HAVING been successfully piloted, the RCVS's professional development phase (PDP) is being formally introduced. From this summer, all new graduates registering with the RCVS, including those who graduated overseas, will be required to keep a record of their progress towards achieving the ‘Year 1 competencies’ ‐ that is, the clinical skills and procedures expected of someone who has worked in clinical practice for about a year. The PDP system is based on self‐assessment ‐ the new graduate will keep a simple log of his or her cases and clinical experiences on a password‐protected, web‐based database, to support them as they reflect on and plan their ongoing development. Here, Barry Johnson and Freda Andrews of the RCVS outline the context in which the PDP has been introduced, and give some pointers for employers and others who may be involved in mentoring and appraising new recruits to the profession.
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