2021 Anaesthetics Curriculum receives GMC approval

Published: 04/05/2021

The Royal College of Anaesthetists is pleased that the 2021 Anaesthetics Curriculum has now received approval from the General Medical Council (GMC), and will be implemented on 4 August 2021. 

Those wishing to submit an application to the GMC for a Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) for Anaesthetics, will eventually be required to allocate evidence against the new 2021 Anaesthetics Curriculum, although there is a period of transition when applicants can align their application to either the 2010 or the 2021 curriculum. Further CESR guidance can be found on the College website

The current CCT curriculum was introduced in 2010 and although there have been detail changes, such as the introduction of Perioperative Medicine, it remains largely unchanged over the last decade. Your College has taken this opportunity to act on feedback, including that from the College’s 2017 A report on the welfare, morale and experiences of anaesthetists in training: the need to listen, to simplify the structure of the curriculum and make changes to areas such as assessments and timing of examinations.

The College is committed to continuing to advocate for and deliver equality, diversity and inclusion within the specialties of anaesthesia, pain medicine and intensive care. Just as our pledge to equality, diversity and inclusion extends to the new 2021 curriculum, the College will continue to monitor its impact as well as listen to our fellows and members to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and kindly.

We would like to thank all members of the College’s Curriculum Review Group, the Training, Curriculum and Assessment Committee, the anaesthetic training community, the GMC and everyone who contributed to the consultation process for helping us to reach this important milestone.

To support members during the implementation of the 2021 curriculum the College:

  • has developed comprehensive guidance and resources for anaesthetists in training and trainers
  • is developing updated guidance for the dual CCT programmes in conjunction with the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine
  • has started development of the 2021 curriculum within the Lifelong Learning Platform – we hope to be able to share updates with you in due course.

All information about the 2021 curriculum can be found on the College’s website. Please familiarise yourself with the 2021 curriculum pages of the College website where FAQs and further information can be found. More information will be uploaded as new guidance and resources are created.

We would like to encourage everyone involved in the anaesthetics training programme to familiarise themselves with the 2021 Anaesthetics curriculum.

Dr Jamie Strachan, Chair of the Anaesthetists in Training Committee and Elected Trainee Member of RCoA Council said:

“The development and implementation of the 2021 Anaesthetics Curriculum in line with GMC requirements has been a large undertaking for the College’s senior members and staff teams over many years. I’m proud how the College engaged with its members to seek input and insight into what this new curriculum should entail. Data collected in the College’s survey into the welfare, morale and experiences of anaesthetists in training was used to inform this curriculum. This is an example where members’ feedback is used by the College to advocate on your behalf. In order to support trainees through the change and to prepare for 4 August, trainees can email me and Dr Sarah Muldoon as Chair and Deputy Chair of the Anaesthetists in Training Committee via trainee@rcoa.ac.uk. Further routes of support can be found below. For those who need support, please reach out as Sarah, I and many other College representatives and staff are here to support you where needed.

Channels for support

For immediate support, please speak with your College Tutor, Regional Advisor Anaesthesia or Training Programme Director. Alternatively, the College Training Team can be reached at 2021cct@rcoa.ac.uk.

Update to statement, Tuesday 8 June

Please note, the second paragraph of this statement was corrected on Tuesday 8 June to reflect a change to CESR guidance.