The Training Programme in Anaesthesia is divided into 3 main sections as follows:

Core Training (CT 1 and 2)

Core training comprises two years in one or two District General Hospitals.  There is a period of directly supervised work lasting about three months until achievement of the Initial Test of Competence.  After this the trainee may join the on call rota working with close supervision. As well as gaining competencies in anaesthesia for general surgery, orthopaedics and gynaecology, three months of the first year will generally be spent in intensive care. The second year will continue with general cases and training in obstetric analgesia and anaesthesia. In order to complete Core training trainees must complete asssessments according to College guidelines and pass the Primary FRCA examination. They are then awarded the Core Level Training Certificate.

For those entering through the ACCS(Anaes) three year programme (CT1,2,3) the same rules apply to the anaesthesia and intensive care modules. One year in acute and emergency medicine will also have been completed. Successful completion of  Core training is a requirement for application to Specialty training which starts at ST3 (for those from either entry route). Entry to ST3 will be by open competition.

Minimum standards for out of hours supervision. of core trainees.

Intermediate Specialty Training (ST 3 and 4)

The two intermediate years are usually spent at University Hospitals Bristol (Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and St Michael's Hospital) and North Bristol (Southmead Hospital).  On very rare occasions up to 9 months of the ST3/4 programme will be completed in one of the DGHs (RUH Bath, Swindon, Gloucester and Cheltenham)  Training is modular and covers all sub-specialties of anaesthesia.

When the trainee has completed all units of training and passed the Final FRCA exam they are awarded the Intermediate Level Training Certificate.

Trainees will often not have completed all subspeciaty modules before sitting the exam; this is recognised by the Royal College of Anaesthetists and relfected in the expectations of the examiners.  Study days to specialist units can be arranged before the exam.

Higher & Advanced Specialty Training (ST 5, 6 and 7)

In general the programme is more flexible for more senior trainees to allow them to target their training towards their career aspirations. At least one year is spent in a DGH, during which time trainees further develop their clinical skills and will take on additional clinical responsibilities and supervision of more junior colleagues. In addition further experience will be offered in teaching, audit, research and management. Further experience is gained in anaesthetic sub-specialities at a senior level in the teaching hospitals. The organisation of modules is dependent on the trainees’ requirements and future career plans.  Advanced training modules are offered in many specialist areas; if oversubscribed they are allocated competitively within the School.  Up to one year of out of programme training (OOPT) is supported during the ST5-7 years. 

RCoA Curriculum Review

Fellows and members may be aware that there is a large project to re-write the anaesthetic curriculum in line with new GMC standards that were published in May 2017.

The proposed new curriculum will include three years core training (four years for ACCS) then four years for higher specialty training. The total indicative duration of the anaesthetic training programme will remain at seven years. There will be three ‘stages’ of training representing three/two/two years (Stage 1 = CT1-CT3 / Stage 2 = ST4-ST5 / Stage 3 = ST6/ST7).

Please see RCoA website for further information and updates.

Intensive Care Medicine

The Anaesthesia programme contains three months ICM blocks at core, intermediate and higher levels for all trainees.  

Trainees appointed in open competition to both Anaesthesia and ICM programmes are supported by maximising opportunities for relevant modules to count twards the CCT in both specialties.  This dual programme leads to CCTs in both Anaesthesia & ICM.  For up to date information on ICM training and recruitment see the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine website.