2021 Curriculum Assessment Guidance

Published: 14/11/2022

Educational Supervisors Structured Report (ESSR) & ARCPs


The Lifelong Learning platform (LLp) allows for multiple ESSRs per year that can be completed at intervals reflective of individual training programmes, as agreed between an anaesthetist in training and an educational supervisor. These will all subsequently feed into an ARCP.

The ESSR will periodically (at least annually) record a longitudinal, global report of an anaesthetist in training’s progress based on a range of assessment, potentially including exams and observations in practice or reflection on behaviour by those who have appropriate expertise and experience. The ESSR can incorporate commentary or reports from longitudinal observations, such as from supervisors or formative assessments demonstrating progress over time.

The anaesthetist in training should submit their ESSR 2 weeks in advance of their ARCP, in order that the Educational Supervisor and College Tutor can review the evidence and add comments.

ESSRs on Lifelong Learning

Anaesthetists in training are advised to create their ESSR after they have created all required forms that need to be pulled in. This includes any Personal Activities and the Form R.

The ESSR may show "not set" under the supervisor's name. This is because the form automatically pulls in the supervisor named on the learner's current placement, and populates the name once the ESSR has been sent. Alternatively, the College Tutor needs to be selected by the learner. 

Guidance for ARCP

The Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) is the formal process where training progress is reviewed, usually on an annual basis. This process should be used to collate and systematically review evidence about an anaesthetist in training’s performance and progress in a holistic way and make decisions about their achievement of expected outcomes and subsequent progression in training.

Throughout training, anaesthetists should engage with the learning process by using the LLp to demonstrate that they are meeting the requirements of the curriculum.

The evidence collected on the LLp includes:

This evidence should form the basis of the ESSR that is reviewed at the ARCP and considered when awarding an ARCP outcome. A satisfactory outcome at the ARCP is required in order to progress through the training programme. The ARCP process is described in the ‘Gold Guide’ (external link) and the Deaneries are responsible for organising and conducting ARCPs. The evidence to be reviewed by ARCP panels should be collected in the anaesthetist in training's LLp.

The decisions made at critical progression points and upon completion of training should be clear and defensible. They must be fair and robust and make use of evidence from a range of assessments, potentially including examinations and observations in practice or reflection on behaviour by those who have appropriate expertise or experience.

Assessment of attainment of the learning outcomes involves looking across a range of different skills and behaviours to make global decisions about an anaesthetist’s suitability to progress in training. The domains of learning grids in section 5.10 of the 2020 Curriculum for a CCT in Anaesthetics set out the high-level description of attainment to be achieved for each domain at the end of each stage
of training in order to progress to the next.

As a precursor to ARCPs, the RCoA strongly recommend that anaesthetists in training have an informal LLp review either with their Educational Supervisor or arranged by the local school of anaesthesia. These provide opportunities for early detection of anaesthetists whose evidence of training progress may not be sufficient to attain a satisfactory outcome in their ARCP.

In order to guide the anaesthetists in training, their supervisors and the ARCP panel, the RCoA has produced ARCP guidance that sets out the requirements for a satisfactory ARCP outcome at the end of each stage of training and critical progression point. ARCP checklists and guidance are available here.

ARCPs on Lifelong Learning

ARCP panellists are able to view all ESSRs for an anaesthetist in training, as well as any forms pulled in. If a panellist needs enhanced access to a learner's portfolio, please get in touch with the school admin who will be able to share their access temporarily.