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Advanced Professional Module (APM)

The Clinical Research APM has been developed to help obstetricians and gynaecologists to develop the skills needed to support strong clinical research. On this page, you’ll find everything you need to know about these optional training modules.

The continued development of professional, non-clinical skills plays a vital role in the delivery of effective healthcare. In recognition of this, the RCOG now offer a suite of optional training modules which focus on advancing these skills for professionals at any stage of their career – from trainee to consultant.

The APM is not required to be eligible for CCT.

This training package aims to give trainees and doctors in O&G the following:

  • support to develop professional, non-clinical skills through a structured curriculum
  • increased opportunities for forming a specialised understanding of research governance
  • increased opportunities to become directly involved in NIHR and industry portfolio trails
  • long-lasting core research skills, encouraging NHS-relevant, practise-changing collaborative research

The RCOG recommend that professionals in any of the following groups consider undertaking the APM in Clinical Research.

  • O&G trainees who have an interest in academic training at any stage during their specialty training programme; the most appropriate stage to consider undertaking the module will be from ST3 onwards
  • NHS consultants and doctors to develop their clinical research skills and knowledge
  • Trainees who are undertaking subspecialty training or are aiming to achieve a subspecialty training post. The module provides an alternative option for completing the research component for the subspecialty training programme.

For doctors in training, the APM and research opportunities should be delivered within the allocated training time. Online resources, relevant courses and authorised external study will support trainee progression through the programme.

Progression through the modules will be reviewed during individuals’ Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP). There won’t be an adverse ARCP outcome if trainees struggle on the programme.

The APM is competence based; you complete the APM by attaining all of the required competences.

The ability to undertake and complete the module should be agreed between both the doctor in training’s educational and clinical supervisor.

APM training is delivered by the APM Academic Educational Supervisor. It isn’t necessary for the APM Academic Educational Supervisor to work in the same unit as the doctor undertaking the module, although both APM Academic Educational Supervisor and doctor should be in the same region.

APM Academic Educational Supervisor

The APM Academic Educational Supervisor is responsible for all aspects of the APM curriculum. For more information and how to apply, please read the APM Academic Educational Supervisor job description.

ATSM Director

The APM Academic Educational Supervisor will be appointed by the schools via application to the ATSM Director based on the detailed APM Academic Educational Supervisor job description. ATSM Directors need to send the names of the approved APM Academic Educational Supervisors to Bettina Cayetano.

Responsibilities of an APM Academic Educational Supervisor

Job description & personal specification:

The APM Academic Educational Supervisor is appointed by the Local Education and Training Board / Deanery by submitting an application form (Word document) to the regional ATSM Director.

It is not necessary that the APM Academic Educational Supervisor works in the same unit as the doctor, although both Supervisor and trainee should be in the same region.

Tenure should be three years initially and renewed thereafter with no maximum limits.

An APM Academic Educational Supervisor can train a maximum of three doctors at any one time.

Roles and responsibilities

  • Take responsibility for maximizing the educational opportunities provided within the region to meet the APM training needs of the trainee.
  • Take responsibility, with the trainee, to record trainee progress using the APM logbook on ePortfolio
  • With the trainee complete the annual feedback form which will feed into the  Educational Supervisor report for the trainee’s ARCP on progress in the APM
  • Ensure that the trainee is able to attend the required training days and courses. Advise ATSM Director if any difficulties arise in providing the APM training.
  • Take responsibility for early liaison with the ATSM Director to facilitate trainee progression if training needs cannot be met.
  • Countersign the form to confirm that training is completed.
  • Take responsibility, with support from ATSM Director.

Person specification

Should ideally have all of the following:

  • Should be a Consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist OR experienced Clinical Lecturer
  • Should show some evidence of clinical research training – research degree (MD, PhD) or dedicated research experience.
  • Should have a current GCP certificate
  • Should have been a local Principal Investigator on a multicentre portfolio research study
  • Should be currently certified as an Educational Supervisor (within previous 3 years)

It is preferable to have any of the following:

  • Should have authored/co-authored papers in the previous 3 years.
  • Should have an Honorary Academic Lectureship appointment.

Time required and job planning

The APM Academic Educational Supervisor should have time built into their job plan in order to deliver this training.

The standard amount of SPA time for this role may be difficult to determine as it depends upon the amount of the curriculum the APM Academic Educational Supervisor is responsible for. The APM Academic Educational Supervisor is advised to keep a diary to present at the job planning process in order to determine the individual time required which is unlikely to be less than 0.25 PA per week (1 hour per week).


Advanced Training 2019 – Final GMC Approved

This is the Definitive Document for the Advanced Training Curricula, which contains full details of all the Advanced Training Skills Modules, Advanced Skills Modules and Advanced Professional Modules. Please use this document as a reference point.

Guidance documents to support the new Advanced Training Curriculum are embedded in the ePortfolio, and are also available on RCOG eLearning.

Please see the Matrix of progression page for the training matrix of educational progression.

The Clinical Research APM is available on page 176 of the Advanced Training Definitive Document PDF above.

It is envisaged that other generic professional modules will be developed in the future.