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Introduction to specialty training in O&G

An introduction to specialty training programme in obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G).

Overview of the specialty training programme in O&G

Trainees’ guide to the O&G curriculum and specialty training
Trainees’ guide to the O&G curriculum and specialty training programme [PDF]

This guide gives you a comprehensive overview of the postgraduate training programme in obstetrics and gynaecology

UK training in O&G requires a minimum of 7 years of specialty training (ST1–ST7), to be completed following the two years of foundation training. The programme is divided into basic, intermediate and advanced levels of training.

The programme follows the core curriculum, and also incorporates ultrasound training. Once you progress into advanced training, you’ll start to develop the specific skills needed for the areas in which you wish to practise as a consultant by choosing Advanced Training Skills Modules (ATSMs) or by applying for subspecialty training. If you wish to pursue an academic career, you’ll need to complete the academic curriculum.

Once you’ve successfully completed the programme, you’ll be awarded a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) or a Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration – Combined Programme (CESR(CP)), depending on your route through training. This qualifies you for entry onto the Specialist Register in the UK, which you need to be able to practise as a consultant in the NHS.

The diagram below sets out the different stages of the training programme (click the image for full version).

Specialty training and education programme

Training in women's health FY1 Foundation training    
Core training ST1 Basic training    
Part 1 MRCOG Part 1 to be completed in ST1 or ST2. Required for progression to ST3.    
ST3 Intermediate training    
Part 2 MRCOG Part 2 to be completed in ST3, ST4 or ST5. Required for progressionn to ST6.    
Part 3 MRCOG Part 3 to be completed in ST3, ST4 or ST5, and after Part 2 MRCOG. Required for progression to ST6.    
ST6 Advanced training ATSMs Subspecialty


Who’s responsible for the training programme?

The RCOG’s Specialty Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) determines the content and structure of the training programme, which is then approved by the General Medical Council (GMC). SEAC is also responsible for making recommendations to the GMC about the eligibility of doctors for the award of the CCT/CESR(CP).

SEAC acts as the executive of the deanery Heads of School and Training Programme Directors (TPDs). Postgraduate Deans and deanery Schools of O&G oversee the delivery of the training programme, which is managed at a local level by TPDs.

During each post of your specialty training programme, you’ll be allocated an Educational Supervisor who’ll oversee your educational development. During each appointment, a range of consultants and other professional staff will provide clinical training and supervision. You’ll also discuss your training and educational needs within the educational contract between you and your Postgraduate Dean.

The O&G curriculum

The core curriculum is made up of 19 modules, plus 2 basic ultrasound modules. The curriculum is divided into modules for ease of reference; it’s not intended that you’ll complete modules in isolation. Instead, you’ll acquire skills at different times depending on the opportunities within each clinical post.

Each module contains various competencies, which will need to be signed off by your clinical trainer in your eLogbook (see below). Once you’ve achieved all the competencies in a module, your Educational Supervisor will need to sign off the module. For more information, please visit the assessment and progression through training section.

Once you progress into advanced training, you’ll need to complete at least 2 ATSMs or subspecialty training. Academic trainees will need to complete the academic curriculum.

ePortfolio and eLogbook

Once you’ve been accepted into specialty training in O&G, provided with an ePortfolio, which you must use to record your training and document your progression through the training programme. The ePortfolio page includes comprehensive user guides for trainees, trainers and deanery administrative staff.

The ePortfolio includes an eLogbook, which you’ll need to use to record your attainment of competencies. You’ll need to attain a defined level of competencies to progress from basic to intermediate (ST2–ST3) and from intermediate to advanced training (ST5–ST6), and successful completion of the eLogbook is a prerequisite for award of the CCT/CESR(CP) and entry onto the Specialist Register.


You’ll need to pass 3 exams in order to progress through training:

  • Part 1 MRCOG, which covers basic sciences relevant to O&G and which you need to pass to move from ST2 to ST3
  • Part 2 MRCOG, which assesses clinical application of knowledge and which you need to pass to take Part 3
  • Part 3 MRCOG, which assesses clinical skills and which you need to pass to move from ST5 to ST6

Trainees’ Register

All specialty trainees within O&G need to subscribe to the Trainees’ Register, which offers a range of benefits to support you throughout your training. This includes a trainees’ newsletter to keep you up to date.

Trainee representation at the RCOG

The Trainees’ Committee discusses issues relevant to training in O&G and is a channel for communication between trainees and Council, as well as other relevant RCOG committees and external organisations. Your trainee representative can provide you with the most up-to-date information from the College and who will speak on your behalf.

Find out more

This section of the website provides you with a range of information about specialty training in O&G, including:

If you can’t find what you’re looking for on the website, each page contains contact details for the relevant member of RCOG staff. You can also look at the list of useful RCOG contacts for trainees or the full list of contacts at the RCOG.

Elsewhere on the site

The full specialty training curriculum in O&G – core curriculum, ultrasound, ATSMs, subspecialty and academic
Training guidelines
Guidelines on issues such as out of programme and less than full-time training