About us

The Joint Committee on Surgical Training (JCST) is an advisory body to the four surgical Royal Colleges of the UK and Ireland for all matters related to postgraduate surgical training. It works closely with Postgraduate Deaneries and local offices, Schools of Surgery, organisations such as the Association of Surgeons in Training (ASiT) and the British Orthopaedic Trainee Association (BOTA), and the Surgical Specialty Associations of the UK and Ireland.

The JCST is the parent body for all ten surgical Specialty Advisory Committees (SACs), the Core Surgical Training Advisory Committee (CSTAC), the Training Interface Groups (TIGs) and the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme (ISCP), and is reponsible for developing and maintaining standards across surgical training, in line with the General Medical Council's (GMC) regulatory framework. The JCST office enrols trainees at the start of their training, monitors their progress and makes recommendations to the GMC (and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) when they are ready for certification. The JCST and your SAC form an integral part of your training from start to completion.

Listed below are the approved surgical specialties in the UK and Ireland:

  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • General Surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Otolaryngology
  • Paediatric Surgery
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Urology
  • Vascular Surgery

Why are we important to your training?

  • You must be enrolled with the SAC in your specialty so that we can ratify your appointment and expected certification date.
  • You must obtain SAC support for any period spent outside your normal training rotation.
  • In the UK the General Medical Council (GMC) will issue your certificate following the recommendation from your SAC.
  • In Ireland the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) will recommend you for certification to the Irish Medical Council (IMC) following the SAC’s recommendation.

What else do we do?

  • Maintain accurate records of your training to ensure that you have completed all stages satisfactorily.
  • Provide advice and guidance about current surgical training regulations.
  • Work closely with the regulatory bodies and Statutory Education Bodies (HEE, HEIW, NES and NIMDTA) on matters affecting training, contribute to debates and press for improvements such as widespread access to simulation-based training.
  • Support the Colleges, Deaneries and Local Offices, and Schools of Surgery in monitoring the quality of training.
  • Write and develop the syllabuses and curricula for all ten surgical specialties, and the core surgery curriculum - all available via the ISCP website.
  • Develop and maintain the online training management system (ISCP).
  • Produce guidance on all aspects of surgical training.

UK only

  • Contribute to workforce planning processes.
  • Support national selection and recruitment processes.
  • Recommend trainees to the GMC for the award of the CCT / CESR (CP) (Combined Programme).
  • Establish guidance and quality indicators to supplement the GMC generic training standards.
  • Provide an ISCP helpdesk service for trainees and trainers.
  • Undertake Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) evaluations on behalf of the GMC.

Ireland only

  • Recommend trainees for the award of the Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (CCST).
  • Undertake regular visits to the Irish training programmes.
  • Consider and grant applications for post approval.
  • Support the development of training standards.