Core Surgical Training

Most trainees undertake Core Surgical Training (CST) in themed or uncoupled posts.

CST has an indicative duration of 24 months. If you are looking to become an OMFS trainee then your CST can last up to 12 months, but this is the only specialty that does not require at least 24 months of CST or equivalent to start training at Specialty Training Level 3 (ST3).

As with the majority of trainees you will probably undertake your CST in formal Core Surgical Training posts, which are appointed through a National Selection process; however, you can undertake other posts to meet CST requirements.

If any of your CST posts are not approved for training, this can affect the type of certificate you will be eligible for when appointed to an NTN training programme.

During your CST you will be expected to use the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme (ISCP) website to record your progress and follow the Core Surgical Training curriculum. Throughout the whole of your training you are expected to keep your ISCP website information up to date. If something is not on the site, it may not be considered towards your Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP).

The JCST advise that you have an idea of the ST3 person specification for your chosen specialty so that you can be sure you qualify for this specialty once you complete CST. The latest person specifications can be found on the Specialty Training website.

The MRCS exam is an exit requirement for formal CST and must be obtained before you complete CST and start an ST3 post.