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IST FAQs

 

How can I apply for a training post in the IST pilot?

Applications for both traditional core surgical training (CST) and the IST posts will be made through Oriel. Applications will open on Thursday 7 November 2019 at 10:00 and close on Thursday 28 November 2019 at 16:00. IST run through and uncoupled posts will be listed alongside uncoupled CST posts, and applicants must rank those posts they would accept if offered. IST posts will be clearly indicated, allowing applicants to rank only IST posts, only non-IST posts, or a combination. Offers will be made on the basis of ranked preferences and scores achieved at interview.

For more information on Oriel and the application process, go to https://www.oriel.nhs.uk/Web/FAQs

Which specialties are participating in the pilot?

In 2020, run through IST posts will be offered in general surgery, urology, vascular surgery and trauma and orthopaedic surgery. Uncoupled core IST posts will also be available.

How may pilot training posts will be available?

We expect 11 posts in Wales, 90-120 posts in England and 53 posts in Scotland, to be offered; 154-184 in total in 2020. Please note, these are subject to change and the posts listed on Oriel are final.

Will recruitment to the IST pilot be more competitive than recruitment to uncoupled core posts?

IST will introduce a number of initiatives designed to improve surgical training, and will take place in a specified number of pilot sites. This may mean that entry is competitive, but it is difficult to predict how core and IST posts will be ranked and so determine how competitive applications will be.

I want to apply to train in uncoupled core and general surgery, urology, vascular surgery or trauma and orthopaedic surgery – will this still be possible? 

Yes, this will still be possible, as there will be uncoupled core and general surgery, urology, vascular surgery and trauma and orthopaedic surgery posts available outside the pilot. All uncoupled core posts in Scotland are included in the pilot.

Will the IST pilot lead to a reduction in the number of uncoupled specialty posts?

Unless additional ST3 posts are created, the allocation of NTNs at ST1 level in the pilot may lead to a reduction in the number of NTNs available for uncoupled training from ST3.

Should I apply for an IST pilot post, an uncoupled core IST-compliant post or a non-IST uncoupled core post?

The IST aims to address many of the common problems that are associated with core surgical training and to reduce the variation that exists across the country. However, many excellent centres already provide high quality training to core surgical trainees through the traditional route. Both options may suit trainees depending on many factors and individual circumstances. Run through training may be attractive to some applicants, but not to others. Some may choose posts primarily based on location rather than specialty. Successful completion of both run through and uncoupled training in all participating specialties will lead to the award of a CCT in that specialty, but will reach the same end by different means.

Can I apply an IST pilot post even if I have not yet decided on which specialty I will choose?

The IST pilot will offer run through training in general surgery, urology, vascular surgery and trauma and orthopaedics in a number of sites in England, Scotland and Wales in 2020. In addition to this, all uncoupled core surgical training posts in Scotland will be included in the pilot. Uncoupled IST placements in Scotland will take place in pilot site health boards that have made the environmental changes included in the IST model. 

There will be further IST-compliant uncoupled core surgical training posts in other regions. These placements however, are not run through in structure. Please see the IST Trainee Prospectus for further details.

Can I transfer to another specialty after joining the pilot?

IST supports flexibility for trainees that wish to change specialties after beginning their training. For trainees that are recruited to the pilot but subsequently wish to train in a different specialty, prevailing arrangements for flexibility in training will ensure that competencies gained are transferable between the specialties

Where will the IST pilot take place?

Details of pilot post numbers and locations can be found here. Please note, these are subject to change and the posts listed on Oriel[1] are final. 

When will the IST pilot take place?

The IST pilot began with its first cohort in general surgery in 2018, with a further general surgery cohort and new cohorts in urology and vascular surgery in 2019. These will be joined by new IST posts (to include trauma and orthopaedic surgery) in August/October 2020.

How will training in the IST pilot differ from uncoupled non-pilot training?

