Core Surgical Training in the West Midlands

@ The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital

“Core Surgical Training (CST) consists of two years of post-Foundation training during which basic surgical skills are developed and preparation is made for Specialty Training (ST) in a chosen specialty.

Trauma & Orthopaedics continues to be one of the most popular surgical specialties and forms one of the largest specialty groups in the UK….”

Programme Overview – Rotations, Teaching, ARCP & Assessments


The West Midlands core surgical training programme offers a large number of Trauma & Orthopaedics rotations to its CT1 and CT2 trainees. Over the course of 2 years, trainees usually undertake a themed programme with four or six monthly placements in a variety of surgical specialties, with the largest proportion of the total training time in T&O

Rotations are distributed throughout the West Midlands, however due to the sheer size, and number of hospitals, trainees often are allocated to rotations in one of three geographical areas:

  1. WM North covers Shropshire and Staffordshire
    • Princess Royal Hospital, Telford
    • Royal Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury
    • Royal Stoke University Hospital, Stoke
    • Stafford County Hospital, Stafford
  2. WM Central – covers Birmingham and the Black Country
    • University Hospital,  Birmingham
    • Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham
    • Children’s Hospital, Birmingham
    • Sandwell & City Hospital, Birmingham
    • Walsall Manor Hospital, Walsall
    • Russell’s Hall Hospital, Dudley
    • New Cross Hospital,  Wolverhampton
    • Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield
  3. WM South covers Warwickshire and Worcestershire
    • University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire, Coventry
    • George Elliot Hospital, Nuneaton
    • Warwick Hospital, Warwick
    • Alexandra Hospital, Redditch
    • Worcester Royal Hospital, Worcester


A regional teaching day is held at the beginning of each month which focuses on preparation for the MRCS exams. Attendance at these sessions is mandatory and is monitored as part of the Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) review. Trainers, supervisors and rota coordinators are therefore strongly encouraged to release trainees from service for the day.

In addition to this, many hospitals provide Royal College of Surgeons accredited Basic Surgical Skills, ATLS and CCrISP courses all year round.


ARCP & Assessments

Progression into higher specialist training in T&O requires trainees to complete CST and demonstrate acquisition of the competencies defined in the Core Training Curriculum.

Core trainees are expected to use the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme (ISCP) website to show evidence of their progress through this curriculum. This is formally assessed by the ARCP process towards the end of each year.

Specific requirements which need to be achieved by ARCP date are:

  • Minimum of 40 Work Based Assessments per year
  • Multi-Source Feedback (1x cycle per year)
  • An Assigned educational supervisor (AES) report
  • At least one clinical supervisors report by someone other than the AES
  • An e-logbook of operative experience
  • An up to date CV

The MRCS exam (completed parts a and b) is an exit requirement for the programme.

Anything not uploaded onto the ISCP may not be considered towards the Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP).

For those thinking of applying to the West Midlands Core Surgical Training programme, national recruitment for CST is managed by HEE London and the South East.

HEE London and the South East’s Recruitment website – National Recruitment Site

HEE Recruitment Website (includes Timelines, Guidance, Competition Ratios etc.)