Training & Education Strategy

As in all professions, surgical training and education do not end after exams have been passed and certificates issued: Every surgeon (trainee, SAS grade or consultant) is on a pathway of continuous personal development and reflection. This is important to sustain the highest standards of patient care and the confidence of patients and surgeons. The introduction of medical revalidation lends further substance to the process.

All medical training, including that for surgery, has to have the regulatory approval of the GMC. Due to the complexity of surgery, training is competency based, addressing knowledge, skills, judgement and professionalism. Trainee surgeons are therefore required to pass inter alia the intercollegiate FRCS Orth exam and to gain a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) confirming that they have achieved all the relevant competences set out in the training curriculum. The CCT is awarded at the end of the national training programme.

Once awarded the CCT, a surgeon is eligible to be entered onto the GMC Specialist Register and to apply for NHS consultant posts. Post CCT surgical skills training and education is monitored through revalidation, which is regulated by the GMC.

Some NHS T&O clinicians are qualified to perform surgery, but have not completed the national training programme. Known as Staff and Associate Specialist Grade (or SAS) doctors, their training and education needs are also covered by the revalidation process. In addition, providing they pass the FRCS (T&O) exam and meet specific criteria, it is possible for these surgeons to apply to the GMC for a Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration. For more information about SAS surgeons click here.

Given the complexity of pre-CCT surgical training and education, and the BOA’s close involvement in ensuring excellence in both, our strategy focuses on a number of key areas, which include:

  • Training standards – for curriculum setting and development.
  • Education delivery – through instructional courses
  • Feedback from Training Programme Directors to inform both standards and delivery

For post CCT T&O surgical skills training and education, the BOA synchronises its Congress instructional coverage to a five year revalidation cycle. In order to oversee this considerable body of work effectively, our structure includes:

  • Education Board charged with overall policy direction, priority setting, resource allocation – chaired by a member of the BOA Executive Group
  • Training Standards Committee – to develop the T&O surgical training curriculum in close collaboration with the SAC for T&O
  • Education Committee – to design and co-ordinate pre- and post-CCT instructional courses.