Tracking scope of work for trainees

Responsible officers will be familiar with the challenge of tracking a doctor’s scope of work, given the range and complexity of many doctors’ portfolios. The requirement of ensuring a responsible officer is fully informed about a doctor’s full scope of work applies to doctors in postgraduate training to the same level as any other doctor with a licence to practise. Experience has shown that trainees can have as varied a scope of work as any other doctor.

The Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans (COPMeD) has issued guidance on this matter to the postgraduate deans (the responsible officers to doctors in training) along with a set of FAQs (links below).

All responsible officers will find this guidance of interest. Not only may they be the responsible officer in an organisation engaging the services of a trainee outside their training programme but also the principles of tracking a doctor’s full scope of work and capturing information of note from the full breadth of this are the same for qualified doctors and trainees alike. These are:

  1. Primary responsibility sits with the individual doctor to ensure that they are meeting revalidation requirements to maintain their licence to practise.
  2. Doctors in training and fully qualified doctors must share information with their responsible officer about work they are doing outside their training programme or outside their designated body. This includes information about the nature of the work and any information of note such as incidents and concerns arising from their practice. Significant matters should be shared at the time as well as declared at the annual ARCP/appraisal.
  3. The responsible officer in the organisation that engages a doctor outside their training programme or designated body should also actively share information of note about the doctor’s work to the doctor’s responsible officer (their dean if a trainee) at the time these arise through the now embedded RO/RO communication channels.
  4. In every role both the doctor and the organisation share responsibility for supporting and supervising the doctor to ensure patient safety and the doctor’s professional development.
  5. Where standards exist in a particular role, the doctor should adhere to these.

Further information

This information sheet is relevant to all designated bodies in England.