General paediatrics - level 3 training

A general paediatrician is a doctor with the knowledge and skills to manage a wide range of health problems and concerns in children and young people.

Find out more about general paediatrics. Access syllabus for the final part of general paediatrics training (level 3), as well as the revised syllabus as of August/September 2021.

What makes a general paediatrician?

General paediatricians manage children from birth to late adolescence with problems ranging from acute, life-threatening illnesses to chronic diseases, and focus on health promotion from newborn to late adolescence.

General paediatricians are experts in the investigation and diagnosis of children with non-specific symptoms and signs. They initiate treatment which may be delivered and continued by themselves or by another person or team according to the needs of the child. General paediatricians also collaborate with other professionals and agencies in order to deliver optimal care. They step in and oversee individual, tailored care whenever appropriate.

As a result, general paediatricians develop a wide variety of skills allowing them to provide holistic, child-centred care across the full range of paediatric subspecialties. They may develop significant expertise in specialised paediatric areas, but they maintain their knowledge and skills across the full breadth of child health.

RCPCH Progress curriculum and syllabi for level 3 training

As of 1 August 2018, general paediatric trainees at level 3 use the RCPCH Progress level 3 generic syllabus alongside the RCPCH Progress level 3 general paediatrics syllabusDownload both documents below

In addition to the generic learning outcomes for this final level of training, general paediatric trainees must fulfil the following learning outcomes:

  • Resuscitates, stabilises, and treats acutely unwell children and young people, liaising with specialist and primary care teams as necessary.
  • Assumes the role of acute paediatric team leader and liaises with the primary care and other hospital and community specialist teams to effectively manage and coordinate patient flow, staffing, safety and quality in the paediatric acute assessment and inpatient units.
  • Recognises, investigates, initiates and continues the management of the full range of acute and chronic health problems presenting to paediatric outpatient clinics, drawing upon the expertise of other specialists as necessary.
  • Recognises, investigates and manages safeguarding issues, including providing advice to general practitioners, other healthcare professionals and social care providers.
  • Co-ordinates and leads the care of children and young people with complex conditions, liaising with primary care and other hospital and community specialist teams.
  • Supports and communicates effectively with families when their child is extremely unwell, dying or has died.

Revised syllabus as of August/September 2021

We spoke with clinicians working in this sub-specialty, and agreed some enhancements to the level 3 general paediatrics syllabus. The revised version is approved by the General Medical Council (GMC) for use as of August/September 2021.

Dr Fiona Hignett, ST8 in General Paediatrics, introduces these revisions:

A summary of the changes:

  • Introductory statement amended to include ‘babies’ and ‘young people’.
  • Learning Outcomes (LOs) were reviewed and redeveloped. This redevelopment resulted in reshuffling the order of the LOs, removal of some vague LOs and introduction of new. This applies to the Key Capabilities (KCs) as well. 
  • The Assessment Grid has since been updated to reflect the changes to the KCs 

You can download the revised syllabus below, as well as a document that maps the Learning Outcomes from the 2018 version to the revised version.

If you have any queries, please contact