Apply for a Special Interest (SPIN) module - guidance for trainees

As a Level 3 paediatric trainee, you may wish to apply for a SPIN module. This is additional training and experience in a clinical area, which you complete in a 12-24 month placement. If you do a SPIN module and complete your training, you can apply for posts as a General Paediatrician with a special expertise. You may be local lead and part of the clinical network providing for children who need specialist paediatric care.
Last modified
25 July 2018

The SPIN modules

You can do SPIN modules in these clinical areas.

  • Allergy
  • Cardiology
  • Dermatology
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Gastroenterology
  • HDU (High Dependency Unit)
  • Infectious diseases and immunology
  • Neonatal medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Neurodisability
  • Oncology
  • Respiratory
  • Rheumatology
  • Safeguarding
  • Young people's health

Each SPIN has a competency framework, which lists the competencies you need to achieve to complete the SPIN training. You can download these below.

About the training

When can I apply?

When you start your Level 3 training in paediatrics. This is normally from your ST6 placement.

Note: You cannot undertake SPIN training at the same time as subspecialty training (also called Grid). The only exception is for community child health subspecialty trainees who may do safeguarding SPIN.

How long does the training take?

The training is about 12-24 months full-time.

Some SPIN modules may need additional time to gain all competences.

Are the modules GMC accredited?

No, are not recognised by the General Medical Council.

You will get your certificate of completion of training (CCT) as a general paediatrician.

How do I get a SPIN placement during my training?

Contact your Head of School and Training Programme Director to request a placement. Find yours on our Regions listing.

Retrospective experience

As a trainee, you can use partial retrospective evidence from the three years before your application to count towards part of your SPIN training.

You must be undertaking part of your SPIN module prospectively as well. We cannot consider fully retrospective applications.

Note: All retrospective experience must to be approved by the CSAC (College Specialty Advisory Committee). There is no guarantee that the retrospective experience will be approved and this is at the discretion of the CSAC.

Step 1 - Submit your application

Firstly, contact your Training Programme Director and/or Educational Supervisor, who can help design the SPIN module in line with our SPIN standards checklist. The details of your programme must be included in the application form.

Complete and sign the application form, and ask the Trainee and Training Programme Director to sign it. Return to us at

We will then seek signatory approval from the relevant CSAC to confirm your SPIN programme is appropriate.

Please note! Our evidence review can take several months due to the high applicant numbers and also due to CSAC availability. We therefore recommend completing your SPIN training six months before your CCT date if you wish to apply for posts as a General Paediatrician with a special expertise.

Additionally, please ensure you have all the placements listed for the SPIN training duration. We cannot accept applications with only a six month placement.

Epilepsy applications

You will need additional approval from the local Paediatric Neurology Deanery Advisor. This could be presented in an email sent to

View the list of the Neurology Deanery Advisers.

You must specify on the application form that you:

  • are registered for BPNA Distance Learning - Module 6
  • have support from paediatric neurology Deanery Advisor to ensure that the training proposed will provide the necessary experience to achieve the competencies and that they will have access to neurology supervision
  • understand that at the end of your training you will need to have completed: the case log; PET2, PET3 and PET EEG; some audit and research in epilepsy.

Allergy applications

You must submit the information below with your application form:

  • confirmation of supervision/mentor at the regional allergy centre
  • a timetable (albeit draft) of the clinical week.

Step 2 - Evidence your SPIN

When you have been approved to start your SPIN Module, the SPIN Team will add the SPIN Module access to your ePortfolio.

You will need to upload and link evidence on RCPCH ePortfolio to demonstrate you have met the appropriate competences for your SPIN module.

Some SPIN modules contain checklists that must be used in training. These will be sent by email when your application has been approved.

Your Educational Supervisor will monitor your achievement of competences through your ePortfolio, paper based records and regular one-to-one meetings.They will review this evidence as part of your ARCP (Annual Review of Competence Progression) to ensure your progression within the CCT (Certificate of Completion of Training) programme.

Step 3 – Complete your SPIN

Once you have completed your SPIN module and all of the competences, contact the SPIN Team at to confirm that all of your evidence is ready to be reviewed.

This evidence should include educational supervisor reports, reflective logs, details of clinics, and any workplace assessments.

As noted above, this process can take several months.

Once the CSAC Chair is satisfied with the evidence provided, the SPIN Team can confirm completion of your SPIN module and achievement of all of the required competences.

We will issue you with a a formal SPIN module completion letter.