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. Find out more about this clinical area, and how training in this sub-specialty, and access the relevant syllabus.

What is expected from a paediatric nephrology trainee?

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

Paediatricians in the UK start their training in general paediatrics, and at the final level of training (level 3), some choose to train in a paediatric sub-specialty, such as paediatric nephrology. 

The RCPCH 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 syllabi support the curriculum with further guidance on how the Learning Outcomes can be achieved and demonstrated. Those in sub-specialty training use two syllabi, which are part of the RCPCH Progress curriculum:

  • Level 3 generic syllabus (for all level 3 trainees)
  • Sub-specialty syllabus.

In 2021 we made some some enhancements to the paediatric nephrology sub-specialty syllabus, which were approved by the General Medical Council (GMC) for use as of August/September 2021. The version you use depends when you plan to CCT:

  • If you will CCT by 15 September 2022, you'll use version 1
  • If you will CCT on or after 15 September 2022, you'll use version 2.

You can download all syllabus documents below

About the changes to the sub-specialty syllabus

Dr Maduri Raja, a trainee in paediatric nephrology, introduces the revisions to this sub-specialty syllabus in this video: 

Maduri and other trainees also helped us develop a document that maps the Learning Outcomes from version 1 to version 2 of the syllabus, which you can download below.

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