North West School of Surgery - Information and Resources for Trainees






For information about individual specialties within the North West School of Surgery, please select from the list below, or click on the links in the menu on the right hand side (or towards the bottom of the page if viewing this page on a mobile device).



Information and Resources for North West School of Surgery Trainees



Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP)


Please see the School of Surgery ARCP pages for further information.


Bullying & Harassment


external link icon The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh: Anti-Bullying and Undermining Campaign - including an online e-module. This emodule guides you through the facts, identifies the problem and suggests ways of managing our own behaviour in order to change the surgical culture. CPD accredited. RCSEd online account holders can access the emodule by logging in with your RCSEd account here. Non-RCSEd online account holders will first need to register to create an online RCSEd account here. Once you have registered, you can then log in to complete the emodule with your new RCSEd account here*UPDATED* - links updated 5 November 2018


The Lead Employer's Respect and Dignity at Work policy can be downloaded from St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust's Lead Employer 'Policies and Forms' page


Care of Private (non-NHS) Patients and Working in non-NHS Settings


*NEW* - added 10 December 2018

pdf icon HEE Guidance on the involvement of postgraduate medical, dental and pharmacy trainees in the care of private (non-NHS) patients and working in non-NHS settings


Checklist for Supervisor Meetings with Trainees


pdf icon Example of a checklist for Educational and Clinical Supervisors when meeting with trainees


CCT or CESR CP - Choosing the correct Training Pathway to entry on the GMC's Specialist Register


pdf icon CCT or CESR CP - A guide to the routes of entry on the GMC’s specialist register for trainees starting specialty training at ST3 or above in the North West School of Surgery *UPDATED* - updated 30 January 2019


Please also see information on the JCST wesbite and the GMC website (CCT or CESR CP).


Data Protection and Data Security


An e-learning module on 'Data Security Awareness' can be accessed thorugh HEE's e-learning for Healthcare website.


The Lead Employer's Code of Confidentiality policy can be downloaded from St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust's 'Our policies and procedures' page and there is also a social media policy which can be found on St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust's Lead Employer 'Policies and Forms' page


E-Portfolio (ISCP)


The e-portfolio for surgical specialities is ISCP (Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme). All trainees are expected to engage with the ISCP portfolio to provide evidence of their progress in training which will be assessed at Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP). A fee is payable to the Joint Committee on Surgical Training (JCST) for access to ISCP and evidence cannot be added if the fee has not been paid.


There is a help section on ISCP, or if you have any other problems, you should contact the ISCP help desk via email: or phone: 020 7869 6299


Early Certification


*NEW* - added 27 November 2018

4.9    There will be occasions when a trainee progresses more rapidly than the expected rate of progress and in such cases, the award of an ARCP Outcome 6 can be bought forward. However, this can only occur if:

  1. the trainee has gained all the relevant competences required within the curriculum
  2. the trainee has completed all the necessary examinations and assessments
  3. the trainee has spent the minimum time in training as required by the EU directive on the recognition of professional qualifications

The early achievement of CCT needs to be planned via the ARCP process and would not normally be advanced by more than one year.

The Gold Guide 7th Edition - Section 4: Progressing as a Specialty Trainee

pdf icon JCST's  Early Certification Principles

pdf icon JCST's Requesting change to provisional certification date flowchart *NEW* - added 22 May 2019


Enhancing Junior Doctors’ Working Lives


*NEW* - added 13 August 2018

pdf icon Enhancing Junior Doctors’ Working Lives - a progress report 2018

pdf icon HEE and EJDWL 2018 presentation by Dr Alistair Thomson


eSurgery - e-learning resource for Surgeons


*NEW* - added 12 November 2018

eSurgery is a free e-learning resource supporting trainees in their early years of surgical training. It is a collaboration between Health Education England's e-Learning for Healthcare programme and the Royal College of Surgeons of England. It is a free e-learning resource for NHS employees and anyone delivering NHS commissioned care.

link icon e-Learning for Healthcare - eSurgery


GMC Survey


*UPDATED* - dates updated for 2019 - 5 February 2019

In 2019 the GMC survey will be available to complete from 19 March to 1 May 2019. Once completed you should upload the completion code to the “Miscellaneous” part of the “Other Evidence” section of your ISCP portfolio.


