Introduction to Training

We consider patient safety to be at the heart of surgical training and endeavour to consider this in all that we do. We work hard therefore to ensure that surgical trainees are appropriately trained and competent. 

The JCST secretariat has Trainee Services teams who will monitor your training, make applications to your Specialty Advisory Committee (SAC) and update your certification date.  SACs are responsible for a number of areas namely:

  • Assessing applications related to your training
  • Developing and maintaining the surgical curricula and syllabuses, including respective assessment tools – all available via the ISCP website
  • Organising, in conjunction with Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs) and Deaneries, national recruitment and selection into specialty training programmes
  • As advisory bodies, ensuring that a representative (SAC Liaison Member) attends local assessment meetings (ARCP/RITA meetings) to offer external and impartial advice to both trainees and trainers
  • Recommending trainees to the General Medical Council (GMC) for the award of the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) and the Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration via the Combined Programme (CESR (CP)) and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) for Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (CCST)
  • Developing quality indicators for the training of surgeons, to supplement GMC guidance on training
  • Developing certification guidelines to ensure that trainees and trainers are aware of what is expected at certification

Each SAC has a trainee representative, who can offer impartial advice on Surgical Training from a trainee’s perspective. If you wish to contact the trainee representative, he or she can be reached via the JCST secretariat. Further details for individual SACs can be found here.

It is therefore important that you:

  • Register with the JCST if you are a Core, LAT or FTSTA trainee (this is an automated process through your use of the ISCP)
  • Enrol with your SAC if you are in a National Training Numbered (NTN) post
  • Inform us if you go out of programme
  • Inform us if there are any changes to your training, for example less than full time (LTFT) training periods or you change Deanery/LETB
  • Trainees using the ISCP website should keep their ISCP account up to date. It is important to make sure all the details are correct, run consecutively and are fully signed off by all relevant parties
  • Regularly check the JCST or ISCP news items for important updates on training
  • Send us any information we request promptly

We need you to be proactive in your approach to your interactions with us. If you make an application, be it enrolment, your certification application or anything in between, you should monitor its progress and contact us if you have not heard back from us within a reasonable timeframe. Changes to your certification date will generally require confirmation from your Deanery/LETB and so you may at times need to follow up with them or your Training Programme Director. If you have to make an application to your SAC, please do so as soon as you are able to. Once the application has been sent to the SAC, it can take up to six weeks to receive a decision.

If any changes occur to your training, which may include out of programme or LTFT, then you should check with your Deanery/LETB to see what their processes and requirements are. You may also need to check the GMC/IMC websites to see what their regulations are about these processes.

The JCST is guided in all these matters by the Gold Guide (for StR trainees), the Orange Book (for Calman trainees) and SAC decisions.

If you have any questions about any of the above please contact us.