currently untagged evidence to support achievement of one of the Progress Learning Outcomes they will need to tag it to these after 1 August 2018.

Are there any other changes to ePortfolio?

The forms for recording assessments will be updated and simplified, making it easier to select (from a drop down menu) which curriculum domain and Learning Outcome the assessment relates to, and to additionally tag a key capability or illustration that relates to that outcome, where required. Please see RCPCH Progress Early Adopters for a video showing this new form.

The Educational Supervisor form will also be updated, to be structured around the new RCPCH Progress domains, and taking a similar form to the consultant revalidation forms. Trainees and their Supervisors will consider the evidence against each Learning Outcome and make a judgement.

Development of Progress: Why was the curriculum reviewed?

The current curriculum is about 10 years old and has not been reviewed for many years. It is a very onerous curriculum that is quite unwieldy for use. As a consequence, the way it is used is inconsistent. The current curriculum does not currently support best practice.

Due to the age of the curriculum, there is potential that it is out of date and not fit for contemporary paediatric practice. The curriculum review has been undertaken in a way that has been a ‘start from scratch’ approach.

How was the new curriculum developed?

Approximately 200 clinicians, including trainees, were involved in developing the new curriculum. Authoring and reviewing was led by the Curriculum Review Group, a sub-committee of the Education and Training Quality Committee (ETQC), supported by the RCPCH College Specialty Advisory Committees (CSACs). Consultation took place with employer representatives, special interest groups, other Royal Medical Colleges, and patients, to ensure the final curriculum meets the needs of patients and the NHS now and in the future. RCPCH worked closely with the GMC through the development to ensure the curriculum met the requirements of the Standards for Curricula and Assessment, and satisfactorily incorporated the Generic Professional Capabilities.

How were children and young people involved?

Nearly 200 children and young people along with their families and carers were consulted as part of the curriculum review.  Several illustrations within the curriculum were written directly by these young people, and are marked with a (*).

Are there any more changes planned to the curriculum?

It is important that a curriculum is reviewed regularly to ensure it is fit for purpose, meeting the current and future needs of those using it to manage their training. There will be an annual window for stakeholders to suggest amendments to the Progress curriculum which will be considered by the ETQC. This will primarily focus on the illustrations supporting the Learning Outcomes.

In 2020/2021 the College will be updating the paediatric training programme to reflect the requirements of the Shape of Training Review, and there will be a fuller review of the Learning Outcomes themselves at this point.

See our response to Shape of Training Review

Further updates and contact

We will update these FAQs regularly, so check back soon for more information.

If you have any questions about RCPCH Progress in the meantime, please contact the Quality and Standards team at progress@rcpch.ac.uk.