Paediatric allergy, immunology and infectious diseases - sub-specialty

Specialists in PAIID work with children with infectious, immunological and allergic disorders. Access the current syllabus for training in this clinical area, as well as the revised syllabus coming in August/September 2021.

What makes a specialist in paediatric allergy, immunology and infectious diseases?

A PAIID specialist is a clinician who works across all paediatric age groups to investigate, diagnose and manage infectious, immunological and allergic disorders. They work in both inpatient and outpatient settings, with acute and chronic presentations of disease, and provide specialist regional advice in a model of shared care with local hospitals.

Most specialists will have one primary area of interest (allergy, immunology or infection), but will have core training in all three areas. PAIID paediatricians usually practice in multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) in centres with co-located specialty disciplines, including paediatric intensive care units (PICU) and adult allergy, immunology and infectious disease (AIID) specialists, and supporting services, eg immunology, microbiology and virology laboratories.

At the tertiary level, PAIID paediatricians have developed detailed knowledge of the developing immune system and its role in infection and allergic disease in children. Furthermore, they are knowledgeable about interpreting microbiological and immunological investigations and have had laboratory experience in a tertiary centre.

They are involved in treating primary and secondary immunodeficiency, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and infection in the immunocompromised host, as well as administering allergen-specific immunotherapy.

RCPCH Progress curriculum and syllabi for level 3 training

Since August 2018, trainees in this sub-specialty use the RCPCH Progress level 3 generic syllabus alongside the RCPCH Progress paediatric PAIID sub-specialty syllabus. Download both documents below

In addition to the generic learning outcomes for level 3, PAIID trainees must fulfil the following sub-specialty learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrates ability to expertly investigate, diagnose and manage conditions within paediatric allergy, immunology and infectious diseases.
  • Competently manages children and young people with infectious diseases (including the diagnosis and management of common, specific scenarios) and appropriately uses diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines and infection-control measures.
  • Competently manages all aspects of paediatric immunology (including the diagnosis of common and rare, primary and secondary immunodeficiencies) and understands the appropriate referral for, management of and complications associated with definitive treatments (including bone marrow transplant and gene therapy).
  • Competently manages children and young people with allergies (including the diagnosis and management of common and rare allergic conditions) and applies diagnostic procedures and new or complex therapies to optimise clinical care.
  • Ensures up-to-date knowledge and understanding of new developments in relevant specialty strands and utilises this knowledge to develop and update specialised protocols and guidelines to inform clinical practice and develop initiatives nationally and internationally.

Revised syllabus coming in August/September 2021

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

A summary of the changes:

  • The introductory statement has been updated and a final paragraph added. 
  • Columns with ‘able to’ have been removed and bullet numbers updated. 
  • An Illustration was amended to include the consideration of ethnic, differing skin colours and cultural diets.

You can find out more about the updates to this and other sub-specialty syllabi. If you have any questions contact us on qualityandstandards@rcpch.ac.uk.

More about training time in PAIID

PAIID sub-specialty training is indicatively three years in length to provide adequate time for the experience required for the subspecialty. Some experience prior to joining the training programme may enable a trainee to demonstrate capabilities more quickly. The PAIID CSAC reviews this once a trainee has joined a programme and advises the next ARCP panel on recommendations.

To be eligible for sub-specialty training (for example if already ST6), we may accept training within a recognised sub-specialty training post in the UK. This does require approval from the PAIID CSAC prior to applications to the sub-specialty training programme.

We cannot guarantee any reduced training time, unless capabilities are appropriately met and regular reviews are undertaken via the CSAC. Please seek early help, or approval, for any training posts intending to count.

For overseas training, we request a link with a UK PAIID supervisor with ongoing annual review.

Any queries, please contact qualityandstandards@rcpch.ac.uk.