Shape of Training

In June 2015 the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges asked Colleges to undertake a mapping exercise of their specialty curricula to the principles outlined in the Shape of Training review.  Colleges were requested to consider a number of aspects in their responses such as: future demand for services, patient need, and the extent to which training could be shared with any other specialties, broad based training and the utility of credentialing. 

During the consultation period the College worked collaboratively with the Faculties of Pain Medicine and Intensive Care Medicine, along with other stakeholders with related interests in anaesthesia training and service delivery. The College would like to thank the anaesthetic training community, members, fellows and stakeholders for their engagement in the mapping exercise.

The anaesthetic training programme develops doctors with the skills, knowledge and attitudes to deal with service needs, and the flexibility to manage increasingly complex patient conditions.

Summary of recommendations

In mapping the anaesthetic training programme to the shape principles the RCoA has made the following recommendations:

  1. The RCoA strongly recommends that the current anaesthetic specialty training programme conforms to developing doctors equipped to deal with acute and emergency presentations (including long-term conditions) and manage the expected increases in comorbidities and complex cases.
  2. The RCoA recommends an ACCS-type programme of broad-based training enabling sharing of anaesthetic training with Acute Medicine, Emergency Medicine and Intensive Care Medicine (ICM). The structure of this programme will need to be further developed to ensure practical implementation which recognises the needs of all specialties and service implications.
  3. There should be strong emphasis on the fact that the work of an anaesthetist currently includes providing care, advice and decision making right across the perioperative and long-term pathways, therefore working to improve the interface between primary and secondary care.
  4. Work needs to be undertaken with relevant and appropriate organisations to further explore and clarify credentialing. This work should not be undertaken in isolation from the GMC work and conceptual model on credentialing.
  5. Outcomes and recommendations from the shape of training should be carefully and fully considered in terms of how they will be funded, staffed and implemented so as not to destabilise current and future training and/or service provision.

The full RCoA response to the Mapping Exercise can be found below.


Information and statements concerning the Shape of Training Review are listed below:


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