Shape of Paediatric Training

In response to the government-commissioned UK Shape of Training report, RCPCH is committed to introducing a new two-level ‘run through’ specialty training programme by 2022, ensuring it is flexible, fulfilling and fit-for-purpose. Find out more below and download our fact sheet (last updated August 2020).
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The UK Shape of Training report recommends the training of doctors in a general specialty area, following which there would be opportunity for further credentialed training to deliver more specialised care to meet the future needs of patients.

It is our vision that paediatric training will not end at CCT (Certificate of Completion of Training), but rather be flexible and adaptable across a 30 or 40-year career path so that a paediatrician’s career can evolve alongside their lifestyle.

Our RCPCH Progress curriculum will populate the new two-level specialty training programme which was approved by RCPCH Council in 2017.

  • The first level (Core Paediatrics, 4 years) comprises general paediatrics, neonatology, integrated care, public health and mental health, with trainees undertaking at least 12 months’ paediatrics at tier 2.
  • The second level (Specialty Paediatrics, 3 years) includes both generic paediatric and specialty-specific capabilities.

The training programme structure creates more cross-boundary learning opportunities and allows for greater flexibility to support changing trainees’ and service needs.

In September 2017 we established the RCPCH Shape of Training Implementation Group to undertake the work required to plan and implement the reformed training pathway. The group’s membership is drawn from our previous Shape of Training working group and the Curriculum Review core group. There are four work strands:

  1. Core Paediatrics: Mapping RCPCH Progress curriculum to include access to integrated care, public health and mental health
  2. Specialty Paediatrics: Mapping RCPCH Progress curriculum; considering the structure of and entry criteria into general paediatrics and specialty paediatrics; modelling credentialing frameworks and special interest (SPIN) modules
  3. Transition and flexibility: Assessment of trainees at key transition points (ie tier 2 rotas, entry to Specialty Training and CCT); entry points, accreditation of other specialty training programmes, out of programme opportunities, academic training pathway
  4. Stakeholder engagement, communication and implementation: Workforce needs, employers’ and users’ needs; consultation and communications strategy; transition plan for trainees to move onto the two-level training programme

Resources will be developed as the work strands progress.


August 2020 - We make a small update to our Shape of Paediatric Training fact sheet, available to download below

November 2019 - David Evans, Vice President for Training and Assessment, speaks on the Two Paeds in a Pod podcast about how this will affect trainees and trainers

June 2019 - We update our fact sheet

January 2019 - We respond to the General Medical Council's credentialing consultation, available to download below

October 2017 - We publish our position paper in response to the Shape of Training