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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. 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 which will take place on a Saturday in 2021, in London, where they will go head to head with top competing pairs from the other regions.

The final is usually held in March, but due to the current restrictions we anticipate holding the final of the 2020/21 competition on a Saturday in the later part of 2021.  


Regional heats 2020–21 

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the competition this year will be going ahead... with a twist!  Heats will take place virtually across the UK from October 2020 - April 2021 (we have extended the time frame to allow a greater number of participants to take part).  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.  Organisers will be responsible for ensuring that participants comply with health and safety guidelines, coordinating online submissions and finding local faculty.  If you have are interested in organising your local heats please contact

Please note: Due to the health and safety risks to participants, we will not be supporting centralised socially-distanced events.

Get involved

We are currently recruiting volunteers to help judge the final of the competition in London in the later part of 2021. Judges must be consultants and members of RCS England.

If you are a consultant in general, trauma and orthopaedics, or plastics and would be interested in being involved in the final, please email for more information.


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.

Information on the competition heats in 2020–21 will be advertised here and in our newsletter in due course. 

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