Intended for healthcare professionals


Senior trainees who strike for three weeks will undergo competence review, says HEE

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 05 September 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4813
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. BMJ Careers
  1. arimmer{at}

Senior trainee doctors who miss more than 14 days of training by taking strike action will be subject to a review of their competence, Health Education England has said.

The BMA announced last week that junior doctors in England will stage four rounds of industrial action from September until December. Each round will comprise full withdrawal of labour between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm for five consecutive weekdays.1

In a statement HEE said that there could be circumstances where prolonged industrial action and loss of training affected a doctor’s ability to demonstrate competence and to complete the curriculum.

HEE said that it would comply with General Medical Council guidance, which states that a senior trainee who misses more than two weeks of training (other than through annual leave) during a training year will be reviewed at their next annual review of competence progression (ARCP).

The GMC has said that any absence above a recommended time period would trigger a review of whether the trainee needed extra time in training. It said that trainees on the foundation programme could be absent for a maximum of 20 days during each year of training before a review was triggered.2

For each 12 month period of postgraduate training a junior doctor can be absent for a total of 14 days before a review is triggered of whether the doctor’s certificate of completion of training (CCT) date should be extended, the GMC said.3

The decision on the outcome of this review is taken by deaneries, the GMC said. If a junior doctor’s CCT date changed as a result of the review then the new date would be worked out by the deanery in conjunction with the relevant medical royal college, the regulator said.