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Frequently Asked Questions about PG Cert

What is the PGCert in Surgery?

The Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) in Surgery is a unique online programme that allows you to study at your own pace over 1-2 years. You will work towards 60 credits by completing online modules to suit your career path. You will also be able to gain credits by taking selected practical Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) courses.

Each module is divided into a number of sub-topics, with a combination of case based scenarios, reflective activities and opportunities to use the knowledge you have acquired through the module.

Depending on the topic covered, we have used various supports such as description of procedures, pictures, images or videos. You will also be able to click on relevant links to access further reading.

Is the PGCert suitable for me?

To be eligible, you need to have successfully completed an undergraduate medical degree and have the capacity to work with an Educational or Clinical supervisor. This is because the modules have Workplace Based Assessments (WBAs) associated with them and a supervisor is required to work with you for these elements.

The material is delivered entirely in English.

The PGCert in Surgery is designed for Foundation Training Year 1-2 and Core Surgical Training 1-2. Read more information about the stages of surgical training

Is the PGCert suitable for international participants?

The certificate is open to international participants but please note the material is delivered entirely in English.

You will need to hold an undergraduate medical degree and meet the suitability requirements as listed for UK participants. You will get the most benefit if you are at an equivalent training level to Foundation Training Year 1-2 and Core Surgical Training 1-2. Read more information about the stages of surgical training.

You will also need access to an Educational or Clinical supervisor. This is because the modules have Workplace Based Assessments (WBAs) associated with them and a supervisor is required to work with you for these elements. 

Do I need to register on the full PGCert if I am only interested in selected modules?

You can take individual modules as standalone courses without registering on the PGCert. You will receive a certificate of completion for that module but you will not receive a PGCert certificate. If you decide to enrol on the PGCert at a later date, the modules you have completed will count towards your certificate.

Can I take the PGCert or modules if I am beyond the FY 1-2 or CT 1-2 stage in my career?

There are many reasons that you might want to take the PGCert or selected modules, regardless of your career stage and there are no restrictions. However, please be aware that the content is directed towards individuals at the Foundation Training Year 1-2 and Core Surgical Training 1-2 career stage in terms of level of detail in the modules.

How much does the PGCert cost?

The enrolment fee for the PGCert in Surgery is £400 or £360 if you are a full member or associate of the College.

The enrolment fees will give you the following benefits:

  • Access to your personalised PGCert in Surgery dashboard
  • Reduced price modules (15% discount on each module)
  • Access to exclusive RCS anatomy videos
  • Access to 6 SURGERY eBooks published by Elsevier
  • 1 year free membership to the RCS Affiliate scheme (pending successful application) 

The enrolment fee is non-refundable and cannot be used to purchase modules.

You will need to purchase further modules to complete your PGCert in Surgery, therefore the total cost will vary between students. For a delegate enrolled on the PGCert in Surgery, a 3 credit module costs £170, a 6 credit module costs £255 and a 10 credit module costs £340.

Selected RCS courses also count towards PGCert credits, please see our list of associated courses, their cost and the number of PGCert credits allocated. 

How much do individual modules cost?

Each module is priced depending on how many credits it is worth. Please check the modules you are interested in to gain further information. If you are a full RCS member or RCS associate, you will receive a 10% discount. If you are enrolled on the PGCert, there is a 15% discount on the module price. Please note, only the highest discount will be applied, and discounts cannot be combined.

How long does the PGCert take to complete?

As a guide, 1 credit equals 10 notional studying hours (including practical study, reflection and further reading). You have access to each module for 6 months and you can extend your access for a fee. The PGCert has been designed to be a flexible learning opportunity to allow you to work at your own pace over 1-2 years.

How is the PGCert assessed?

There are a variety of assessment methods used on the PGCert, including knowledge based topic tests within the sessions or the completion of a Workplace Based Assessments (WBAs). Further information on how individual modules are assessed can be found under the ‘Format’ tab on the webpage of individual modules.

The WBAs are linked to the specific material covered and have to be done in your regular practice with your clinical or educational supervisor.

We use the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme (ISCP) templates as the basis for the assessments.

Can the Workplace Based Assessments (WBAs) be simulated?

You will get most out of the WBA if you complete it practically. However, as long as the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme (ISCP) guidelines on the practicalities of WBAs are followed, and the assessment is discussed with your clinical or educational supervisor, they can be based on a simulated scenario.

How long will I have access to each module for?

You will have access to each module for six months. You can extend your access for six months for a fee. The extension fee varies depending on the module, please check the ‘Pricing’ tab on the module information page on the RCS website for specific details.

Can I get credits towards the PGCert in Surgery for RCS courses I have successfully completed?

You can gain up to 20 credits of your 60 from selected PGCert in Surgery-associated RCS courses.

The range and dates of courses available is subject to change and availability. A list of courses and their associated credits is shown here.

Will more online modules be added?

We aim to develop further PGCert online modules and we will highlight these on our website when they are available.

If you have feedback about the modules or would like to see a particular topic covered, please use the feedback form which is available upon module completion.

How can I get technical support after registering?

System requirements for RCS eLearning are detailed on our website. There is also information at the top of each module page in the ‘Before you start’ link which gives advice on using the learning materials and system requirements. You can refer to this at any time if you experience problems. Within each module you will find an email address for support with technical issues.

Can I start the programme at any time?

Yes, you can enrol and access the modules at any time. The PGCert programme is meant to be flexible and complement your workplace learning.

What if I need to cancel?

The general RCS Education Terms and Conditions are applicable to the PGCert.

Specifically, section 2.5 states that if you wish to cancel your place on an e-learning programme or online module (i.e. courses delivered and assessed online) you must notify us by email within 24 hours of booking. Unfortunately, refunds cannot be processed for cancellation requests placed after this time period. 

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