Advanced Training in Anaesthesia

RCoA Guide to Advanced Training

RCoA guide to the Advanced Training programme
Advanced Training Curriculum
Advanced Training Useful Information

The Advanced Training Programme is designed to be more flexible to allow more senior trainees to target their training towards their career aspirations whilst gaining further experience in the anaesthetic sub-specialities as part of the Spiral Learning process. The organisation of modules is dependent on the senior trainee’s requirements and future career plans.

Indicative time frames for Advanced Training Units in Wessex

Advanced Training modules available

It is vital that all single specialty trainees can account for 12 months of Advanced Training in ST6/7.

Annex E sets out the requirements for Advanced Training – we recommend specialty trainees read the sections relevant to their interests. We have been asked for some guidance on completing certain units.

The messages are:

Plan early and liaise with the local College Tutors and TPD regarding Advanced plans – we will be asking trainees at annual education review/ARCP’s with the TPD.

The TPD is more than happy to discuss individual training programmes at any time

Focus on the Core Clinical Learning Outcomes and the Learning Outcomes

Training is competency based, with a time element (often a range) as per Annex E

If a trainee wishes to do 12 months General Duties the expectation is that at least 2 will be attained (3-4 is common)

Wessex the agreed specific times currently are:

Cardiac – 12 months

Thoracic  – 6 months (this will be signed off as “General”)

Peri operative medicine – 6 months

Neuro – 6 months

Paeds – 6 months or 12 months (the latter for those wishing to pursue tertiary career)

Obs – 6 months split between UHS and PHT or Poole

Airway and maxillo-facial, head and neck combined – 6 months 

Regional and orthopaedics combined – 6 months

Pain – 12 months

Other units can be discussed locally as long as they are in keeping with Annex E if a trainee is currently within a unit and have agreed a different timescale,

Advanced Training is usually one year in duration and is aimed at preparing for consultant practice. Trainees are able to specialise in neuroanaesthesia, cardiothoracic anaesthesia, obstetric or paediatric anaesthesia if their career aspiration is to practise in a tertiary referral centre. For those trainees who wish to follow a generalist’s career in a district general hospital or equivalent, they will complete one year of general duties. A trainee may specialise in a single area in general duties (eg, obstetrics) or complete a number of units.

In preparation for consultant practice, the learning is focused on building expertise in the chosen area of practice and greater exposure to the professional competencies such as leadership, team working and management.

Early discussion with the Training Programme Director is advisable. Every effort will be made to accommodate trainees’ preferences, but some modules can become oversubscribed and may need to be allocated competitively.

Hospitals on the rotation

Trainees will rotate through a number of hospitals within Wessex during ST6/7 training . There are more details about the eight departments involved in the School of Anaesthesia and which units of training can be achieved in the Advanced Training Hospital Sites document.

Post FRCA Teaching

The Post FRCA Teaching Days are run five times/year. They are designed to cover both the clinical and non-clinical teaching required by the RCoA curriculum. The days are delivered by all departments within Wessex on a rotation system. The mornings consist of clinical lectures and the afternoons of non-clinical lectures. Although the Post FRCA programme is co-ordinated by a team of trainees, the organisation of each day is delivered by trainees within the relevant NHS trust.

Final ARCP and CCT

Following a trainee’s Final ARCP the School will notify the RCoA they are eligible to apply for entry to the Specialist Register with a CCT. The GMC will then invite the trainee to make an application roughly four months before their completion of training date.

Please note that the award of a CCT and inclusion on the Specialist Register are not automatic procedures; trainees are required to apply for a CCT or CESR(CP) certificate. 

Details of the Specialist Register application process can be found at the RCoA website, where trainees will also be able to find the notification of CCT completion form they will need to bring to their Final ARCP with training date completed.

The following are available in Wessex

Cardiac Anaesthesia

Advanced training in cardiac anaesthesia is possible for 6 -12 months during ST6-7 to gain further training and experience, including echocardiography. This module is based in Southampton and for further information please email Dr James Montague via 

Obstetric Anaesthesia

Advanced training in obstetric anaesthesia is available in ST6/7. Training is based at three trusts in Wessex (Portsmouth, Poole and Southampton). For more information or if you wish to express an interest in doing the module, please email Dr Samantha Wilson via

Paediatric Anaesthesia

Advanced paediatric training consists of either 6 or 12 month posts. The 12 month post consists of paediatric anaesthetics (nine months) and PICU (three months). For more information or if you wish to express an interest in doing the module, please email Dr Hannah Vail via


If you are interested in advanced training in neuroanaesthesia, please discuss with the Programme Director and the College Tutors at Southampton, who can put you in touch with the relevant consultants. For further information please contact Dr Emma Taylor via

Pain Medicine

For those who wish to sub-specialise in pain medicine there are optional higher and advanced modules available. For further information please e-mail Dr Dominic Aldington via 


Advanced training for 6 months in Thoracic Anaesthesia is available at UHS. There is no specific sign off for this, so Advanced General will be achieved. Please liaise with UHS College Tutor or Dr Leo Krivskiy via

Higher ST5-7

Optional one to three months

Essential for all trainees who wish to progress to advanced pain medicine training

Recommended for trainees considering a future consultant post with an interest in acute pain medicine.

Advanced ST5-7

Optional 12 months (after completion of higher module). Advanced Pain Medicine training in ST5-7 is available within the Wessex School of Anaesthesia. All training is based within Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.