FICM Training News

28 May 2020

ICM Training Update



Recruitment to ICM Training has taken place and we expect to welcome successful applicants to our programme in August as planned, in line with national policy. Recruitment to ST3 posts was significantly disrupted with the cancellation of all interviews. The revised selection process consisted of allocation to full 5 year training rotations based upon the applicants’ portfolio self-assessment score with an agreed methodology for separating tied scores. This is obviously a significant compromise necessitated by these extraordinary times. However, there has been a strong demand from other parties, including those representing doctors in training, to proceed with full programme allocation. Further details regarding recruitment can be found here.

Supporting the COVID-19 response - Overall Gold Guide changes

In the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Faculty firmly shares the aim of the statutory education bodies (SEBs) of the four UK nations (HEE, NES, HEIW, NIMDTA) that, wherever possible, progression through clinical training should continue without detriment to the trainee (see Enabling Progression at ARCP).

The SEBs have been working with medical royal colleges and faculties to review how ARCPs can be managed in 2020. While ensuring patient safety remains the primary focus and to reduce burden on trainees, trainers and health services in all nations, the aim is to enable as many trainees to progress in their training at the normal rate.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it may not be possible for trainees and trainers to prepare for and provide the usual evidence for ARCPs as defined in the Gold Guide (see Gold Guide Version 8). As described in paragraph 1.12 of the Gold Guide, Postgraduate Deans have the discretion to make derogations from the guide in exceptional circumstances. The SEBs reasonably consider COVID-19 meets the criteria for allowing Postgraduate Deans collectively to agree derogations.

Three derogations from the Gold Guide have been agreed by the SEBs:

  1. composition of ARCP panels
  2. new ARCP outcomes introduced
  3. evidence to be considered by ARCP panels.

Further details on these derogations are available here.

Managing ARCPs

We have developed COVID-19 specific national guidance and an ARCP Decision Aid for panels during this period. Please review the following documents for further information.

New ARCP outcomes have been created, see here for further details. Outcomes 10.1 and 10.2 recognise that progress of the trainee has been satisfactory but that acquisition of capabilities by the trainees has been delayed by COVID-19 disruption. These are therefore 'no-fault' outcomes.

Panels should consider an Outcome 10 (.1 or .2) only where progression has been disrupted due to the necessity to cancel FFICM examinations, and/or inability to acquire competences, and/or inability to complete minimum time in specialty ICM placements, as a result of the impact of COVID-19 on ICM training. In all other circumstances, the usual ARCP outcome codes should be used in 2020.

All of the new COVID outcomes have been included in the ARCP Outcome Forms in the ICM ePortfolio. If you need to use these outcomes we recommend you include as much narrative as possible to explain the situation fully.

Morale and Welfare

We understand the incredible challenges that are being experienced by both ICM trainees and their trainers. There are a number of resources that may be of use on the joint website that can be accessed here. We would urge anyone who is experiencing difficulties to seek help and also discuss any support that your local department can offer. Most importantly, our ICM Regional Advisor and Faculty Tutor network will remain an important local point of contact for accessing support.

On behalf of everyone involved in training at the Faculty we would like to thank everyone for their hard work, commitment and support in the midst of the current crisis. We have worked hard to be as careful as we can to ensure that the decisions that have been made regarding recruitment, ARCPs and curriculum transition do not add to the burden that colleagues are experiencing at this difficult time. We will continue to advocate and work hard on your behalf and will send out further information as it becomes available.

You may also want to review the bridging guidance for critical care we recently produced regarding the restoration of NHS services that includes key sections on doctors in training.

FFICM Examination

At present, we are planning to run the October sitting of the FFICM Examination and have no plans for further cancellations. We are exploring remote running options in case there is a future risk to our ability to run in-person examinations. We are ensuring there is additional capacity for the next diets of the examinations.

New ICM Curriculum

Firstly, thank you for all of your feedback during the consultation phase of the project, it was greatly appreciated. We submitted the new curriculum to the GMC’s Curriculum Advisory Group to review in February 2020. COVID-19 has delayed the GMC’s review of curricula but we expect to receive an outcome in June. We will update you further when we know the outcome but we are still planning to move to the new curriculum on 04 August 2021.

Continuation of dual training with the physician specialties

We submitted an options paper with the JRCPTB to the GMC Curriculum Oversight Group (comprised of members of the UK Medical Education Reference Group) for consideration and they were supportive of continuing the dual training programmes and requested the JRCPTB to work with FICM to define the dual training requirements for the new curricula. They did not support a workforce need for triple accreditation. The JRCPTB and FICM are working closely on developing an alternative training pathway and we will update you further as this work progresses.

Update regarding the award of a CESR(CP)

The GMC has confirmed that they will, from 18 May 2020, issue a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) to doctors on a combined programme who have trained in the UK for the minimum number of years defined in EU legislation.

As there is no minimum UK training time listed for ICM on the legislation across the European Union, doctors entering the programme on a combined programme on consideration of prior unapproved posts will not be eligible for a CCT and will be on the CESR(CP) route. For further information please read this document that contains further details. The GMC may revisit this situation following Brexit.

There are no changes to the main CESR (also known as ‘equivalence’) route to specialist registration.

Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS)

For progression information specific to the ACCS training programme please visit the ACCS website.

Joint Position Statement for Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS) training programme - Initial Assessment of Competence (IAC) - 12 June 2020