Stage 1 Training

Royal College of Anaesthetists Guide to Stage 1 Training

The ‘Novice’ Period

RCoA Guide for Novice Trainees

The guide contains key documents and a step-by-step guide to help Doctors in Training (DiT) get started on the training programme. It also contains all 82 e-learning sessions specifically written for novice DiT and additional learning resources/guidelines from the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI), Resuscitation Council and Difficult Airway Society.

College registration and e-Portfolio

All DiT are required to register with the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) and you can download a registration form from the RCoA website. Once registered, you will have access to the Lifelong Learning Platform (LLP), which should be used for all workplace-based assessments  (WBPAs) and units of training, and will form the basis of your yearly Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) review.

Initial assessment of competence

The initial assessment of competence (IAC) is the first anaesthesia training milestone for DiT. It signifies they have achieved a basic understanding of anaesthesia and are able to give anaesthetics at a level of supervision commensurate with their skills and the clinical case. It also means they can be added to the on-call rota for anaesthesia.

However, the IAC is not a licence for independent anaesthetic practice. The key point is they are still under the supervision of a named consultant anaesthetist. The IAC is normally achieved within the first three to six months of the anaesthesia programme and the IAC doubles as the required assessments for the basis of anaesthetic practice.

Intensive Care Medicine

Junior Doctors in Training (DiT) will be required to complete a three-month module in Intensive Care Medicine (ICM) during CT1. This is classed as Basic Training by the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (FICM). Completion of Unit of Training to be completed on Lifelong Learning Platform (LLP). Each department in FICM tutor who will guide DiT through the process.

Obstetric Anaesthesia Basic Training

Training in Obstetric Anaesthesia starts in CT2. It is an essential requirement to complete the IAC in Obstetric Anaesthesia before DiT can go on-call in Obstetrics. Completion of Core Obstetric training is in 2 parts – completion of Initial Assessment of Competence in Obstetric Anaesthesia (IACOA) and then completion of core training, after which the Completion of Unit of Training (CUT) form on the LLP is to be completed.

NHSE Wessex Induction

This is mandatory one-day event. The morning session is a generic induction into NHSE Wessex, which is followed by a more specific School of Anaesthesia programme in the afternoon. This is a great opportunity to meet the people running your training programme and learn more about the first two years of training.

Patient Safety Day

All Core Doctors in Training (DiT) are expected to attend one of the bi-annual Patient Safety Training days. The days cover:

Error and leadership

Human factors and communication

Leadership and professionalism

Risk reviews

Speciality specific project planning and design

The days are led by the training leads and the patient safety champions within Health Education England, Working across Wessex. Annually all trainees have the opportunity to present a patient safety project at the regional conference.

BASIC Assessment and Support in Intensive Care

This is a two-day practical course and is aimed at novice doctors in Intensive Care. It is run by ICM consultants within Wessex. The programme comprises lectures and small group skills stations.

Core Competency Simulator Day

Towards the end of your novice period you will be invited to attend the mandatory Novice Simulator Day. This is a practical course aimed at the management of anaesthetic emergencies.

Introduction to Obstetric Anaesthesia

This is a one-day course held at Southampton General Hospital aimed at senior CT1 or CT2 Doctors in Training. It is run by members of Wessex Obstetric Anaesthetists and facilitated by consultants from Wessex who have an active interest in obstetric anaesthesia. The course is generally held once per year and provides a practical introduction to help participants gain confidence in the approach to obstetric anaesthesia.

Hospitals on the rotation

Trainees will rotate through a number of hospitals within Wessex during core training. Allocations are usually East/West sides of the region within Wessex. See our hospital guide for more information, using the ‘open in browser’ option to view.

Primary Fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (FRCA)

To apply for Stage 2 training in anaesthesia a DiT will need to pass the Primary FRCA examination. Preparation is vitally important and there are a number of resources available to a DiT attempting the exam. Guidance and resources are available on the RCoA website.

Both the RCoA and NHSE Wessex run revision courses during the year alongside practical Objective Structure Clinical Examination (OSCE) days in the run-up to the exam.

Primary FRCA exam revision courses