Special Interest (SPIN) module for trainees - application guidance

As a Level 3 paediatric trainee, you may wish to apply for a SPIN module. This is additional training and experience in a clinical area, which you complete in a 12-18 month placement. If you do a SPIN module and complete your training, you can apply for posts as a General Paediatrician with a special expertise. You may be local lead and part of the clinical network providing for children who need specialist paediatric care.
Last modified
3 May 2019

The SPIN modules

You can do SPIN modules in these clinical areas.

Each SPIN has a framework of competency for SPIN or a SPIN module curriculum, which lists the competencies you need to achieve to complete the SPIN training. You can download these below.

About the training

When can I apply?

When you start your Level 3 training in paediatrics. This is normally from your ST6 placement.

Note: You cannot undertake SPIN training at the same time as subspecialty training (also called Grid). The only exception is for community child health subspecialty trainees who may do safeguarding SPIN.

How long does the training take?

The training is about 12- 18 months full time.

Some SPIN modules may need additional time to gain all competences.

Are the modules GMC accredited?

No, are not recognised by the General Medical Council.

You will get your certificate of completion of training (CCT) as a general paediatrician.

How do I get a SPIN placement during my training?

Contact your Head of School and Training Programme Director to request a placement. Find yours on our Regions listing.

Retrospective experience

As a trainee, you can use partial retrospective evidence from the three years before your application to count towards part of your SPIN training.

You must be undertaking part of your SPIN module prospectively as well. We cannot consider fully retrospective applications.

Note: All retrospective experience must to be approved by the CSAC (College Specialty Advisory Committee). There is no guarantee that the retrospective experience will be approved and this is at the discretion of the CSAC.

Step 1 - Submit your application

For full details on the process, please refer to the SPIN applicant trainee guide, which you can download below.

You will need to complete an application form to apply for SPIN training. SPIN Programmes can then be designed by the Training Programme Director and/or Educational Supervisor in line with our SPIN standards checklist. The details of the programme must be included in the application form.

The completed application form must be signed by the Trainee and Training Programme Director and e-mailed to spin@rcpch.ac.uk. The RCPCH will subsequently seek signatory approval from the relevant CSAC to confirm your SPIN programme is appropriate.

Please note: you must ensure that all the placements listed for your SPIN module add up to the full duration of the training i.e. 12 months minimum. Applications with only 6 months’ worth of placements will therefore not be accepted.

You should ensure that your application is submitted and signed off by the CSAC well in advance of the start date of any placements that you will be undertaking specifically for your SPIN, to allow time to ensure the CSAC is happy that they are going to be appropriate to allow you to complete your SPIN.

Please note! Our evidence review can take several months due to the high applicant numbers and also due to CSAC availability. We therefore recommend completing your SPIN training six months before your CCT date if you wish to apply for posts as a General Paediatrician with a special expertise.

Allergy applications

You must submit the information below with your application form:

  • confirmation of supervision/mentor at the regional allergy centre
  • a timetable (albeit draft) of the clinical week.

Epilepsy applications

You will need additional approval from the local Paediatric Neurology Deanery Advisor. This could be presented in an email sent to spin@rcpch.ac.uk.

View the list of the Neurology Deanery Advisers.

You must specify on the application form that you:

  • are registered for BPNA Distance Learning - Module 6
  • have support from paediatric neurology Deanery Advisor to ensure that the training proposed will provide the necessary experience to achieve the competencies and that they will have access to neurology supervision
  • understand that at the end of your training you will need to have completed: the case log; PET2, PET3 and PET EEG; some audit and research in epilepsy.

High dependency care applications

Version 2 of the HDC SPIN was published on 8 April 2019. This new SPIN aligns with the RCPCH Progress curriculum, and includes updated assessment and placement guidance. HDC SPIN applicants until 31 July 2019 may choose to use either the older SPIN curriculum, or the new version. From 1 August 2019, all new applicants must use the new (version 2) curriculum, and applications will be considered in line with the requirements for that curriculum.

Any clinicians currently undertaking the older SPIN curriculum must complete and submit their portfolio by 31 December 2020. No further submissions against the old curriculum will be accepted after this date.

Step 2 - Evidence your SPIN

When the CSAC have approved you to start their SPIN, the RCPCH Team will add the SPIN curriculum to your ePortfolio. You will need to upload and link evidence on the ePortfolio to demonstrate that you have met the appropriate competences for their module.

Some SPIN modules contain checklists that must be used during training. These will be sent by e-mail when your application has been approved.

Your SPIN (Educational) Supervisor should then monitor their achievement of competences through the ePortfolio and regular one to one meetings.

N.B. Your SPIN Supervisor(s) must be a General Paediatrician with an interest in the area relevant to your SPIN or a sub-specialist consultant in that area. For anyone applying for the Cardiology SPIN, this must be a Paediatric Cardiologist.

Evidence can be collected over a period of 5 years up until the point at which the completed SPIN is submitted for the CSAC to sign off. During this period, 3 years can be retrospective from the date on which the trainee starts their SPIN i.e. when their application has been approved by the CSAC and ePortfolio access has been granted. Trainees must undertake at least 12 months of their SPIN module prospectively.

Step 3 – Complete your SPIN

Once you complete your SPIN module & link the evidence via e-portfolio, please ask your SPIN supervisor to review the evidence before you submit to the College and complete a SPIN Completion Report, which can be found on the website.

Your SPIN completion date will be set 2 months after the end of your final SPIN placement. You must ensure that all evidence is submitted to RCPCH for review by this date.

Please send the Completion Report via email to spin@rcpch.ac.uk

The RCPCH team will then share this evidence with the CSAC chair to allow them to review and confirm whether final sign-off can be made.

Once the CSAC Chair is satisfied with the evidence provided, the RCPCH will be able to confirm achievement of all of the required competences and completion of the SPIN module. You will then be issued with a SPIN Module Completion Letter.

As noted above, this process can take several months.