Stepping up - transition from trainee to new consultant paediatrician

How do we support the transition of of senior trainees stepping up into new consultant roles? Our Stepping Up programme supports the five year period from RCPCHStart (Specialty Trainee 7+) to the end of year three consultancy. It does this through a regional network of doctors and a range of learning resources.
Last modified
29 March 2021


As highlighted in our CCT and CESR cohort studies, there is demand for more support in the difficult transition phase from senior trainee to new consultant.

Trainees are supported throughout the training programme to develop skills to work independently as consultants. However, the reality of working as a senior trainee is challenging - particularly given pressures on service for both trainees and trained paediatricians and reduction in SPA (supporting professional activity) time and study leave funding for consultants.

Working independently as a consultant is also vastly different to working as a supported ST8 trainee.

A regional network for senior trainees (post-RCPCHStart ST7s and up) and new consultants (up to three years into consultancy) can help prepare senior trainees for the transition. It can also support new consultants working in an increasingly challenging working environment, improving morale and encouraging entrants to paediatrics longer term.

Following a successful pilot, from September 2017 to August 2019, we are expanding the Stepping Up network across the UK from September 2019.

Current Stepping Up Champions (by region)

Further resources for Champions are available on a separate resource page.

What does a Stepping Up Champion do?

  • Engages with all ST7 and 8 paediatric trainees and new consultants who are up to three years post CCT/CESR/CESR in their region via email/ebulletin
  • Facilitates (set up, publicise and support) two to three network meetings per year for this group, focusing on meeting topics suggested by this group of doctors
  • Ensures the needs of both clinical and academic paediatricians are catered for in meetings
  • Sources external speakers for meetings as required
  • Liaises with local Head of School, Training Programme Directors and Regional Leads to ensure promotion of and support for network meetings
  • Liaises with RCPCH Mentoring Champions to encourage development of local mentoring pairs and facilitate informal buddying
  • Keeps the national Stepping Up steering group and RCPCH staff informed of progress
  • Helps evaluate the meetings in their region in liaison with the RCPCH team
  • Ensures the sustainabilty of the network

Recruiting new Champions

We're seeking new Champions for those regions/nations that don't have a current Champion, or in some cases a co-Champion to share the role.

We advertise via our regular nominations rounds - see current vacancies (select 'Trainees' or your nation) to find out more and apply!


All meetings planned are currently liable to last-minute postponement or cancellation, so please contact your Champion for further details.

Regional network meeting structure

The regional champion and those in their regional network decide what happens during a meeting. Meetings could be set up to have a keynote speaker, followed by Q&A and group discussions, or they could be set up to allow time for informal buddying or formal mentoring discussions to take place.

To make it easier to manage, meetings can be tied into ones already set up by Heads of School for level three trainees.


Each region has access to a total budget for the academic year of £450. This can be used for speaker honoraria/thank you gifts or provision of refreshments if no speaker is required.

Travel and subsistence costs for trainees/new consultants cannot be covered by this budget. Room hire should be negotiated free of charge by using local Trust or HEE/Deanery rooms.


Each delegate attending Stepping Up events will be asked to complete an evaluation form collated centrally via an online survey tool.

Professional development resources

Disclaimer: Inclusion of non-RCPCH courses, elearning and other educational resources on this webpage do not imply RCPCH endorsement or CPD approval. Learners should ensure the resources they subscribe to meet their educational needs.

Professional development fellowship

Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management - National Medical Director clinical fellow scheme - The FMLM fellowship application window is now live and seeking applications. It closes 13th January 2020 for fellows to start in September 2020.


eLearning and webinars