Joint 2021 Anaesthetics Curriculum update | Association of Anaesthetists
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Joint 2021 Anaesthetics Curriculum update

Joint 2021 Anaesthetics Curriculum update

Common standards for CT3 equivalent training posts

Monday 19 July 2021

The new 2021 Anaesthetics Curriculum being implemented on 4 August 2021 includes a transition to a new three-year Stage 1 training programme which will replace the current two-year core training programme. In future, recruitment will be into ST4 training and to support this, the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) will publish person specifications and guidance.

The RCoA is aware that the recent round of recruitment resulted in anaesthetists being unable to secure a training place. For these anaesthetists to ensure they are eligible for future ST4 recruitment rounds, they will be required to obtain the remaining Stage 1 competencies outside of a training post.

The RCoA has published details of these competencies and has produced guidance for Clinical Directors who will support anaesthetists in these circumstances. Many anaesthetic departments already offer locally employed doctor posts.

The RCoA, Association of Anaesthetists and the British Medical Association (BMA) are jointly supporting Trusts and Health Boards across the UK to ensure the content of these posts provide doctors with a suitable level of training so that they will have evidence of completion of Stage 1 training. Our aim is that these posts will not only allow anaesthetists in these roles to be eligible for, but equally competitive at ST4 application as their colleagues who have been successful during the current recruitment round.

The RCoA, the Association and the BMA strongly advise that there should be equity of access to study leave and budgets, educational supervision, training opportunities, and other resources in order to appropriately support anaesthetists. We have therefore developed the following set of common standards for CT3 equivalent posts:

  • the posts should be structured in a way that allows for the acquisition of competencies aligned to the RCoA guidance
  • anaesthetists in these posts should be appropriately supervised and have the opportunity for competencies to be signed off and have access to timely and appropriate feedback
  • the RCoA’s Lifelong Learning Platform should be used for the sign off of competencies and for feedback, for ease of use during the rest of the training programme
  • post holders should have parity with doctors in training in access to study leave and training opportunities to fulfil the requirements of RCoA’s guidance
  • a study budget should be allocated to fund relevant courses
  • salary scales should have parity with national pay scales for doctors in training, ensuring equity in terms of pay and terms and conditions
  • contracts should ensure parity with the relevant national safety and rest limits of doctors in training and have exception reporting and monitoring exercises where applicable
  • contracts of employment may vary nationally and locally; we strongly encourage applicants to scrutinise their terms and conditions. The BMA will support any member on an individual basis
  • part time working and flexible rostering for post holders should be considered in line with LTFT arrangements for doctors in training.

Some anaesthetists may find that they obtain posts that are not labelled as CT3 equivalent posts. The new 2021 Anaesthetics Curriculum has been designed to make training more flexible and recent changes to the training policies will mean that any relevant training can be counted towards the acquisition of completion of Stage 1 competencies.

The RCoA would like to monitor the implementation of these posts very carefully. If anaesthetists in training feel that they have concerns about their posts not meeting the above standards, we encourage them to raise this in the first instance with the local College Tutor(s). If following this initial contact trainees continue to have concerns, we encourage our members to email Claudia Moran ( detailing the circumstances.

We jointly call on all anaesthetic departments and employers to follow these standards in the creation and delivery of these post in support of anaesthetists across the UK.

Royal College of Anaesthetists 

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

Dr Jamie Strachan, Chair, Anaesthetists in Training Committee

Association of Anaesthetists 

Dr Mike Nathanson, President 

Dr Divya Raviraj, Chair, Trainee Committee 

Dr Roopa McCrossan, Immediate Past Chair, Trainee Committee

British Medical Association 

Dr Lucie Cocker, Deputy Chair, BMA UK Junior Doctors Committee 

Dr Matthew Tuck, BMA, Junior Doctors Committee Executive

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