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Curriculum 2019

The RCOG's curriculum is changing

The key changes to the curriculum are summarised here. To learn more, you will find a link below to the full Definitive Document, with lots of supporting material.

Key facts about the new O&G Curriculum

  • The curriculum has not been substantially revised since 2007. All colleges and specialties are required by the General Medical Council to move to a high-level outcomes approach. This means specifying the general capabilities that all doctors should have by the end of their training programme. This is a very different approach to the current one which is based on the notion of competency in clinical skills and procedures.
  • The new curriculum is designed to promote and encourage the exercise of professional judgement, both by the trainee and the trainer. This is a fundamental concept of the new curriculum. The current emphasis on tick-boxes and numbers of assessments will be replaced by an expectation that the trainee doctor will take responsibility for their own learning, by deciding what evidence will be appropriate to demonstrate progress, and by assessing their own performance. Likewise, Education Supervisors will make global assessments of a trainee’s performance and make a recommendation to the ARCP panel as to progression. The final decision as to progression will rest with the ARCP panel.
  • There are 14 high-level outcomes, or Capabilities in Practice – these are general statements of what a doctor is supposed to be able to do by the end of training. Four of these are clinical specialty specific, two are non-clinical specialty specific, and the remainder are generic. The whole curriculum is designed to produce a consultant who is a Clinical Expert, a Champion for Women’s Health, a Scholar / Researcher / Educator and an NHS Professional. There are no modules in the new curriculum.
  • Much of the current clinical content will be the same. However it will be described, packaged and assessed differently.
  • Many people have been involved thus far in the development of the curriculum. We are very pleased that the RCOG Women’s Network, and a Public Insight Group specifically convened for this purpose, have made a very positive contribution.
  • The core training programme will remain at 7 years, with waypoints also remaining the same.
  • The curriculum will be delivered through a new ePortfolio. It is being designed specifically for our curriculum, including a procedures log and the facility for use on mobile devices. Guidance and links to resources will be embedded. The same company is also designing the new CPD ePortfolio.
  • There will be detailed guidance for trainees and Education Supervisors on the expectations for each year and stage of training. This guidance will be integral to the ePortfolio.
  • The Matrix of Progression will continue but will focus on minimal requirements. Summative assessments will still be used for clinical procedures.
  • Workplace-based assessment tools will reformatted to include an additional element for reflection and a change so that the trainee completes much of the form.
  • We are aiming to transfer existing trainees onto the new ePortfolio and curriculum by 31 October 2019. A separate piece of work will be undertaken on transferring the advanced curricula to the ePortfolio. There will be detailed guidance on the transfer rules which will communicated to trainees and trainers.
  • The knowledge criteria that underpin the curriculum will be mapped to the MRCOG and will form the syllabus for the MRCOG. The knowledge element of the curriculum will be consulted upon separately.
  • A Task and Finish Group is currently looking at how the RCOG can support Educational Supervisors in their roles, including developing eLearning resources, drafting guidance and arranging regional training events.


Thank you to those of you who engaged with the Core Curriculum consultation process. The final 2019 Core Curriculum submission is with the GMC and we await notification of the outcome around mid-April.

We are reformatting the advanced training curricula (ATSM and Subspecialty curricula) into the outcomes-based format. The content of the advanced curricula is fundamentally unchanged from the current version in terms of knowledge criteria and clinical content. Once we have finalised the frameworks for submission to the GMC we will publish these here.

Meanwhile we are continuing with our implementation and communications strategy and will advise further as this progresses. If you have any further comments, please email



The RCOG has produced an online resource to support trainees and educational supervisors in the transition to the new core/advanced O&G Curriculum:


Core Curriculum 2019 – Definitive Document (PDF 2mb)
This Definitive Document 2019 is currently with the GMC as part of our core curriculum approval submission.
Therefore at this stage please treat it as draft only.

Advanced and Subspecialty Training Curricula 


Supporting information