You should be able to access the GMC Survey through your GMC Online Account during the survey period (19 March to 1 May 2019).


All HEE North West trainees are expected to complete the survey except: 

  • Trainees on maternity or paternity leave on the census date (19 March 2019)
  • Out of programme trainees: out of programme training (OOPT) outside of the UK, out of programme research (OOPR), out of programme clinical experience (OOPE), or out of programme career break (OOPC) on the census date (19 March 2019).
  • Doctors who have been awarded their CCT, and are in their grace period on the census date (19 March 2019).


Gold Guide


The Gold Guide is a Reference Guide for Postgraduate Specialty Training in the UK and is applicable to all trainees (StRs) taking up appointments in specialty training which commenced on or after 1 August 2007. The seventh edition was published on 31 January 2018 replaces all previous editions of the Gold Guide with immediate effect and can be downloaded from the COPMeD website.


Induction Documents


*NEW* - added 4 September 2018

Please find below the induction documents from the School of Surgery induction held on 08 August 2018.

pdf icon Core Surgical Training Regional Teaching Programme Presentation

pdf icon Develop your Portfolio Presentation

pdf icon Head of School Presentation

pdf icon How to Pass the MRCS Presentation

pdf icon How to Pass the MRCS Presentation 2

pdf icon Personal Development Plan Presentation


JCST Quality Indicators


link icon JCST Quality Indicators

pdf icon Summary of JCST Quality indicators


Learning Agreements


All in programme trainees in the North West should complete two, six monthly Learning Agreements on ISCP each year*. All parts of both the Learning Agreements (Objective setting, Interim Meeting, Final Meeting and AES Report) for the year must be signed off by the trainee and their AES before the ARCP Assessment Panel.


*Except trainees doing four month placements, in which case they should do three - one for each four month block.


Letters to Patients


*NEW* - added 7 September 2018

pdf icon Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Guidance - “Please, write to me”: Writing outpatient clinic letters to patients


Locum Policy


pdf icon Guidance for trainees and trainers on undertaking additional work whilst in a postgraduate medical education training programme


Out of Programme (OOP)


The Out of Programme (OOP) application form and information on the OOP process for HEE North West can be found on the Out of Programme pages of our website.


Once your OOP application form has been signed by you, your AES and your TPD, please send the form and the supporting information to the HEE North West School of Surgery Admin Team who will seek approval from the Associate Postgraduate Dean.


Please be aware you will also need to apply to the JCST for them to approve your OOP, details of what they require can be found on the OOP pages of the JCST website.


If your post requires GMC approval, this will be applied for by the HEE NW admin team once your application has been approved by Associate Postgraduate Dean and the JCST.


Cancellation or Curtailment of OOP *NEW* - added 13 December 2018

If you want to cancel your OOP after it has been approved, or if you want to shorten your OOP, please complete the "OOP Cancellation & Curtailment form" available on the Out of Programme pages of our website.


Extending your OOP *NEW* - added 13 December 2018

If you would like to extend your OOP, you should complete the main OOP for the extension period (start date should be the day after the currently approved start date) and you should submit documentation explaining the reason you want your extension. Please note that an Educational Supervisiors signature is not required for an OOP extension application.


Period of Grace


*NEW* - added 22 October 2018

A six-month Period of Grace (sometimes referred to as POG) is available to all trainees on a higher training programme (ST3+) or run-through training programme. Trainees in Core Surgical Training do not have access to a period of grace.


It is assumed that all trainees will take their period of grace and their Fixed Term Contract End Date is set at six months after their CCT date. Therefore, if a trainee wishes to leave on their CCT date, they must submit their resignation to the Lead Employer at least 3 months in advance of their CCT date (the notice period for higher and run-through training programmes is 3 months). If a trainee wishes to leave at any other point before their Fixed Term Contract End Date, they must give three months’ notice to the Lead Employer. If no resignation is received, their employment will finish on their Fixed Term Contract End Date (six months after their CCT date).