Run through training in the IST pilot will follow the same curricula as uncoupled core/higher specialty surgical training outside the pilot. The end point of training (CCT) will therefore be the same, but the experience of training will be enhanced in the pilot, and the duration of training may be shortened if competencies are achieved at a higher rate. However, many IST training enhancements are expected to also benefit non-pilot trainees in IST pilot sites. 

Please note that in Scotland, all core surgical training posts will be part of the pilot in 2020. 10 posts will be offered as IST run through posts in general surgery, 3 in urology, 1 in vascular surgery, and all other remaining core surgical training posts in Scotland, 39 in total, will be uncoupled IST placements. Please see the IST Trainee Prospectus for further details.

 

I would like to apply for  run through vascular surgery - will I be able to complete rotations in surgical specialties other than vascular surgery as part of my core-level training in IST?

Yes. In ST1, trainees will complete 12 months in general surgery training.

In ST2, trainees will complete 6-12 months of vascular surgery (with vascular surgery on-call only) and 6 months of either plastic surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, general surgery, or ITU.

For details about the training programmes to be offered in Scotland, please see the IST Trainee Prospectus

I would like to apply for  run through vascular surgery - will I be able to complete rotations in surgical specialties other than vascular surgery as part of my core-level training in IST?

Yes. In ST1, trainees will complete 12 months in general surgery training.

In ST2, trainees will complete 6-12 months of vascular surgery (with vascular surgery on-call only) and 6 months of either plastic surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, general surgery, or ITU.

For details about the training programmes to be offered in Scotland, please see the IST Trainee Prospectus

I would like to apply for  run through vascular surgery - Will I be able to complete rotations in surgical specialties other than vascular surgery as part of my core-level training in IST?

Yes. In ST1, trainees will complete 12 months in general surgery training.

In ST2, trainees will complete 6-12 months of vascular surgery (with vascular surgery on-call only) and 6 months of either plastic surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, general surgery, or ITU.

For details about the training programmes to be offered in Scotland, please see the IST Trainee Prospectus.

I would like to apply for run through trauma and orthopaedic surgery- will I be able to complete rotations in surgical specialties other than trauma and orthopaedic surgery as part of my core-level training in IST?

Within ST1-2, will trainees be placed on a rotation that includes at least 12 months in trauma and orthopaedics with emphasis on trauma, and a rotation that includes either plastic surgery, vascular surgery, general surgery or ITU.

Will less than full time (LTFT) training be available as part of the IST pilot?

LTFT arrangements will be the same as for all training posts governed by the Gold Guide[1].

Will out of programme training, research, experience or career breaks (OOPT / OOPR / OOPE / OOPC) be available as part of the IST pilot?

Out of programme arrangements will be the same as for all training posts governed by the Gold Guide.

How will the delivery of IST training be quality assured in pilot sites?

Quality assurance/monitoring of posts will be managed locally by each pilot site’s LETB/deanery. There will be quarterly monitoring surveys of all IST trainees in order to assess whether pilot sites are meeting IST criteria and to highlight progress made and any challenges experienced by IST pilot sites.

How will the IST pilot affect non-pilot trainees in pilot sites?

Many IST training enhancements should also benefit non-pilot trainees in IST pilot sites. IST will work with pilot sites to ensure that non-pilot trainees are not disadvantaged by the presence of pilot trainees.

How is the IST pilot funded?

Preparatory project work to establish and develop the IST pilot has been funded by HEE. Local implementation in IST pilot sites will not receive additional funding from HEE, but funding has been provided by the Scottish government for some elements of the pilot in Scotland.

Is it possible to move between deaneries?

National arrangements for interdeanery transfers will continue to apply to trainees in the pilot and outside it. As a vacant post is required to accommodate each successful transfer applicant, it cannot be guaranteed that an IST post in another location will be available for any trainee transferring out of an existing IST pilot post.

What does the future look like for the project – will there be a national roll-out?

The pilot is being closely monitored on an ongoing basis, and an independent evaluation will report in December 2021. Any roll-out will be informed by information gathered through both of these routes.

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