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RCS Surgical Skills Competition: Are You Cut Out For It?

After careful consideration RCS England has made the decision to cancel this year’s Are You Cut Out For It? surgical skills competition.

Despite our best efforts to adapt the heats to ensure the safety of participants and faculty, we feel that trainees are unlikely to have the capacity for the heats to go ahead as planned in the coming months due to the high numbers of COVID-19 cases and pressure on trusts over the festive period.

We are planning for our 2021/22 competition where we hope trainees will be in a better position to gain the full value and enjoyment out of participation. It is our intention that any CT2s that have not had a chance to compete this year will have the opportunity to participate at a future date.

We are, as ever, grateful to all our sponsors and volunteers without whom events like these would not be possible and we look forward to hosting the competition at a safer time.

Boost your CV and be in with the chance to win £1,500

Are You Cut Out For It? is our national surgical skills competition for core trainees (CT2s) who are members or affiliate members of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Would you like to partake in a creative competition that encompasses fun and competition as tools for learning? A competition that is free to join with the opportunity to win a share of £1,500 and set your CV apart at ST3 application level? Our RCS England approved surgical skills competition gives you just that.


Trainees compete in pairs for a chance to win a share of £1,500 and the prestigious Louis Solomon Knights Award for Surgical Skills. Competitors must be in their second year of core training and members or affiliate members of RCS England. If you would like to compete in the competition please join now.

Although CT1 trainees cannot compete, they can participate by organising their local heat.  Certificates for attending, winning and running this competition are approved by RCS England and will be sure to set you apart from your peers.

Winners from each heat will be entered into the final where they will go head to head with top competing pairs from the other regions.


Regional heats 2021–22 

We will evaluate the situation with COVID-19 next winter, if it is deemed that in person events may risk the safety of the faculty and participants than the heats will take place virtually. If so competitors will be asked to individually submit their tasks online for judging locally. The tasks will still aim to assess your surgical skills as well as your knowledge and application of surgical principles.

We will be looking for organisers for the virtual heats for each School of Surgery in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Dates, times and contact details will be displayed on this page for competitors. 

Get involved

Information about the 2021-22 competition will be posted in due course.


RCS England will offer support to everyone interested in assisting with hosting a regional heat for Are You Cut Out For It? including:

  • matching up volunteers from within the same region;
  • providing a guide for how to organise a regional heat;
  • providing template documents (guidance for competitors, invitation letters, mark schemes, thank you letters, certificates of participation);
  • central promotion for regional heats on the RCS website and social media.

RCS England may be able to provide some equipment for the skills competition heat. We will also provide all organisers with formal thank you letters for your portfolios.

Supported by:


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