Please see the Resignation section below for further details on resigning.


Personal Development Plans (PDP)


pdf icon "Professional development plans for surgeons" by Mr Vijay Bhalaik


Reflective Practice


You must ensure that all reflections in the portfolio, and used as evidence for appraisal and revalidation, must have any personal information that can identify individuals (including patient identifiers) or organisations removed prior to loading.


pdf icon Improving feedback and reflection to improve learning, A practical guide for trainees and trainers

pdf icon Recording of reflective practice - letter from Academy of Medical Royal Colleges

pdf icon Recording of reflective practice - Academy of Medical Royal Colleges - Guidance for entering information on e-portfolios

pdf icon Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and COPMeD Reflective Practice Toolkit *NEW* - added 14 August 2018

pdf icon GMC - Reflective practice guidance *NEW* - added 13 September 2018


Resigning from a Training Programme


*NEW* - added 22 October 2018

Upon resigning from a Training post, the following notice of resignation is required from a Trainee:

Type Notice Period
Core Trainee (CT) 1 month
Specialty Trainee (ST) - including run-thorugh trainees at grade ST1/2 3 months


Trainees resigning from their training programme must advise Lead Employer of their resignation by emailing within the above timescales.


Where a Trainee wants to leave the training programme before completion of the required notice period, they must complete an Early Resignation Form and obtain signatures of approval from the Host Trust they will be based at on the date of leaving.



If you have any queries about resigning, please contact the Lead Employer Team at St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.


Return to Work/Training


*UPDATED* - 5 July 2019

The School of Surgey guidance and documentaion has now been replaced by a single National guidance document.

Please see guidance under the "NW SuppoRTT Guidance" heading on the Supported Return to Training page.


The previous Appendix 1 has now been replaced by the "Pre-Absence Meeting" Form, the previous Appendix 2 has now been replaced by the "Initial Return Meeting" Form, the previous Appendix 3 has now been replaced by the "Review Meeting" Form, and there is now also a "Individualised Action Planner" Form.




Please see the HEE NW Revalidation pages for information.

The Revalidation team can be contacted by email on


Run-through Training



pdf icon Guidance for North West School of Surgery trainees on run-through training programmes *NEW* - added 5 April 2019


Study Leave


Please see the HEE NW Study Leave pages for guidance, application forms etc.

The Study Leave team can be contacted by email on


Time Out of Training (TOOT)


pdf icon Time Out of Training - GMC position statement - November 2012 


Trainee Representatives


The Trainee Representatives attend and provide feedback at eash specialty's Training Committee and the North West School of Surgery Trainee Representatives meeting.


For details of the trainee Representatives, please see the individual specialty pages.


Training Programme Directors (TPDs)


For detials of who your TPD is, please see the TPD page.


Training Support Network


*NEW* - added 6 June 2019

Information on specialist support services for trainee doctors who are experiencing difficulties which may affect their ability to train.

HEE North West Training Support Network


Meetings and Events






North West School of Surgery Induction for New Starters (CT1 & ST1)

*NEW* - added 5 February 2019

VENUE: Education & Research Centre, Wythenshawe Hospital





North West School of Surgery Induction for New Starters (ST3+)

*NEW* - added 5 February 2019

VENUE: Education & Research Centre, Wythenshawe Hospital






North West School of Surgery Return to Training Event

VENUE: HEE's Liverpool Office, Regatta Place


HEE North West Links


Training Support Network

Study Leave | Email:

Out of Programme (OOP) information

Less Than Full Time (LTFT) Training

Policies & Procedures

Revalidation | Form R Part A | Form R Part B | Email:

Leadership courses (Medical Leadership Fellowships, Postgraduate Module in Medical Leadership)

Education courses (PG Certificate in Workplace Based Postgraduate Medical Education Fellowship) | Email:

Careers advice

Intra-LETB Transfer Policy for transferring between sectors within HEE NW (on Policies and Procedures page)


Page Last Updated 5 July 2019