RCPCH START assessors - duties and responsibilities

This page covers the eligibility criteria, process of appointment, length of service and confidentiality for assessors on START (Specialty Training Assessment of Readiness for Tenure), which all UK trainees must do in their penultimate year of training.

Processes for assessors

These include:

  • attending assessor training
  • collating suitable assessment material for use as an START scenario
  • helping to produce scenarios by attending or convening scenario generation sessions, which may be held regionally or at specialist groups set up by the Education and Training Division
  • participating in START - a minimum two sessions per year (sessions being either a full day or a half day).


Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for appointment as an assessor, a nominee must fulfil all of the following criteria:

  • have been in a consultant position for a minimum of one year, or have recently retired from a consultant position
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the RCPCH Progress curriculum
  • be able to demonstrate experience in the field of education, training and assessment.

Watch our video on becoming a START assessor and why you should join the START Board:

Process of appointment 

  1. The nominee registers an interest in becoming a START assessor by emailing START@rcpch.ac.uk
  2. Once available, a set of training dates (usually virtual but not always) are sent to the nominee
  3. Once a training date is selected, an application form is emailed to the nominee
  4. Nominee attends a training session after submitting the application
  5. The RCPCH START Board reviews the application taking into account:
    • experience of nominee and suitability to be an assessor
    • other professional or College activity.
  6. Once an applicant has completed the training and is deemed suitable, they will be notified of the next set of START assessment dates, and will be asked to observe and then assess at a suitable date within one year of completing the training.

Length of service of assessor appointment

  1. There is no stipulated length of service for an RCPCHStart assessor as long as they continue to fulfil the criteria for appointment and be an RCPCH member. 
  2. Normally, an assessor may continue in role for up to three years after retirement from active NHS clinical practice with training responsibilities, except in emergency circumstances. For some people, there may be the opportunity to develop the role further as a supporting assessor.


  1. Assessors must never disclose details about RCPCHStart scenarios or trainee performance to any trainee or anyone other than other assessors or members of the Education and Training Division at the RCPCH.
  2. The assessment may be recorded.

Apply as an assessor

Mock scenario videos

The following videos were filmed at the RCPCH, and are mock scenarios between an assessor and a trainee. There is also a mock standard setting video, which gives an idea of the benchmarking discussion that takes place in person or online/via telephone between assessors who will be assessing the same scenario.

Preparing for an online START

Our next assessment will be held online. If you're an assessor preparing for this session, find out more in our briefing webinar shown below: