Training programme update - No. 01/2020

Published: 20/10/2020

Completion of units of training outside the training programme


Flexibility for anaesthetists in training has improved recently following changes to General Medical Council (GMC) requirements and guidance from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (the Academy).

The GMC have updated requirements for a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) for doctors on a combined programme who have trained in the UK for the minimum number of years defined in EU legislation; this is 3 years for anaesthetists.  This means that anaesthetists who complete training in locations not approved by the GMC could be eligible for CCT rather than a Certificate of Eligibility for the Specialist Register [Combined Programme] (CESR[CP]).

The Academy also recently published Guidance for flexibility in postgraduate training and changing specialties, which updates the Accreditation of Transferable Competences Framework and gives guidance for doctors wishing to change specialty, experienced doctors wishing to join a training programme, and doctors wishing to count training from outside their training programme.


Anaesthetists who have completed units of training in places that are not on the GMC’s list of approved locations may be able to count this towards training if their School of Anaesthesia and/or Deanery is satisfied that the evidence provided satisfactorily indicates that the learning outcomes for the unit of training have been met.

Anaesthetists in training should initially raise this with their Training Programme Director (TPD), who will be able to advise whether the evidence available is likely to be sufficient to sign off training at the appropriate level. TPDs are encouraged to review the gap analyses provided by the Academy (page 34) as tools that may help them to review an individual’s progress in these cases. 

Any units of training undertaken should be contemporaneous to the anaesthetist in training’s level of training; for example, any training undertaken between core and higher specialty training (ST3) is unlikely to be appropriate for signing off higher or advanced level units of training.  The principles of spiral learning must still be observed.

If the TPD believes the evidence is satisfactory then they should notify the unit sign-off lead; The anaesthetist in training should upload their evidence to the Lifelong Learning platform (LLp) as personal activities linked to the relevant unit of training and submit a Completion of Unit of Training form in the usual manner.

Anaesthetists in training should be mindful that any units of training completed outside of the training programme do not necessarily mean that they can progress at an accelerated rate; progress is at the School of Anaesthesia’s discretion and will be reviewed at an ARCP, as usual. 

All decisions should be made in accordance with the 2010 Anaesthetics curriculum and the Gold Guide.  Equivalence certificates (eg, Certificate of Core Level Equivalence) are not covered by this update and should continue to be signed off by the Regional Advisor.  The guidance, in principle, will continue to be relevant for the 2021 Anaesthetics curriculum.