1. What is a Competency?

Competencies are abilities or attributes one needs for effective and safe practice within a job.

2. What is the Competency Checklist?

The competency checklist for psychiatry is a formal assessment process introduced to ensure that all core trainees have the basic and minimum knowledge, clinical skills and communication skills to work safely in psychiatry.

3. What does it consist of?

8 key clinical skills which have been identified as essential for trainees to be competent in to ensure they can practice psychiatry safely

4. Is it mandatory?

Yes it is. The London Deanery requires all new trainees to core psychiatry posts (not higher ST trainees) to be assessed with this competency checklist. This includes all new CT1 trainees starting core psychiatry training schemes and all new CT2/3 trainees joining London Deanery core psychiatry training from other deaneries and all GP trainees in core psychiatry training posts.

It is now an ARCP requirement for all new trainees to the London Deanery. Please note that failure to complete the competency checklist can result in the trainee being issued with an unsatisfactory outcome at ARCP.

5. What is the timeline for completing it?

Within two weeks of starting your first post in core psychiatry, all new trainees should have completed the first two competences of the checklist (elicit a clinical history and perform a MSE) and then aim to demonstrate all eight competences by around the end of the first month.

6. Who can sign me off?

A senior doctor in psychiatry, either a consultant or a higher speciality trainee (ST4-6, SpR). A staff-grade (SASG) doctor may be an assessor if this is delegated by your supervisor.

7. How will I be assessed?

Your training scheme will provide you with the checklist form (please see link) which you may find easiest to keep on you at all times to facilitate having opportunities to be assessed and signed off within clinical settings.

If this is not manageable, or is preferred by your clinical supervisor/ training scheme, you may be assessed in an OSCE style format or assessment.

8. Do I need to prepare for the assessments?

All the knowledge should be familiar to you from your medical school training and from foundation years.

You may find it of use to revise certain areas and there are links and references within the subsections for further reading.

In case you haven’t found the answer for your question please feel free to contact us through contacts page.