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Core Training in Anaesthesia

Image of an anaesthetist performing a regional anaesthetic nerve blockThis page is designed to help you navigate through the Wessex Core Training Programme. Hopefully it will answer all your questions but if in doubt, do ask!

The point of contact in your trust should be your College Tutor or Educational Supervisor, who will be able to point you in the right direction.

Core Training Curriculum

You can go online to find the RCoA Curriculum for Basic Level Training (Annex B).

RCoA Guide to Core Training

The RCoA guide to the Core Training programme can be found online.

Hospitals on the rotation

During your training you will rotate through a number of hospitals within Wessex. Trainees are usually allocated to East/West sides of the region within Wessex. There are more details about the eight departments involved in the School of Anaesthesia guide. Click on the link provided at the bottom of this page.

Core Training Useful Information

The 'Novice' Period

RCoA Guide for Novice Trainees

The RCoA has produced an interactive Guide for Novice Trainees specifically designed to support you on your first three to six months on the training programme.

The guide contains key documents and a step-by-step guide to help trainees get started on the training programme. It also contains all 82 e-learning sessions specifically written for novice trainees and additional learning resources/guidelines from the AAGBI, Resuscitation Council and Difficult Airway Society.

College registration and e-Portfolio

All trainees are required to register with the RCoA and you can download a registration form from the RCoA website. Once registered, you will have access to the e-Portfolio, which should be used for all WBPAs and units of training, and will form the basis of your yearly ARCP review.

Initial assessment of competence

The initial assessment of competence (IAC) is the first anaesthesia training milestone for trainees. It signifies that you have achieved a basic understanding of anaesthesia and are able to give anaesthetics at a level of supervision commensurate with your skills and the clinical case. It also means you can be added to the on-call rota for anaesthesia.

However, the IAC is not a licence for independent anaesthetic practice. The key point is that you are still under the supervision of a named consultant anaesthetist. The IAC is normally achieved within the first three to six months of the anaesthesia programme and the  IAC doubles as the required assessments for the basis of anaesthetic practice.

The Curriculum and WPBAs

After the IAC you will complete units of training in the Anaesthetic Practice within the first six months. (The RCoA curriculum can be hard to navigate at times and so the School of Anaesthesia has produced WPBA guides to help you. Click on the links provided at the bottom of this page.

Core Training in Intensive Care and Obstetric Anaesthesia

Intensive Care Medicine

You will be required to complete a three-month module in ICM during CT1. This is classed as Basic Training by the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine. Completion of Unit of Training to be completed on LLP. Each department in Wessex has an FICM tutor who will guide you through the process.

Obstetric Anaesthesia Basic Training

Training in Obstetric Anaesthesia starts in CT2. It is an essential requirement to complete the IAC in Obstetric Anaesthesia before you can go on-call in Obstetrics. Completion of Core Obstetric training is in 2 parts – first of all completion of IACOA and then completion of core training, after which the CUT form on LLP is to be completed.

Primary FRCA

To apply for ST3 training in anaesthesia you will need to pass the Primary FRCA examination. Preparation is vitally important and there are a number of resources available to trainees attempting the exam. You can find guidance and resources from the RCoA website.

Both the RCoA and Health Education England, Working across Wessex run revision courses during the year alongside practical OSCE/Viva days in the run-up to the exam (see courses link on the right of this page).

Recruitment to ST3

The School of Anaesthesia runs biannual recruitment into our ST3+ training programme. Interviews are normally held in February to March for following August and in September/October for the following February. Although we interview locally, the application and recruitment process is coordinated nationally. The RCoA and Health Education England websites are a great resource when planning your application.

Core Training – events for your diary

Health Education England, Working across Wessex Induction

This is mandatory one-day event. The morning session is a generic induction into Health Education England, Working across Wessex, which is followed by a more specific School of Anaesthesia programme in the afternoon. This is a great opportunity to meet the people running your training programme and learn more about the first two years of your training.

Patient Safety Day

All Core trainees are expected to attend one of the bi-annual Patient Safety Training days. The days cover:

  • Error and leadership
  • Human factors and communication
  • Leadership and professionalism
  • Risk reviews
  • Speciality specific project planning and design.


The days are led by the training leads and the patient safety champions within Health Education England, Working across Wessex. Annually all trainees have the opportunity to present a patient safety project at the regional conference.

BASIC Assessment and Support in Intensive Care

This is a two-day practical course and is aimed at novice doctors in Intensive Care. It is run by ICM consultants within Wessex. The programme comprises lectures and small group skills stations.

Core Competency Simulator Day

Towards the end of your novice period you will be invited to attend the mandatory Novice Simulator Day. This is a practical course aimed at the management of anaesthetic emergencies.

Introduction to Obstetric Anaesthesia

This is a one-day course held at Southampton General Hospital aimed at senior CT1 or CT2 trainees. It is run by members of Wessex Obstetric Anaesthetists and facilitated by consultants from Wessex who have an active interest in obstetric anaesthesia. The course is generally held once per year and provides a practical introduction to help participants gain confidence in the approach to obstetric anaesthesia.


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