Curriculum - Immunology Training (2015)

Curriculum - Immunology (allergy, clinical and laboratory immunology) 2021 curriculum

JRCPTB Specialty Overview and Recruitment -


Training Programme Director

Dr Sara Drinkwater


Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust


Introduction/Overview of Programme

Two new training pathways have been developed for Allergy and Immunology:

  • Allergy and Clinical Immunology (ACI) 
  • Allergy, Clinical and Laboratory Immunology (ACLI)

These pathways were implemented in August 2021, following GMC approval of the new curricula. The specialties will continue to be referred to as Allergy (ACI) and Immunology (ACLI) until the specialty name changes have been approved by the Department of Health.  

Physicians in Immunology (ACLI) specialise in the care of patients with failure of the immune system (immunodeficiency) and heightened immune reactivity (allergy) and act as laboratory physicians leading on the provision and development of diagnostic services, as well as acting as a link between the laboratory and other specialties including primary care. 

Entry into Immunology (Allergy, Clinical and Laboratory Immunology) training is possible following successful completion of both a foundation programme and one of the following core training programmes:

  • Internal Medical Training (IMT) - two years
  • Acute Care Common Stem - Internal Medicine (ACCS-IM) - three years
  • Paediatric level 1 training - three years

Please check the National recruitment website for further details including exam requirements.

The duration of training is 5 years. Applicants are advised to be familiar with the curriculum for Immunology (ACLI) (available on the JRCPTB website) as this includes descriptions of the skills and knowledge trainees should acquire as well as detailing the methods through which training needs will be delivered. As for other programmes within specialist medicine, there is the ongoing requirement for maintaining an up to date e-portfolio and logbook to prove evidence of competences.


General Description of Rotation

There are currently 2 ACLI programmes within the NW region, but plans are in place in expand. The current rotations are

  • Manchester Royal Infirmary / Salford Royal (Northern Care Alliance) – trainees spend one year in each of these 2 centres, alternating throughout the duration.
  • Lancashire Teaching Hospitals – based at Royal Preston Hospital currently for the duration of the training programme.

In the first two years of training there is an emphasis on understanding the scientific basis that underpins the practice of immunology.  

During years 3 and 4 of the training programme trainees will continue to develop skills in the clinical managements of patient with a wide-range of diseases; including immunodeficiency, autoimmune diseases and a wide spectrum of allergic disorders. Trainees also have the opportunity to attend a range of additional clinics in related specialties (including Rheumatology, Infectious Diseases, Dermatology, Nephrology and Transplantation) which are organised according to individual training needs


Educational Opportunities

Trainees are encouraged to courses in Immunology / Allergy to provide trainees with a grounding in fundamental concepts of immunology. Some trainees may wish to apply for an out of programme experience in order to undertake either an MD or a PhD (please refer to the Gold Guide).

 As Immunology is a small speciality, training days are organised nationally via the Royal College of Pathologists and the British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Trainees are encouraged to use their study leave to attend these, which predominantly take place in London.

As a region, all members of our working community are invited to four meetings a year where we share cases in educational presentations, and bring more challenging to discuss in our wider team. Trainees are encouraged to take part in the presentations.

There are many other education opportunities for trainees happening at both local and national levels: The University of Manchester has regular Immunology Group Meetings, and there is the opportunity to attend national conferences by the British Society for Immunology (BSI) and BSACI (British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology).



Specialty registrars are expected to attend courses designed to help them develop into educators. This is administered through the North Western Deanery and has now replaced the longstanding programme of “teaching the teachers”. All Trusts have an actively supported programme of audit. Clinical immunology trainees are expected to undertake audit and completed audit projects should be submitted as non-patient case based items on the eportfolio.


Research is also supported, with presentation of research at national and international meetings and through publications. Immunology lends itself well to research projects, which can be undertaken as an out of programme experience towards the award of either an MD or a PhD.