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Applying the approval criteria

The approval criteria are applied to the RCOG process for recognising subspecialty training centres as follows:

  • A centre should have sufficient caseload to support the trainee in completing the approved subspecialty curriculum within the required time frame.
  • The numbers specified within the workload domain of the approval criteria would usually support one trainee, provided there’s evidence of clinical supervision and timetabling for all elements of the curriculum within that centre.
  • We will consider granting recognition for 2 trainees per centre where there’s supporting evidence from the deanery/LETB and where the centre can still deliver the breadth and depth of training.
  • We will consider mitigating factors in relation to the caseload required for recognition of a centre for subspecialty training. Mitigating factors include the track record of the training centre, working within a training network, highly specialised or supra-regional areas of clinical practice provided within that centre, and workforce requirements within a geographical area.
  • We will consider mitigating factors only where centres work within a training network. In your application, you should clearly define competencies to be completed during rotation to each training centre within the network and the rotation formally agreed by deanery(ies)/LETBs. The goal would be enhancement of training opportunites through the training network, such that all elements of the curriculum would be delivered and the overall standard of training wouldn’t be compromised through rotation between centres.
  • It’s unlikely that we would grant recognition to a training network where an individual centre within that network couldn’t deliver the majority of the elements of the curriculum, or where the approval criteria are fulfilled through a rotation involving more than 2 centres.
  • Recognition could be achieved where centres work together across commissioning regions or geographies to fulfil the approval criteria and reflect the need for regionalisation of training in developing the future workforce within a large region or country.
  • There should be a minimum of 2 full-time consultants working as subspecialists in any centre approved for subspecialist training. Each centre should name the clinical supervisor who will deputise when the Subspecialty Training Programme Supervisor (STPS) is on leave. However, the Subspecialty Committee would review ongoing recognition of a centre during long-term absence of an STPS.
  • You should provide assurance that the subspecialty trainee’s needs, in particular appropriate surgical experience, wouldn’t be compromised by supernumerary doctors working and learning within the centre. Each centre should inform their deanery/LETB of the theatre lists that have been identified to prioritise training of their subspecialty trainee, and lists where training will be shared with an ATSM or other trainee.
  • We will review the logbooks of previous trainees to ensure the curriculum requirements will be met in a timely and educationally appropriate manner.
  • A trainee should complete all aspects of the curriculum and be given the opportunity to visit other centres to gain level 1 experience of highly specialised techniques relevant to the curriculum, and experience of less common conditions occurring within a population.