Special Interest (SPIN) modules for post-CCT paediatricians - application guidance

The post CCT / Paediatrician Special Interest (SPIN) modules are the additional training and / or experience a paediatrician completes so that they can be the local lead and part of the clinical network providing support for children who need specialist paediatric care.
Last modified
11 October 2019

Introduction to SPIN

The Post CCT Special Interest (SPIN) modules are the additional training or experience applicants complete usually over a 12 month to five year period.

Once completed applicants can be the local lead and part of the clinical network providing for children who need specialist paediatric care.

What SPIN modules can I do?

Allergy Nephrology
Cardiology Neurodisability
Dermatology Oncology
Diabetes Respiratory
Epilepsy Rheumatology
Gastroenterology Safeguarding
HDC / HDC Young people's health
Infectious diseases and immunology  

What competencies are in the SPIN modules?

The competency frameworks are viewable in the RCPCH ePortfolio and attached below in our downloads.

How long does it take to complete?

A post CCT SPIN module should last between 12 months and 5 years. A component of the training could be in a tertiary centre or large DGH with other competencies being acquired in other posts.

Are SPIN modules accredited by the GMC?

No, SPINs are not currently accredited by the GMC.

Step 1 - Submitting your application

To obtain approval to undertake a Post CCT / Paediatrician SPIN Module, you must complete the Post CCT SPIN module application form on the RCPCH ePortfolio - to obtain the appropriate access, email Training.Services@rcpch.ac.uk asking for the appropriate role so you can submit a SPIN application through the RCPCH ePortfolio.

Your application form must be signed by a Trust figure, who has the authority to approve job plans, such as a medical director or clinical director - it will work most effectively if you add them as your clinical supervisor on the RCPCH ePortfolio first. This signatory is required to demonstrate that you are suitable, that the faculty are prepared to provide the training and that the programme will enable you to receive the required experience.

Your completed application form needs to be submitted through the RCPCH ePortfolio to the Training Services Team. The RCPCH will then seek signatory approval from the relevant CSAC to confirm your SPIN programme is appropriate.

Please note: if you are using retrospective evidence you must ensure that you detail what competencies you have already met and how you will maintain them until completion of the SPIN. You must also detail what competencies you have left to achieve and how you will achieve them.

Allergy applications

All applicants must submit the below information with their SPIN application form:

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

Applications will not be considered unless the above information is provided.

Epilepsy applications

All applicants are advised that an additional approval from the local Paediatric Neurology Deanery Advisor is required. 

Applicants must specify on the application form that they:

  • 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 their training they will have to have completed:

No applications will be considered unless they provide the information above, so feel free to contact us in the Training Services team

Step 2 - Evidencing your SPIN

When you have been approved to start your SPIN Module, you will need to track and keep a record of your achieved competences as stated in the competency framework document during the course of your training.

You will need to record evidence that correlates and demonstrates all of these competences and requirements, using the RCPCH ePortfolio. Once your SPIN application has been approved, we will set you up on the ePortfolio.

A registration fee of £120 is payable at this point.

Some SPIN modules contain checklists that must be used in training, these are available via at the bottom of this page.

How much evidence should I submit with my SPIN?

Please review the SPIN competencies and only tag events that demonstrate you have achieved that specific competency. We do not need multiple tags for the same competency in your ePortfolio.

How long will my evidence be valid for?

Evidence can be collected over a period of 5 years to the point of completing the SPIN. Of this, 3 years can be retrospective - ie, before you started your SPIN.

If you need to take time out of work during your SPIN module (eg, for parental leave, sick leave or other statutory reasons), evidence can be collected over a 7-year period until you submit you SPIN completion form.

Can I submit fully retrospective evidence for my SPIN?

Since September 2019, fully retrospective applications have stopped being accepted. 

Please note: all retrospective evidence will need to be approved by the relevant CSAC/ SPIN lead. There is no guarantee your retrospective experience will be accepted and this decision rests with the relevant CSAC/ SPIN lead.

Diabetes only

Retrospective experience is not accepted to count towards post CCT SPIN modules in diabetes and applications must be prospective.

Step 3 - Completing your SPIN

Once you have completed your SPIN module and achieved all of the competences required for the SPIN curriculum, you will need to complete the SPIN Completion Report on the RCPCH ePortfolio. This needs to be signed by your SPIN supervisor and confirms that your evidence demonstrates that you have met the full range of competences for the SPIN module. 

The CSAC Chair will then check your evidence, via the ePortfolio and, once they are satisfied with the evidence provided, the SPIN Team will be able to confirm completion of your SPIN module and issue a SPIN Module Completion Letter from the RCPCH.

Please note that it can take several months for your evidence to be reviewed due to the high applicant numbers and CSAC availability.

How long will it take for my evidence to be reviewed?

Applications will be assessed within the following windows. We will try to use the same schedules for CSAC/ SPIN leads to review your evidence for completion too:

Expected start point of SPIN Application window
August /  September May
February / March November

Competency frameworks

You can download our SPIN competency frameworks below. These help you identify the requirements and competences you must achieve to complete your SPIN module.