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

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 (RCS 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.

Volunteer as a judge at our 2019–20 final 

Due to COVID-19 we had to postpone the final in 2019–20. Following the latest guidelines from the government, we will now be holding the Are You Cut Out For It? National Surgical Skills Competition final for the 2019–20 finalists on Saturday 30 October 2021 at the College in London. 

We are looking for plastics, trauma and orthopaedics, and general surgery consultants to act as judges at the competition final. If you are interested in volunteering then please contact

Regional heats 2021–22 

We are delighted to announce that the 2021-22 competition will be going ahead. The heats will be held in person regionally from September 2021 to February 2022.The tasks will aim to assess your surgical skills as well as your knowledge and application of surgical principles.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we had to cancel the competition heats in 2020–21 which meant that last year’s trainees were unable to participate. Therefore, for one year only, we will allow qualifying ST3 trainees (who were CT2/ST2 in the previous year) to compete alongside this year’s CT2/ST2 trainees.

The winners of the local competitions will go on to compete in the national competition final at the College in London in March/April 2022.

Get involved

We are looking for organisers for the 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.


a) Organisers must be members or affiliate members of RCS England. 
b) They can be any career grade.
c) Organisers are not able to compete in the competition.
d) Only one regional heat may be run per region; the first to apply to register interest and confirm running of the regional heats will be given priority. In the event of multiple volunteers the RCS England outreach team will facilitate collaboration.

If you are interested in organising your School of Surgery heats and are in East of England, South England, or Wales please contact

If you are interested in organising your School of Surgery heats and are in the North, Midlands, Scotland, or Northern Ireland please contact


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);
central promotion for regional heats on the RCS England 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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