About volunteering with us
The College's Education and Training (E&T) division is responsible for crucial activities across the spectrum of paediatric training - and beyond.
The work we do would simply not be possible without the support of a huge number of dedicated paediatricians at all levels.
Whether you are looking to supplement your clinical work with a longer-term career supporting the College, or would like to contribute to a specific area, such as education, development or joining one of our panels of assessors or examiners, this page gives you the information you need to allow you to get involved with our work.
- More about the E&T division
We are six teams:
- Careers & Workforce – we promote paediatrics as a career, support the paediatric clinical community and deliver information and guidance on the paediatric workforce in the UK
- Clinical Assessments – we develop and deliver the clinical components of the MRCPCH and DCH exams
- Education & Professional Development – we develop and deliver the education and professional development portfolio that supports paediatricians and child health professionals
- Medical Recruitment – we maintain and develop UK trainee and consultant recruitment, including entry into UK sub-specialty training and we manage the MTI and IPSS international schemes
- Theory & Standards – we develop and deliver the theory components of the MRCPCH and DCH exams
- Training & Quality – we produce, quality assure and and implement the paediatric training curriculum, deliver the START assessment, manage the CESR process, support trainees on the portfolio and certification and and administer the SPIN modules
One thing that our staff teams value most is the considerable range of opportunities to work with clinicians, directly and regularly. We also benefit from the the support of a dedicated and knowledgeable team of Officers and Clinical Leads.
So, read on for an overview of some of the roles and volunteering opportunities to work with us, that are open to trainees, consultants and specialty doctors.
Clinical and theory exams
Volunteering with the Theory & Standards and Clinical Assessments teams
The College provides the opportunity to gain two qualifications: Membership (MRCPCH) and the Diploma of Child Health (DCH). The former is itself a mandatory part of UK paediatric training, and both are recognised and widely available internationally.
We need lots of volunteers - both post-MRCPCH trainees and consultants - to help generate questions and provide quality assurance across our exams. You can dip in to our 'question setting groups for the theory exams, which meet online or in person throughout the year, so it can be a fantastic place to start.
After each theory exam, a standard setting panel of about eight clinicians meet to make judgements using the Angoff methodology. We meet about nine times a year - so plenty of opportunity to get involved.
Integral to the clinical element of MRCPCH and the DCH is our rigorously trained and highly-dedicated panel of examiners. With demand always high for places and numerous sittings throughout the year, new examiners are always welcome, and they provide the benefits of being part of a large panel. Examiners can do their role in person or virtually.
Consultant recruitment via AACs
Volunteering with the Medical Recruitment team
Appointment Advisory Committees (AACs) are panels that appoint consultants in the NHS, and are mandatory for all NHS Trusts and best practice for all NHS Foundation Trusts. We've introduced an RCPCH kitemark for roles that are fully quality assured by our team, and encourage Foundation Trusts to follow this process. So, our need for AAC assessors is greater than ever before.
As an AAC Assessor you ‘peer review’ your own specialty. You give an external voice to help ensure a candidate is not being appointed due to workforce pressures or favouritism. In an ideal world, this opportunity would be there for the majority of clinicians! So help improve the quality of consultant appointments across the UK.
Education and courses
Volunteering with the Education & Professional Development team
This team delivers a wide range of live courses, online learning and webinars for those across the paediatric workforce. We're always on the lookout for fresh talent to join our course faculty or contribute to our huge range of content.
Volunteering with the Medical Recruitment team
While the national recruitment interview process is managed by the PaedsNRO (Paediatric National Recruitment Office) team in NHSE West Midlands, the College also has significant input on governance and quality assurance .
We work closely with PaedsNRO to deliver recruitment rounds for specialty training 1 (ST1) and ST3 entry. One of our main roles is to set the frameworks and questions for the national interviews. We also support recruitment into paediatric sub-specialties.
We're a modest but incredibly productive and collaborative team, and we work on these areas throughout the year. We're looking for new volunteers to support these processes, and especially welcome new trainees.
Assessment (START) and supporting trainees
Volunteering with the Training & Quality team
While many of your support training in your regional offices and hospitals, you can also volunteer with the College.
RCPCH START (Specialty Trainee Assessment of Readiness for Tenure) now takes place about six times a year. You can assist in generating scenarios for the assessment - a great introduction as you work in groups. Or, as a START assesor, you'll assess trainees on the day on topics from handover to safe prescribing, providing clear and supportive feedback. We also have opportunities at the START Board level.
The Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) is a pathway to certify as a specialist consultant in the UK, and for those who have trained largely outside of the UK system. It's popular route to joining the General Medical Council (GMC) register.
As the College, we are tasked to assess portfolios submitted for CESR and make recommendations to the GMC. CESR assessors require a keen eye! This role does need less time commitment over the year than other similar roles, though we often have roles at the Board or committee level.
The opportunities we've described so far are our major roles, or are roles for which we regularly need new volunteers. But, we do have other ways you can get involved in education and training - from one-off support to being a senior Officer, in the UK and in many countries where we run our assessments and exams - and we welcome an informal conversation with you. Just get in touch with the teams listed above, or from our contact page.
We do understand the considerable work pressures among patient-facing services, and appreciate that not everyone can donate much time to other activities. However, if we are able to encourage and support paediatric health professionals, we hope to help build and even more supportive and knowledgeable workforce.
This is a new page, and we'll be updating it and other pages on specific opportunities over the coming months. We'll have more detail about the roles, how they link to each other and can lead to a 'College careers'. And, you'll also hear from current volunteers.
So, thanks for reading and come back to see what's new. We hope you consider supporting one of our many, fruitful and vital areas of work - and be part of our wonderful team!