Guidance for Educational Development Time

Educational Development Time for Anaesthetists in Training:

Guidance for Schools of Anaesthesia

The 2021 CCT Curriculum in Anaesthetics includes reference to the General Medical Council’s 9 domains of Generic Professional Capabilities.  These areas of professional practice are incorporated within domains of learning at each of the 3 stages of the curriculum. These domains are:

  1. Professional Behaviours and Communication
  2. Management and Professional Regulatory Requirements
  3. Team Working
  4. Safety and Quality Improvement
  5. Safeguarding
  6. Education and Training
  7. Research and Managing Data.

Whilst some of these domains, such as 1 and 3, will be assessed in the context of the clinical environment, others will require specific time for developing and assessing skills.  In order to ensure that anaesthetists in training are able to complete these areas of training the RCoA is providing guidance for the provision of Educational Development Time (EDT) to support learning and assessment in professional practice.

The RCoA recommends that anaesthetists in training in anaesthetic posts in stages 1 and 2 of the curriculum on both core Anaesthetic training and ACCS pathways should be allocated up to 2 hours of EDT per week.  Those in stage 3 should be allocated up to 4 hours per week reflecting the requirement for greater involvement in some of these areas in the later stages of the training programme.

EDT should be allocated pro rata for those in less than full-time training.  In all cases it may be managed flexibly by departments and can be averaged over a period of time if desired to ensure that access is equitable.  It must be discussed and planned with the educational supervisor in all cases with specific objectives to be completed. This should encompass work specific to the learning outcomes outlined in the curriculum and may include:

  • educational activity and preparation of educational materials
  • quality Improvement projects
  • research
  • management and leadership activity
  • other activities which support the development of skills in these areas.

Time should be spent on site unless there are specific agreed reasons such as involvement in research projects on different sites or a lack of suitable facilities and space to support the work being undertaken.  During the initial period of training when the Initial Assessment of Competence is being undertaken EDT should support this activity in areas such as simulation and tailored educational sessions.

In stage 3 of the training programme EDT may also be used to support maintenance of skills in special interest areas already undertaken by agreement with the College Tutor.  However, this should be incorporated within the allowed time and not taken in addition.

During the COVID pandemic EDT may be used for targeted training in particular areas of clinical and professional practice.  This applies particularly to anaesthetists in training who have been awarded Outcome 10 at ARCP.  We recommend that this is allowed during such time that COVID ARCP outcomes remain in place.

EDT should not be counted as an alternative to local or regional teaching programmes and should not form part of the Study Leave allowance.  All activity should be monitored by educational supervisors and recorded in their structured reports.  Departmental policy should be monitored by the local and regional educational leadership teams.


Chris Carey

RCoA ETE Board Chair

30 November 2021

If you would like to contact us, you can email the Anaesthetics Curriculum and Equivalence Team on or call on 020 7092 1550.

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Last reviewed: 1 February 2023
Next review due: 31 January 2024