UK Shape of Training steering group: report

Analysis, assessment and conclusions reached by the group in response to the Shape of Medical Training review.

6. The structure of medical education and training

6.1 The current training pathway for doctors typically begins with 5 years of undergraduate study at medical school followed by two years working predominantly in hospitals (the foundation programme). Doctors become fully "registered" with the GMC at the end of the first foundation year having obtained provisional registration on graduation from medical school. On completion of the second foundation year a doctor can pursue a range of career options by competitive entry to post-graduate training programmes that vary in length from 3 to 10 years.

6.2 Post graduate medical education and training has been has been subject to statutory regulation since the inception of the Post Graduate Medical Education and Training Board in 2005. These functions were taken over by the GMC in 2010. During nationally approved and regulated post graduate training doctors are employed and supervised, and follow a pre-determined curriculum that is developed and regularly updated normally by the relevant Medical Royal College or Faculty. Curricula must be approved by the General Medical Council ( GMC) who as the UK Regulator is responsible for setting the standards that govern both undergraduate and post-graduate medical education and training. The 4 UK statutory post-graduate medical education bodies manage training and are responsible for the end of training assessment. Successful trainees are awarded a certificate of completion of training ( CCT) and are recommended by the relevant College for inclusion on the GP or Specialist register of the GMC.

6.3 The UKSTSG identified that the key to implementing the SoTR's recommendations was to revise postgraduate curricula and training pathways. Although Colleges currently design post-graduate medical curricula the GMC can consider curricula submissions from other bodies. The UKSTSG considered approaching alternative organisations but decided that, due to their experience in undertaking this work, the Medical Royal Colleges should in the first instance be given the opportunity to amend their current curricula to fulfil the SoTR's recommendations. This was progressed by undertaking the curriculum mapping exercise, detailed in section 7.1.


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