The Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) is a process of checking and evaluating evidence of competency attainment collected by a trainee over the preceding year. There has been no study evaluating trainees' perception of this new process. Two cross-sectional electronic surveys were conducted a year apart in the north of England. Out of 92 psychiatry trainees 58 (63%) completed the survey in 2008; 60 (63%) out of 96 trainees completed the second round in 2009.
Over the year there was a significant improvement in trainees' perception of the new process: 75% of respondents highlighted non-availability of a list of acceptable evidence for the portfolio in 2008, which reduced to 22% in 2009 (P <0.001). The percentage of trainees facing difficulty in accessing the electronic portal reduced from 73 to 28% (P <0.001). The trainees continued to express the need for explicit feedback at ARCP and improved training of the assessors in addition to other parameters.
The process of ARCP seems to have become robust over the year studied. There is scope for further refining of the process according to trainees' needs.