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Surgical Curriculum

The Joint Committee on Surgical Training (JCST)

The JCST is an advisory body to the four surgical Royal Colleges of the UK and Ireland for all matters related to surgical training, and works closely with the Surgical Specialty Associations in Great Britain and Ireland. It is the parent body for the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme (ISCP), the ten Specialty Advisory Committees (SACs) one for each of the surgical specialties and the Intercollegiate Core Surgical Training Committee (CSTC).
SAC responsibilities include:

  • the development of the syllabus and curriculum for each of the surgical specialties – as recorded in ISCP;
  • with Deaneries organising and leading on National Selection for entry into surgical training programmes;
  • providing advice to local training committees;
  • enrolling surgical trainees with JCST and the SACs;
  • making recommendations for the award of the CCT/CESR CP;
  • evaluating CESR applications.

The JCST website provides information on the processes for entering and completing surgical training. It also provides information on entry to the Specialist Register, including via the Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR).

The Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme (ISCP)

Throughout their training, surgical trainees in all specialties follow a curriculum which provides the framework for systematic training from completion of the foundation years through to consultant level in the UK.

The ISCP website houses the curriculum for the nine* surgical specialties and, in a secure area, trainees’ electronic portfolios and the learning agreements which support training.

*Vascular Surgery curriculum has been approved by the GMC for trainees appointed from August 2013 but is yet to be published on the ISCP website.

Careers Support and advice

The College careers site provides information about the structure of surgical training in the UK and information about how to become a surgeon.

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