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The demand for, and provision of surgically based education outside of training programmes has grown significantly in recent times. It is often difficult to ascertain which activities are of relevance or are worthy of attendance for surgeons or trainees. The College has therefore developed guidance and standards to act as a benchmark for good quality programme, course or event design.

The College has also developed policies around six specific forms of accreditation in order to corroborate where programmes, courses, or events have complied with the College’s criteria and standards.

The College terms accreditation as the process by which it verifies the quality and standards of courses or events offered by educational organisations.

The College currently offers six forms of accreditation:

  • CPD Activities – The review of surgical events to gauge their appropriateness and ability to contribute to the continuing professional development of surgeons.
  • Short Courses – The review of surgery related courses of five days in length or less to ensure compliance with the criteria and standards used by the College in its own course development and delivery.
  • Higher Education Institution Programmes – The review of formal higher education programmes or their equivalent to ensure compliance with the College standards for academic programmes.
  • Surgical Care Practitioner Programmes – The review of formal Surgical Care Practitioner (SCP) programmes to ensure compliance with the College standards for SCPs.
  • Fellowship Approval - The review of fellowship programmes to ensure compliance with the College criteria and standards for educational fellowships.
  • Centre Accreditation - The review of surgical education centres to ensure compliance with the College criteria and standards for surgical education provision as part of a collaborative educational partnership.

The aims of College accreditation activities are:

  • To provide strong leadership and support for surgeons in all matters relating to their surgical practice, throughout their surgical careers.
  • To work in partnership with the providers of surgical education to ensure the highest standards of education in surgery are met.
  • To provide assurance that course or events are developed and delivered to the standards expected by the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
  • To ensure that the content of a course or event is relevant to its target audience and the development of competent surgeons.
  • To ensure that surgical courses and events are well constructed with appropriate evaluation to ensure constructive improvement.
  • To encourage the appropriate evaluation of educational activities.
  • To assist surgeons in justifying attendance and/or participation in scientific and educational events.