We publish our vision for paediatric training

We are excited to launch our 'Paediatrician of the Future' document today, setting out our vision for the future of paediatric training across the UK.

Healthcare is changing, and this has been incredibly evident over the last few months. But while COVID-19 has forced innovations at a rapid pace, we were already aware that the paediatrician of the future would face different challenges to those of consultants today.

Therefore, RCPCH is publishing Paediatrician of the Future: Delivering really good training, our guide to the principles for postgraduate paediatric training and how to apply them within local training programmes. This document, written in collaboration with consultants and trainees across the four nations, sets out the College’s vision for the future of training and will form part of the submission to the General Medical Council (GMC) in early 2021.

Our vision for paediatric training explores a more holistic approach to child health, with mental and physical health seen as one alongside an increased focus on prevention and equity. For trainees, there will also be more flexibility with opportunities for out of programme study and an encouragement for trainees to find learning opportunities at every stage.


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 academic year 2023, ensuring it is flexible, fulfilling and fit-for-purpose. (For further details on the proposed changes, you can see our fact sheet and frequently asked questions.)

We are expecting to fully implement our changed programme from September 2023. We'll be working hard between now and then to achieve approval through the GMC and to engage with stakeholders, paediatricians at all levels and and paediatricians of the future on the changes.  

Our vision

The document sets out the principles for training and provides ideas of how things can be achieved differently. We want to:

  • encourage our trainees and trainers to adopt creative thinking when considering opportunities for spontaneous learning
  • allow trainees to move away from more traditional methods of training, and into territory where much more spontaneous and aspirational development can occur
  • have a sustainable workforce and encourage clinicians to undertake lifelong careers in the field
  • raise the profile of working in paediatrics and support recruitment and retention 
  • improve the trainee experience 
  • raise the quality of training through standardised training and assessment
  • highlight topics such as climate change and sustainability and their impact on future paediatric practice.

RCPCH Progress+

RCPCH Progress, our paediatric curriculum for excellence, implemented in August 2018, has provided a starting point for making these changes. The new principles for paediatric training presented within Paediatrician of the Future, in conjunction with the new training programme structure and guidance, will build on the previous curriculum work and together become RCPCH Progress+.

High quality paediatric training will prepare doctors to understand and support the holistic needs of children and young people, families and populations. Paediatricians will have an improved understanding of mental and physical health, and in health promotion and the social determinants of health. And, they will be skilled in the care for children and young people from birth to the age of 25 years.

FAQs and opportunities for engagement

The programme of work to take forward our plans for Progress+ continues at pace.

We’ve created a page for frequently asked questions and will be building these as we go along. Please do submit questions to progress-plus@rcpch.ac.uk for our consideration.

We will be hosting a series of focus groups for different audiences in October and beyond. Please check the website for more details.

We'll continue to build our communications materials and guidance through our Shape of training web pages and our other communications channels, so please do look out for more information in the coming months.

Update - 6 August 2021 The General Medical Council has now approved our plans for RCPCH Progress+ - see our resources, good practice maps and updates on our main Progress+ page