Career support service

Each of us faces questions, dilemmas, even big problems in relation to our career... Our service provides personal career guidance through a network of advisors. It's free of charge to RCPCH members and fellows at different career levels - including trainees, SAS doctors and consultant paediatricians.
Last modified
3 August 2023

What is the service about?

Consultants, SAS (staff, associate specialist and specialty) doctors, other career grade paediatricians (eg Trust doctor, clinical fellow) and paediatric trainees drive and deliver the health services to children and young people.

This service is for those those with a career path dilemma who self-refer to get advice and insight from trained career advisors.

The service is not able to advise on:

Who is it for, and how can it help?

The service allows you to explore work-life balance in a neutral setting, giving time for an open, honest conversation. It provides external support in managing change and transition. The next short film explains more, and gives some scenarios.

I found it very useful, both practically but also how it really was completely non-judgemental and supportive to be able to talk. I was able to have a completely confidential chat with someone experienced and understanding. I felt able to talk openly about my situation, both in and out of work.

Consultant Paediatrician

Who are the careers advisors and what expertise do they bring?

Our network of regional paediatric careers advisors comprises paediatric consultants and SAS doctors with extensive educational experience who have been trained to provide individual support for paediatric careers. They are independent, non-judgemental, trained and ready to listen.

There are two senior paediatric careers advisors, who are supported by the College's Careers and Communities team

What happens once I am matched with a careers advisor, and is the service confidential?

Each individual has unique circumstances that may change over time. Your advisor will help you consider your career in discussions that can take place via teams or any channel you prefer. The service is completely confidential. This film explains more.

How to request support

Contact us at - messages are checked each working day by the careers guidance admin team.

Please provide the following:

  • Name
  • RCPCH number
  • Grade
  • Specialty or sub-specialty
  • Whether currently working or not
  • CV or education and employment history from start of medical school to present day (include all dates, roles, locations and qualifications)
  • Detailed summary of reason for seeking guidance from RCPCH Careers Guidance network. Reasons may include wanting or needing to change medical specialty; life events impacting on career; career not developing as planned; doubts about overall career choice; preparing for retirement.
  • What advice has been sought already, if any, whether from RCPCH or others
  • What action has been taken already, if any
  • Aims and expectations of RCPCH career support service

How we handle your enquiry

  • Your query will be directed to a careers advisor for response, with additional input as required from RCPCH staff responsible for careers guidance. All enquiries are handled in confidence.
  • We keep information supplied confidential unless otherwise required by law, court order or any governmental or regulatory authority, for reasons of patient safety.
  • We aim to respond to enquiries within seven working days of receipt.
  • Where necessary, the advisor will consult with other careers advisors to clarify any details regarding the guidance they are providing through a secure, restricted access portal. They will anonymise any information shared with other advisors.
  • Discussions between you and your advisor will take place by email or, if appropriate, by telephone at a time agreed between the advisor and you. The advisor will arrange to contact you on your preferred telephone number at the agreed time and for the agreed duration (normally one hour). Advisors will not give our their telephone numbers.
  • Face to face meetings are not provided as standard but may be arranged with the mutual agreement of you and advisor at an impartial location.
  • All requests for further advice following the initial query and response should be cc’d to to assist with monitoring.
  • RCPCH advisors are a finite resource and cannot guarantee to respond to repeat enquiries from the same individual. While advisors are not limited to contact with an individual, it is expected that no more than three enquiries from the same individual will need to be responded to in order to support you with your career planning.
  • The advisor may suggest use of assessments to help self-awareness and understanding.
  • Copies of email discussions and summaries of telephone discussions between advisors and enquirers will be held confidentially by RCPCH to allow for auditing of the service.
  • By accessing the service, enquirers agree to the disclaimer terms below.
  • You will be asked to provide online feedback on the service you have received.


The advice and guidance issued by the RCPCH Careers Guidance network should be interpreted in the context of local processes and supplemented by local advice and guidance as appropriate.

All advisors are experienced senior clinicians with a wealth of experience providing guidance and advice to doctors in paediatric training, SAS and consultant roles and other career grade roles.

The RCPCH careers advisors provide guidance on specialty specific matters in response to a specific request. The advisors prepare and issue guidance, based on the facts presented to them, with reasonable care and in good faith, and neither the advisors nor RCPCH accept any liability arising from the guidance. The guidance will not be binding.

The RCPCH undertakes to keep information supplied confidential unless otherwise required by law, court order or any governmental or regulatory authority, for reasons of patient safety. For the avoidance of doubt, the RCPCH reserves the right to disclose such information (in confidence) to the General Medical Council or other relevant regulatory authority where (acting reasonably) it considers it in the public interest to do so.

If the RCPCH advisor believes that professional ethical principles or laws are being broken by the individual he/she will first bring this to the individual’s attention and advise them of any action he/she will take as a result before breaching this code of confidentiality.

All information held by the RCPCH and its advisors is kept in full compliance with the Data Protection Act.

Other useful contacts for careers guidance