Paediatric clinical pharmacology - sub-specialty

Paediatric clinical pharmacologists have expertise in the development of medicines and their safe, rational use. Find out more about this clinical area.

Read about this clinical area and download the syllabi for both sub-specialty and for generic specialty training.

Introduction to this sub-specialty

A paediatric clinical pharmacologist is a clinician who has expertise in all aspects of the development of medicines and their safe, rational use. This includes research (from early phase clinical trials to translational), ethics, clinical practice, drug regulation and education.

In clinical practice, they provide advice and support locally and nationally regarding the introduction of new medicines, adverse drug reactions, poisoning and toxicity, and prescribing policies. They contribute to the ethical review of research, plus the safe and effective conduct and delivery of drug trials. Additional research skills developed during training include those in drug development, medicine safety and the rational use of medicines in children.

Clinical pharmacologists play a vital role in many areas that complement the use of medicines in children. Roles within drug regulation include developing local guidelines, advising on pharmacovigilance and serving on national committees. They contribute to the education of undergraduate and postgraduate healthcare professionals on drug metabolism, formulations and prescribing.

Training in this sub-specialty

In summer 2023, we launched RCPCH Progress+, our updated, two-level paediatric training programme in the UK.

Paediatricians start in core training, and then move on to specialty training - when some choose to apply to train in a paediatric sub-specialty, such as clinical pharmacology.

The Progress+ curriculum provides a framework for paediatric training, and outlines the Learning Outcomes and Key Capabilities required at each stage before attaining the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT).

The RCPCH Progress+ syllabi support the curriculum with further guidance on how the Learning Outcomes can be achieved and demonstrated, with sub-specialty Learning Outcomes. You can download the Progress+ syllabi for this sub-specialty and for specialty training (generic) below. 

Trainees due to CCT by September 2024 continue to use the Progress curriculum and syllabi; you can also download the the Progress syllabi below.