Training and Careers

RCoA Training News

Anaesthetic Training Update - 26 June 2020

ICM Training within the Anaesthetic CCT programme: Update regarding COVID cover

Many anaesthetists in training were reallocated to supporting critical care services during the COVID surge.  This was an important part of the UK-wide service response to the COVID pandemic and we would like to thank these doctors for their outstanding contributions during this time.  In most cases this will have resulted in a loss of anaesthetic experience.  We are keen to support the progression of all anaesthetists in training and minimise the consequences of this loss of activity,

Many will have spent a number of weeks working in critical care and gained important skills.  We would like to provide the following guidance to anaesthetists in training and trainers regarding the recognition of those skills:

  • Competencies gained during time spent reallocated to supporting Critical Care services may be counted towards the Completion of Unit of Training (CUT) form
  • In most cases we would not expect that the competencies achieved will be sufficient to complete units of training in ICM due to the specific nature of care provided during the COVID pandemic
  • The normal range of workplace-based assessments may not have been completed because of the particular working circumstances during the pandemic.  However, we will support schools in allowing anaesthetists in training to write a reflection on their experiences detailing the competencies that they have gained.  This may also cover the requirement to complete Multi Source Feedback, as is appropriate.  This must be counter-signed by a GMC recognised trainer within ICM
    • We would suggest this can be recorded on the Lifelong Learning platform as a Personal Activity (linked to the curriculum) with approval given via a relevant CUT form
  • We must also recognise that services will still need ongoing support and input from all medical staff including anaesthetists in training in order to provide appropriate patient care
  • However in recognition of the learning already completed, and progress made towards units of training, we will allow schools to allocate to future ICU placements in a flexible manner including either of the following options
    • Placements for less than 3 months
    • Allowing doctors working within ICM to undertake appropriate training lists in theatre during their ICM attachment whilst providing support for essential on call services

Decisions regarding how flexibility is enacted should be made by the School Board in liaison with ICM faculty tutors and service leads.  We are happy to provide additional advice and support to individual schools if requested.


ACCS Training Update - 15 June 2020

Joint Position Statement for Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS) training programme - Initial Assessment of Competence (IAC)

This statement has been prepared by the Intercollegiate Committee for Acute Care Common Stem Training, which includes representation from the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA), the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM), the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (FICM) and the Joint Royal College of Physicians Training Board (JRCPTB).

We recognise and understand that COVID-19 has presented significant challenges for trainees and trainers in accessing and delivering training pathway requirements, and that there is a degree of regional variation in the ability to do so. Data shows a significant number of trainees have been redeployed to support intensive care services during COVID- 19, which has impacted on the ability to complete the anaesthetic block requirement, the Initial Assessment of Competence (IAC), by the time of changeover.  We are continuing to work collaboratively to deliver all aspects of the ACCS training programme, and ensure that all trainees are able to complete the IAC.

Non-acute surgery is gradually being reinstated across the UK to varying degrees. The ICACCST agrees that flexibility in when the IAC is delivered is essential and  offer a number of recommendations to , ensure a flexible and timely approach for those trainees who have been unable to achieve the requirements of the IAC as a result of COVID-19 disruption. These include: 

  • We advise that ACCS trainees currently redeployed to ICM from Anaesthesia, are urgently prioritised to return to anaesthetics in order to complete the IAC where possible.
  • We support  local private hospital sites becoming approved training locations (subject to GMC approval) to offer additional opportunities
  • We advise that trainees who are estimated to have less than one month remaining to complete IAC before changeover, continue training in anaesthesia before moving to their next rotation
  • We support the use of local bespoke options in delivering the IAC for individual trainees who are near to completion by the time of changeover e.g. one-day per week or in one-week blocks (subject to local trainer and School approval)
  • We will allow trainees to demonstrate competence in either Direct Laryngoscopy (DL) or Video Laryngoscopy (VL) in clinical practice in order to achieve the IAC.  However, all trainees must demonstrate competence in DL in a simulated environment.
  • We advise forward planning for trainees who have more than one month remaining to complete IAC before changeover and support them returning to an anaesthetic rotation later in the year (October onwards). This will also apply to trainees due to commence in August 2020 and February 2021.
  • Trainees who are currently shielding will require an individualised training plan for when it is safe to return.

Please note that all assessments must be completed without exception.

The Royal Colleges and Faculty will continue to monitor the position of completion of the IAC at intervals during 2020.

Trainees who have any specific concerns are advised to raise these with their local Educational Supervisor, Training Programme Director or Head of School as soon as possible.

RCoA Training News

UPDATE! A recording of the HEE webinar on ARCPs from 3rd June is now available on YouTube

UPDATE! For those awarded an outcome 10.1 at the end of ST4 with outstanding units of training to carry into ST5:

The simplest solution may be to complete an Intermediate Level Progress Report (on the Lifelong Learning platform) at the end of ST4 and then complete the Intermediate Level Training Certificate when they have completed all the intermediate units, with a backdated start date for ST5 on it.

This will give a record of which units of training are being carried on to ST5 without needing to get them individually approved by the Training, Curriculum, and Assessments Committee (the standard process) and without delaying prospective completion dates unnecessarily.

This will only apply to those awarded an outcome during summer 2020 ARCPs.  We request that any units of training deferred are completed in the first 6 months of ST5.

This guidance predominantly covers the changes in requirements for ARCPs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Please note that this information is correct at the time of publication but some areas may be subject to change.  A pdf version of this update can be downloaded from here.

There are the following associated documents available:

This guidance is intended as a summary of developments in training due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Please note that this information is correct at the time of publication but some areas may be subject to change over the coming weeks.  A pdf version of this update can be downloaded from here.

This guidance is intended as a summary of developments in training due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Please note that this information is correct at the time of publication but some areas may be subject to change over the coming weeks.  A pdf version of this update can be downloaded from here.


In collaboration with The Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, Intensive Care Society, and Association of Anaesthetists, Royal College of Anaesthetists have developed this website to provide the UK intensive care and anaesthetic community with information, guidance and resources required to support their understanding of and management of COVID-19.

World-class training and career support

We understand that anaesthetists have a central role in the future of healthcare.

This is why the College remains focused on supporting its members through all stages of their careers, from the time they consider a career in medicine through to retirement.

The College is responsible for setting recruitment, training, and assessment standards. This is how we are able to attract and then support the best doctors from medical schools into our specialty.

We work closely with our members to:

  • support careers and workforce planning - supporting the careers of doctors from the time they consider a career in anaesthesia, through to retirement
  • enhance education and training - the specialty of anaesthesia is renowned for delivering high-quality education and training through an enthusiastic network of anaesthetists who hold specific educational roles and responsibilities.

Support is also provided through our management of the anaesthetic curriculum, our Regional Advisors (Anaesthesia) and our College Tutors. The development of the Lifelong Learning platform went live in 2018, which replaced the old e-Portfolio and incorporates logbook functionality.

We also support non-training grades through the development of the CPD online diary, CESR applications, and workforce planning and analysis.

If you have questions about anaesthetic recruitment, or the training and assessment standards we develop, please contact us.

Training 020 7092 1550
Lifelong Learning 020 7092 1556
CPD 020 7092 1729