Anaesthetists in Training Webinar - Curriculum

The Royal College of Anaesthetists is pleased to present a series of three webinars for Anaesthetists in Training.

Webinar 3 - 2021 Anaesthetics Curriculum

Chair: Dr Susie Thoms, webinar chair and RCoA Anaesthetists in Training Committee member

Panel members:

  • Dr Chris Carey, Chair, RCoA Education, Training and Examinations Board

  • Dr Gethin Pugh, Curriculum Implementation Group member and member of the Assessment sub-group

  • Dr Jo Budd, Curriculum Implementation Group member and Assessment sub-group lead

Webinar recorded 22 July, 2021

Q&As

Below is a list of questions submitted by members before and during the webinar. The College is pleased to provide answers to all questions submitted by members to this webinar.

If members have any further questions, please refer to the College website or email 2021cct@rcoa.ac.uk.

I left training having completed my intermediate training except failing to pass FRCA in 2016. I have worked in anaesthesia and critical care as an SAS doctor ever since. I have now completed my FRCA and plan on returning to training in February 2022. I have all my competencies completed for intermediate training and completed ST3, ST4 and ST4E. I assume I complete the ST3 application process, and include documentation to reflect my non-conventional pathway?

The last recruitment round to ST3 is for the February 2022 intake and the application window opened on 27 July 2021 and closed on 17 August 2021.

Following an exceptional request from the College Recruitment Advisory Group (RAG), we are awaiting approval from the Medical and Dental Recruitment Selection (MDRS), for a ST4 recruitment round for a February 2023 intake. This is six months earlier than the original planned first intake for ST4 in August 2023.

What processes were undertaken to ensure gender equality when implementing the date for transition to new curriculum, especially for higher female trainees (ST6/7) who are going onto maternity leave? Having completed three quarters of higher training already it will add to workload and stress during what has already been a stressful time for SR's.

An Equality Impact analysis was undertaken and included as part of the submission process to the GMC.

Whilst the process of transition needs to be planned and managed carefully it should not in itself add to training time. Many of the outcomes are very closely aligned to the 2010 curriculum, especially in Stage 3 with regards to training in special interest areas. 

I am starting Registrar Training (ST3/CT3?) in August having competed Core Training on the old curriculum 12 months ago and working overseas for a year (not in anaesthetics).  Am I eligible to sit the finals in ST3 under the new curriculum?

Current eligibility for the Final FRCA is set out in the examination regulations. However we recommend that candidates should not sit the Final FRCA Examination until they have completed Stage 1 of training. You are advised to read the Prioritisation of Applications statement published on 16 August 2021.

If I am halfway through ST5 and I have completed my Intermediate Intensive Care Medicine module, what further training do I need to complete stage 2? I anticipate moving to the new curriculum in August 2021.

There are different options to consider. The decision as to which option to follow will depend on training already planned. Anaesthetists in Training should discuss this with their Training Programme Director.

Refer to the ST5/Stage 2 ‘top up’ training document for guidance as to content of Stage 2 ‘top up’ training.

I am currently a trainee who has completed core training but has not managed to gain an ST3 post yet. What should I be doing to complete my ST3 year on the Lifelong Learning Platform? Should I be adding forms to the 'top up' section as opposed to starting the Intermediate section? Having done over six months of ICU during COVID-19, do I need to do further ICU for ST3, or can this be intermediate ICU?

You are advised to refer to the CT3/Stage 1 ‘top up’ training document for details of the ICM (and other) content of Stage 1 ‘top up’ training.

The Lifelong Learning Platform has been updated so that you can do this on the 2021 curriculum and use the EQ1b certificate to record and evidence attainment of CT3 capabilities.

I am due to start an overseas Out of Programme Training (OOPT). The curriculum approved for my OOPT is the old curriculum higher modules. But I might CCT after February 2024. How does this curriculum change affect me?

Your OOPT remains approved as submitted. If there is any chance that you will not complete your training by February 2024, you are advised to move to the 2021 curriculum at your earliest convenience in discussion with your local trainers.

I am very confused about HaLO forms - who generates them? I would value some "dummy runs" on the Lifelong Learning Platform to see how it works please.

These topics are covered in more detail at the anaesthetic curriculum webinar on assessments, from 25 March 2021. Please see the relevant resources page. Please also see the assessments webpage for more detail.

For those trainees who will enter the curriculum at midpoints of training, will there be a guarantee that acquisition of additional 2021 competencies will not extend their training further? This is particularly relevant given the challenges of meeting training needs during COVID-19 surges and may discriminate against those higher trainees who will not meet the 2024 CCT deadline as LTFT.

Whilst the process of transition needs to be planned and managed carefully it should not in itself add to training time. Many of the outcomes are very closely aligned to the 2010 curriculum, especially in Stage 3 with regards to training in special interest areas. 

If I have Intermediate signed off. Where do I transition into the new curriculum? Do I need to get Stage 2 HaLOs signed off? Or do I start working towards Stage 3 HaLOs?

There are different options to consider. The decision as to which option to follow will depend on training already planned. Anaesthetists in Training should discuss this with their Training Programme Director.

Detailed guidance on the transition of anaesthetists in training from the 2010 to the 2021 curriculum is available here.

What recourse will current trainees have if forced to go full-time to meet the curriculum gap? What analysis has been made of how this decision to bridge the curriculum in this way (instead of extending training posts). How will this affect trainees?

Doctors are eligible to apply to work on a less-than-full-time basis, following the normal procedures. This is also an equality and diversity matter covered by legislative regulation.

For those of who did our core training on the previous portfolio system who have re-entered training at ST3 - will we be required to redo assessments in order to get through the new curriculum on the Lifelong Learning Platform (LLP) or will the College be looking to find a way for us to upload the old data?

