Providing a quality mark for surgical education
A growing number of hospitals, medical organisations and medical equipment companies are providing a range of education courses for surgeons, face-to-face and online.
Often these courses are run at the provider's own centre, or the courses are developed by the provider and run at various locations in the UK and overseas. In addition, training providers offer standalone online learning courses, or a blend of distance and face-to-face learning.
The Royal College of Surgeons of England is keen to ensure and enhance the quality of courses offered by centres through its centre accreditation process.
The process involves a review of an entire surgical education centre. This includes assessment of facilities, resources and faculty; the education portfolio; and the infrastructure and quality management processes which underpin the delivery of the centre's educational product. RCS centre accreditation is only awarded where there is a clear demonstration of, and a broad confidence in, the quality of each of these components.
Accreditation gives the centre a degree of autonomy in amending its course portfolio and introducing new courses during the accreditation period, subject to RCS approval.
Benefits of centre accreditation
The benefits of centre accreditation include:
- expert review of the centre and all surgery-related course provision;
- use of the strap line ‘Accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons of England’ for a three-year accreditation term (subject to satisfactory monitoring and review);
- use of the RCS logo on materials and websites related to the centre, and each course run by the centre;
- peer review of all surgical courses from a panel of leading surgeons;
- listing on RCS website;
- listing in RCS Bulletin;
- use of RCS participant evaluation materials;
- applicable courses will be awarded with Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points as part of course accreditation.
How to apply
RCS Accreditation process
Accreditation can be applied for on our Accreditation Portal, by registering for a free account and starting a new activity. For Centre applications, please email QA@rcseng.ac.uk to register your interest before starting your online application. Once an application has been submitted, the stages broadly follow the cycle shown below. Please also read the information required for centre accreditation.
Step 1 - Desktop assessment
Initial desk-based review of application for accreditation, including assesment of course participant feedback.
At each step of the process, the applicant may be asked for further information, or to amend the educational activity the provide, to meet RCS education standards.
Step 2 - Panel visit
If the application is viable, a visit to the education provider by an RCS review panel (including one or more senior surgeons) takes place. For Centre acccreditation, there may be multiple visits to asses more of the educational events offered.
Step 3 - Report writing stage
A report is written by a QA team member, including input from the RCS review panel, to be presented to the Quality Assurance Operational Group. This may include conditions and recommendations for the provider.
Step 4 - RCS Quality Assurance Operational Group meeting
The report is presented at the next QAOG meeting, which are held four times a year. Members of the QAOG discuss the application and the group makes a collective recommendation to approve or reject the application. This may include conditions and recommendations for the provider.
Step 5 - RCS Learning & Assesment Committee
The recommendation of the QAOG is presented to the L&A Committee, who make the final decision on awarding accreditation. If awarded, accreditation lasts for three years. Accreditation may be accompanied by conditions to be met or recommendations to be considered by the applicant. The accreditation is accompanied by ongoing monitoring of educational provision.
If you have any queries about Surgical Education Centre accreditation that are not covered in our frequently asked questions, please contact the Quality Assurance Department at email@example.com or on 020 7869 6000.