Guidance on Educational Supervision and the ESSR

Recommendations are that the minimum number of meetings the ES should have with their trainee is 3 per year. These should be an initial meeting within 2 weeks of the trainee starting under that ES, a mid-term review meeting, an end of year summary which is actually best placed at least 6 weeks before the ARCP to allow the ESSR to be completed in time for it to then be reviewed and finished by the CT.

All meetings should be recorded. The trainee and ES retain a copy for future reference (you may need these many years later so do not destroy). The trainee should upload the meetings to their eportfolio. There is no initial and mid ES report on eportfolio only an end ESSR.

The trainee should create their PDP with the ES on eportfolio with individual assigned items that can be marked as achieved as they go on.

Although we expect the trainees to be proactive and organise these meetings it is also up to the ES to chase the trainees up (within reason). Usually the trainee who does not engage is the trainee in difficulty.

We expect all, but a very few exceptions, of our trainees to be using eportfolio now and to complete the ESSR and ARCP documentation all via eportfolio.

The new workbooks are in line with the eportfolio except the IAC and IAOC which are additional to the eportfolio.

Any form of documentation for the initial and mid can be used. Some departments have their own. There is a suggested form on the the following page,Training Workbooks, Certificates and Other Documents, which can be used.

It may be useful to refer to the West Midlands portfolio scoring for CT1 and ST3 posts when reviewing the trainees CV and aspirations. I have linked a copy of these but please note they may change slightly over the next few years.

All Peninsula trainees must have 1 MSF (2 in CT2 ACCS) and 1 Structured Feedback per year.

MSF - this is via eportfolio. (There is a paper version available for exceptional circumstances). The minimum required responders to be valid are 8. The ideal is 12. Please note the timeline from initiation to completion of MSF via eportfolio is 8 weeks. We advise all trainees to commence the process around February for completion ready for their ARCP.

Structured Feedback - the completed summary must be discussed with the trainee and uploaded to the trainees eportfolio, linked to the ARCP. It is up to the CT and ES to circulate these and create the summary before feedback to the trainee.

Please remind your trainees that it is their professional duty to provide feedback when required, including the yearly GMC survey on training and the two yearly trainees feedback of trainers survey we have in the Peninsula. We, as trainers, also have this professional obligation and provide the feedback on our trainees that they require.

The SW Peninsula School expect all ES to have completed Deanery courses 1-5. These do not need to be repeated. The expectation is that a minimum of 5 CPD per year is spent in ES activity within the Peninsula including teaching on the primary / final courses and similar, SWOT / SWIPED and DAFT.

Please remember all trainees have access to free:


careers advice and coaching


via Health Education Southwest (Deanery) and we highly recommend these.

The RCoA have lots of guides for the eportfolio. The following link displays the ESSR guide

This is quite long but comprehensive.

There are a few essential points:

  • The trainee must have the correct ARCP date logged on their eportfolio. (these are automatically generated for 12 months from the previous ARCP so will often need amending) A simple email or call to the eportfolio support desk by the trainee can fix that.

  • All uploaded evidence must be linked to that ARCP date.

  • The eportfolio will lock and not allow any further uploads 2 weeks before the ARCP when it becomes available to the ARCP panel for assessment.

  • The ESSR is available in the assessments section once the ARCP date is fixed.

  • The units of sign off and linked eportfolio evidence will automatically attach to this.

  • The ESSR is long and must be completed accurately by the trainee.

  • Additional units of training that we require in the Peninsula (ie in our workbooks) must be listed when complete in the freehand sections.

  • The ES summary should be comprehensive and include
    • a summary of the following subheadings:
      • Non-clinical skills
      • Clinical knowledge and skills including exams
      • Logbook summary
      • Audit
      • Research
      • Publications
      • Presentations
      • Teaching
      • Management
      • Study Leave
      • Summary of Structure Feedback and MSF
      • Overall assessment of the years progress
    • A comment on any mitigating circumstances / sickness / unresolved critical incidents etc
    • Any concerns
    • Career plans / OOPE / OOPT etc

  • When the ESSR is completed it is automatically forwarded to the CT for their summary.

Trainees in difficulty

If there are mitigating circumstances or other issues the ES should involve the CT and will most probably meet the trainee more frequently than initial / mid / final.

A trainee who is on an extension of training will have an Interim Review by the ARCP panel midway through the extension (usually after 3-4 months). There is an Interim Review form on the eportfolio the ES should complete for this meeting. No other paperwork is required.

Thanks you again for your time and involvement. Without you the trainees will not exist and we could not function.

Please contact me if there are any queries.


Emma Hartsilver

TPD for assessments