Training evidence that was stored on the old e-portfolio system can add this to the ‘Document store’ on the LLP and then link this to the EQ1b certificate (stage 1 ‘top up’ training) and stage 2 on 2021 LLP to provide evidence of completion of stages 1 and 2.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has given ST6/7s a choice to stay on the old curriculum if they chose. Can the same not be applied by RCoA?

Any Anaesthetist in Training who is expected to achieve their CCT by 31 January 2024 may remain on the 2010 curriculum. This should be discussed with the local Training Programme Director. Those who anticipate a CCT date beyond this date, for any reason, should transition to the new Anaesthetics 2021 curriculum at the earliest opportunity.

As an ICM trainee, can I use some ICM competencies to complete CT3 Anaesthetic curriculum requirements?

Yes, although you are advised to refer to the CT3/Stage 1 ‘top up’ training document for details of the ICM (and other) content of Stage 1 ‘top up’ training.

Those of us that are starting ST3 in August 2021, do we complete the Top Up section on LLP similar to those completing a CT3 top-up year?

ST3’s starting in August should move to the 2021 curriculum and use EQ1b (stage 1 ‘top up’ training) and stage 2 on 2021 LLP to provide evidence of completion of stages 1 and 2.

I had to shield from March 2020 due to being pregnant, I was six months in to my ST3 year at this time and had completed my ICM and cardiothoracic modules, but nothing further. I am returning to work after 16 months of absence (shielding and maternity leave). My CT and TPD are not sure whether I complete the top year CT3 equivalent or how else I transition across to new curriculum, are you able to clarify what would be best in this situation?

You should move to the 2021 curriculum and use EQ1b (stage 1 ‘top up’ training) and stage 2 on 2021 LLP to provide evidence of completion of stages 1 and 2.

I am an International Medical Graduate with five years experience in Anaesthetics and ICU including post graduation recently done with my GMC Registration. What are my chances of getting into training job and what level can I enter?

The eligibility requirements for ST3 posts are described in the ST3 Person Specification which is available on the Anaesthetics National Recruitment Office website. The application window for ST3 posts starting in February 2022 opened on 27 July 2021 and closed on 17 August 2021.

The requirements of Stage 1 are described in the CT3 equivalence guidance, and these need to be evidenced to be eligible for recruitment to ST4. We are awaiting approval from the Medical and Dental Recruitment Selection (MDRS), for a ST4 recruitment round for a February 2023 intake. This is six months earlier than the original planned first intake for ST4 in August 2023.

With the recent change in ACCS guidance from four to six month blocks Full-time Equivalent, do you have any advice for TPDs with how to plan the additional time for trainees in their Emergency Medicine, Anaesthetic Medicine and Intensive Care Medicine placements?

The vast majority of ACCS rotations already involved four to six-month rotations through the various specialties. We need to ensure that ACCS programmes are delivered consistently across the whole of the UK and provide the same experience for trainees from all parent specialties.

I was not able to get an ST3 post in anaesthetics so have now got a CT3 top up post. Most of these posts that were advertised are very ITU heavy with little time in anaesthetics. As I’ve worked exclusively in ITU for the last 18 months during COVID-19 more time in anaesthetics is desirable however this has not been reflected in the top up posts that were available. Will these still allow me to complete the top up year?

You are advised to refer to the CT3/Stage 1 ‘top up’ training document for details of the content and requirements of Stage 1 ‘top up’ training.

Will CUT forms for higher training be transferred to the new platform. I am at a point where I have completed 9 out of 12 modules and would have CCT before the change. However maternity leave will mean I can’t meet that date now.

CUT forms can be saved in document store and then be used as evidence for key capabilities in the 2021 curriculum.

A number of my trainees have tried to download their LLP in anticipation of transitioning in August 2021 but due to ‘technical issues’ on the site they have been unable to do so. Is this likely to be sorted before August? If not are there contingency plans?

All existing entries and documents created on the 2010 Curriculum will continue to be available and will not be deleted from the LLP (unlike the situation when the former e-Portfolio was decommissioned). If a doctor chooses to download their portfolio after moving to the new curriculum, that file will contain any new 2021 entries made, as well as all previous 2010 entries.

However, it is not possible to edit any of the old 2010 documents after switching to the 2021 curriculum, so we recommend that evidence is complete and approved before switching curricula.

Can Multiple Trainer Reports (MTRs) be generated throughout the year or just at the end of a stage / year. This is very pertinent to trainees rotating regularly in stage 2

The minimum requirement is one MTR per year with some exceptional additions to cover specific areas of training, such as the Initial Assessment of Competence. An MTR can be generated throughout the year, and more information can be found in the Assessment Guidance.

Will it be obvious for everyone to find the triple C form when the Lifelong Learning Platform goes live?

Yes; the Triple C form is available under the ‘Supervised Learning Event’ section of the LLP.

Will there still be a requirement for Intermediate Level Progress Report (IPLR) / Educational Supervisors Structured Report (ESSR) from each placement in a year or do the MTRs take this role?

Yes, there is still a requirement for an ESSR. The MTR differs from the Multi Source Feedback (MSF) as it concerns an anaesthetist’s training progress with key capabilities and learning outcomes. MSFs seek feedback from the multidisciplinary team, including consultants, on overall professional behaviour and attitude.

Can I ask when will the first interview for the ST4 be?

Following an exceptional request from the RCoA Recruitment Advisory Group, we are awaiting approval from Medical and Dental Recruitment Selection (MDRS), for an ST4 recruitment round for a February 2023 intake. This is six months earlier than the original planned first intake for ST4 in August 2023.

The dates of the application and interview window are not yet confirmed.