Curriculum Transition

2021 curriculum implementation philosophy

The Faculty has taken the decision to transition almost all doctors who are in the 2010 ICM CCT training programme to the new 2021 curriculum at the same time, on 04 August 2021.  Whilst this might appear to provide less flexibility of approach, it is consistent with the GMC’s aim to minimise the time when specialties have two curricula running concurrently.  Doing so is logistically the only way the Faculty can manage this, and will have the advantage of greater consistency of approach in as short a time as possible.

The issues concerning StRs and trainers are:

  • Considering the position that the StR has got to within the 2010 curriculum, particularly mid-stage
  • Undertaking a ‘gap analysis’
  • Determining what evidence needs uploading to the new LLP
  • Consistency and fairness in approach
  • Patient safety

It is appreciated that the timeframes from approval of the 2021 ICM curriculum to implementation date have been relatively short, with the pandemic having adversely affected the timelines and the doctors (StRs and trainers) involved in the transition itself. That said, the new curriculum is designed to make the burden of evidence gathering (for the majority) much less, and for training to encourage more active and productive engagement between trainers and StRs. The transition needs to happen at some point, and the benefits will be reaped thereafter.

As has been presented by members of TAQ at the TLAM and virtual STC meetings, there needs to be a shift in approach to how trainers and StRs engage with the curriculum, SLEs and LLP.

The Faculty is aware that a number of regions have tried to draft prescriptive processes. We would suggest strongly that the approach is more flexible and pragmatic, as this aligns with the principles behind the new curriculum. We saw much of this pragmatic outcomes based approach being utilised with COVID derogations; thus, we suggest adopting this sort of mind-set in considering transition implementation.

It is important to remember that the underpinning syllabus and structure of the ICM curriculum have not changed. This should make judging where a doctor is in each curriculum straightforward to comprehend. The documentation of this should be largely descriptive rather than overly prescriptive in detail.

Transition process

The transition document gives advice on how this should happen, with guidance on what should be uploaded as supporting evidence to the LLP.

Suggested approach to this process:

‘Exiting’ the 2010 curriculum
  • Near to the transition date, the ES reviews StR’s progress against the 2010 curriculum. An end of Stage position is straightforward. Where a doctor is mid Stage, it is not expected that either a long list of individual competencies is listed in an ESSR, nor that an exhaustive mapping exercise is undertaken to identify which key capabilities need subsequently completing in the 2021 curriculum.
  • Within an ESSR or educational meeting note, the ES should comment on the StR’s engagement with training and the NES e-portfolio, with a broad commentary as to which areas still need to be worked on to complete that Stage of training. This document will appear in the NES e-portfolio, and should be uploaded to the LLP as a Personal Activity that can be used as evidence against the new HiLLOs.
  • When making the above judgement, it is important to remember to consider how the StR has performed against the current 2010 curriculum.
‘Entering’ the 2021 curriculum
  • On commencing the 2021 curriculum, the StR should meet their next ES in the first few weeks to identify which broad areas of the curriculum should be focused on. The key capabilities will help describe what they are. It is important to remember that it is not necessary to evidence every single key capability in the new curriculum. They help guide what the StR should work on, and what the ES will be looking for in making a judgement as to whether a doctor meets the required level for the HiLLOs. 
  • When in the new curriculum, the ES will use all the triangulating evidence they can gather, including their own direct observations, to make an overall, holistic judgement on whether the StR meets the required level for the HiLLOs at each Stage.


  • Late June/early July 2021: LLP logins made available to key educators and ICM StRs
  • July 2021: LLP logins made available for StRs appointed to start ICM programme in August 2021
  • July 2021: ES to write an ESSR or educational meeting note on NES e-portfolio to document the StR’s position in the ICM programme.
  • 04 August 2021: Transition date
  • August 2021: StR to meet with ES. Create PDP on ICM LLP
  • July-October 2021: ensure all documents are downloaded from NES e-portfolio that are needed, and/or wanted for future reference. Upload to LLP, as a Personal Activity. Start linking to relevant HiLLOs (you can save your work as you progress) – review this process over this period with ES.
  • Academic year August 2021-July 2022: ARCP will happen at the timepoint relevant for the individual StR.  Ensure the LLP documentation is subsequently used for this, most importantly the ESSR, with the ES having reviewed the HiLLOs. Refer to the 2021 curriculum and assessment strategy documents for more detail.

Webinar Q&A on the New ICM Curriculum

If you are the ICM Head of School, a Regional Advisor or Training Programme Director, you will have been sent a password by the Faculty that will allow you to access this video. The full discussion starts from 1:55. If you do not have a password please contact us.

Do you have any comments or feedback?
If so, please do not hesitate to contact us.