Paediatric nephrology - sub-specialty

A paediatric nephrologist manages children and young people with chronic and acute kidney disease, including the provision of dialysis and kidney transplantation.

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 nephrologist is a clinician who deals with the diagnosis, investigation and management of chronic and acute kidney disease, including the provision of dialysis and renal transplantation. Paediatric nephrologists have detailed knowledge of renal physiology, including fluid management and disturbances in electrolytes and acid-base balance.

They are skilled in the management of acute kidney injury (AKI), which may be managed conservatively or with renal replacement therapy (RRT), including peritoneal dialysis (PD), haemodialysis (HD), and continuous venovenous haemodialysis (CVVHD) and continuous venovenous haemodiafiltration (CVVHF). They are also skilled in the management of chronic kidney disease (CKD), including the pre-dialysis phase, peritoneal dialysis, haemodialysis and transplantation.

Paediatric nephrologists also develop expertise in the management of children and infants with:

  • congenital anomalies of the renal tract
  • nephrotic syndrome
  • glomerulonephritis
  • vasculitis
  • inherited and acquired forms of tubulopathy
  • urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • vesicoureteric reflux (VUR)
  • renal stone disease
  • hypertension
  • inborn errors of metabolism
  • inherited nephropathies.

CKD is a life-long condition and paediatric nephrologists are frequently involved in the care of patients from birth all the way through to the successful transition into adult renal care.

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 paediatric nephrology.

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.