RCPsych Curricula Review


Frequently asked questions

Outlined below are some of the questions we are frequently asked about the upcoming curricula changes from August 2022.

What is the Psychiatry 'Silver Guide'?

The Psychiatry 'Silver Guide' is the overarching guide outlining psychiatric education and training in the UK. It links directly to COPMeD's 'Gold Guide' and outlines key aspects within training, including:

  • Training pathways and specialties
  • Taking time out of training
  • Emergency psychiatry requirements
  • MRCPsych Examination and wider assessment strategy
  • Responsibilities of trainees and trainers
  • Supervision

Currently, the above information sits at the front of each curriculum, and we hope that by bringing the information together into one clear guide that it will be an easy-to-access point of reference for trainees and trainers.

What does the new curricula framework look like?

The new curricula framework has five key elements:

  • Psychiatry 'Silver Guide' - overarching guide outlining training in Psychiatry
  • Curricula - core, specialty and sub-specialty curricula which outline the purpose statement, High Level Outcomes (HLOs) and Key Capabilities (KCs) that trainees need to achieve in order to progress through training
  • Placement Specific Personal Development Plans (PDPs) - personalised and flexibile PDPs, developed from the current portfolio online template, incorporate the HLOs and KCs to ensure that objectives are set at the start if each placement between trainees and trainers. PDPs will link directly into the Psychiatric Supervision Report, and into the wider ARCP processes
  • ARCP Decision Aids - crib sheets designed to support ARCP panels with trainee progression, when used alongside the Educational Supervisors Report and Psychiatric Supervision Report. It is worth noting that these are guides to support sign-off.
  • Assessments - formative and summative assessments undertaken throughout training.

When will the curricula be implemented?

Curricula will be implemented from August 2022. Training and guidance on the new curricula will be released from November 2021 to support trainees in preparation to the new curricula coming in.

I am currently a trainee, when will I transition across and how will the changes affect me?

Trainees who are entering either CT3 or ST6 at the time of implementation will remain on the current curricula. All other trainees will transition across. Trainees who are LTFT or out of programme are advised to contact their supervisors, TPDs, or College for support. Please view our transition timetable for more information. You are welcome to feedback as part of our consultation if there are any concerns.

I am a trainee starting CT2 in Feb 2022, will I move to the new curricula?

Please refer to our transition timetable if you are a February starter.

Will the WBPA requirements change for me when I move to the new curricula?

WPBAs will remain the same but are being developed to map to the new HLO structure. We will still maintain minimum numbers; however, these will be recommended rather than mandatory numbers.

How will moving to recommended WPBA numbers impact on assessment?

We are no longer able to mandate minimum WPBA numbers. This is because we are moving to a capability, outcomes- focused curricula and assessment system. 

We are planning to recommend numbers, which are available in appendix 3 in the Psychiatry 'Silver Guide'. We are updating the WPBAs to ensure coverage across all HLO domains. It will be up to the trainer/supervisor to ensure that trainees have achieved the range of required capabilities by the specified critical progression point – a ‘quality over quantity’ approach.

We will be reviewing the WPBAs and the wider assessment strategy once the new curricula are implemented, with the aim of re-evaluating the numbers recommended and the breadth of information we receive from WPBAs.

As part of our implementation plan, we will be providing guidance to trainers on how to support trainees with their WPBAs.

How will the PDPs be set up and how will they be used?

PDPs will be set up at the start of each placement between a trainee and their 'named clinical' (Psychiatric) Supervisor. The PDP will be built upon throughout the placement, and any objectives that are to be further developed will be outlined at the end of the placement, highlighting progression.

The PDPs will feed directly into the Psychiatric Supervision Report, Educational Supervisors report, and subsequently ARCP.

‘Placement Specific Personal Development Plans’ implies they are linked to placements rather than trainees. Is this the case? Will job descriptions need to be updated to accommodate these?

No – The PDPs are personalised and flexible and very much trainee driven, set up by trainees and their trainers as part of Psychiatric Supervision. Although intended for set up at a new placement, they can also be set up for much longer placements or periods of time, e.g., when undertaking an endorsement. 

Job descriptions will not be impacted – the PDP is an agreement between trainee and trainer as to what activities will be undertaken and which capabilities will be achieved. They can be built upon throughout the placement, and beyond. They will link directly into the Psychiatric Supervision Report.

Will there be a new curriculum for “Broad-Based Training”?

Yes – the AoMRC have been working with the RCPsych and other Colleges to produce a new curriculum for BBT. Further information will be available in due course.

I’ve heard that there will be an eportfolio pilot – who will be taking part in this?

A small number of trainees in select regions will be transitioning across to the new curricula earlier than the majority to test the functionality of the updated portfolio.

CT1 and ST4 trainees starting in February 2022 will enter the pilot on the new curricula. Please contact specialtytraining@rcpsych.ac.uk for more information.