Please enter both an email address and a password.

Account login

Need to reset your password?  Enter the email address which you used to register on this site (or your membership/contact number) and we'll email you a link to reset it. You must complete the process within 2hrs of receiving the link.

We've sent you an email

An email has been sent to Simply follow the link provided in the email to reset your password. If you can't find the email please check your junk or spam folder and add to your address book.

New surgical training pilot expands to include urology and vascular surgery

26 Sep 2017

A pilot training programme for surgical trainees is to expand to include urology and vascular surgery.

The Improving Surgical Training project (IST), which has been developed by The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) and Health Education England (HEE), will be piloted in general surgery at likely more than 21 different trusts from August 2018, and from August 2019, will now include urology and vascular surgery.

The IST pilot will trial improvements in the quality of training, provide trainees with a better balance between service delivery and training, allow professionalised trainers to dedicate more time to training, and help develop skills of the full surgical team. The emphasis on developing the wider workforce and not solely surgeons aims to allow trainees more time to train, as well developing cross-professional and cross-speciality competencies.

The pilots will also develop the concept of the “modern firm”, where different members of a surgical team will help to support trainees in a positive and collaborative manner.

Mr Ian Eardley, RCS Senior Vice-President and Chair of the Improving Surgical Training working group, said:

“I am delighted that this exciting development in training for surgical trainees will now be available to additional surgical specialties. This programme benefits not just surgeons, but also the wider surgical team as well as patients.

“By widening the scope of the project to include urology and vascular surgery, we will now also be able to monitor the robustness of the training across specialty. Proper assessments of the programme are vital to ensuring the training is having the desired impact.”

Mr Jonathan Boyle, Chair of the Specialty Advisory Committee for Vascular Surgery said:

“I am very pleased that Health Education England has approved our application to join the IST project and very grateful for the help of the RCS IST team and members of the Vascular SAC who have facilitated this.

“At a time when surgical careers are becoming less attractive, it is vital that we look at ways of improving training. The development of a ‘modern firm’ structure will result in these new trainees really feeling part of the surgical team, which is exactly what enthused me to follow a career in Vascular surgery.”

Mr Roland Morley, Chair of the Specialty Advisory Committee for Urology said:

“I am very pleased that Health Education England has approved our application to join the IST project and would like to thank the RCS IST team for their help and members of the Urology SAC and SURG trainees whom have given their support to the project.

“Improving surgical training, particularly in the early years will facilitate retention of trainees and deliver a trainee focused approach to surgical training whilst also facilitating delivery of service. The delivery of more structured training time will allow trainees to feel more valued as part of the surgical team, and deliver continuity of care as part of a team.

Helen Mohan, President of The Association of Surgeons in Training (ASIT) said:

“ASiT welcomes efforts to improve surgical training. ASiT has continuously represented trainees since the inception of the IST pilot to ensure that trainees are protected, that the end product of surgical training is not diluted and that the pilot is used as an opportunity that will enhance training.

“ASiT has engaged actively with the RCS to advocate for trainees that unintended consequences that may affect those not on the pilot are mitigated, and that the pilot delivers the improvements in surgical training that it strives to. ASiT will continue to work with RCS to ensure that trainees are represented at every step of the process.”

Professor Wendy Reid, Director of Education and Quality and Medical Director, Health Education England, said:

"I’m really pleased that this exciting opportunity has been widened to include urology and vascular surgical specialties.

Our long term vision for this initiative is to develop improved training across the board for the benefit of patients, not just particular specialties. Opening up the pilot to other surgical specialties is a key step towards this. I’m delighted that they are keen to get involved in the pilot.”

Recruitment for the 2018 general surgery cohort will open on 8 November.

ASiT is keen to hear trainees views and concerns regarding the pilot, and any trainee issues arising following implementation and will relay these back to IST. Contact or if you have comments or concerns, or come to the ASiT conference 6-8 April 2018 in Edinburgh where IST will be discussed. 

Notes to editors

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.

For more information, please contact the Press Office:

Share this page: