ISTP: Trust Responsibilities

ISTP trainees come to the UK for a variety of reasons. Some will have a specific skill or area that they wish to develop, and others may be looking to widen their overall experience. 

Therefore, the amount of support, development, and training required will vary between individuals. 

Trusts are responsible for ensuring that IMGs on this programme:

  • are assigned a Clinical Supervisor and Educational Supervisor on or before their start date
  • agree a personal development plan / learning agreement with their Educational Supervisor within one month of arrival
  • are provided with a sufficient period of induction. The RCS strongly recommends that IMGs ‘shadow’ for at least four weeks so that they can assimilate into the UK and the NHS before given full registrar responsibilities and on-call duties
  • are provided access to training, support, and study days that they require to fulfil their personal development plan / learning agreement
  • are engaged in the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme (ISCP) and attend the Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) conducted by the ISTP Clinical Leads
  • have regular and appropriate assessments to review progress
  • comply with the trusts requirements for annual appraisals
  • receive a salary at standard UK rates, in accordance with the BMA salary scale


Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme (ISCP)

The RCS will ensure that all trainees participating in the ISTP are enrolled onto the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme.

In is expected that ISTP trainees aim to complete a minimum of 20 Workplace Based Assessments (WBA’s) per year and participate in at least one audit per year. 

Evidence will need to be collected throughout the placement for submission to the RCS' ARCP panel. 

The RCS also encourages trainees to consider sitting the FRCS (if applicable) and engaging in research throughout their time in the UK.  

Study leave and attendance at training

ISTP trainees must be given the access to training, support, and study days that they require to fulfil their personal development plan / learning agreement.

Trust rotas should allow the candidate to access training opportunities and the RCS recommends 1PA per week on their job schedule, and a minimum of 10 study leave days per year.

Trainees should also be permitted to attend local higher surgical training if the local HEE office agrees.

Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP)

From October 2020, it is an RCS England requirement that all ISTP trainees will undergo a mandatory Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP) process conducted by the ISTP Clinical Leads. This will ensure that trainees are engaging with the ISCP, progressing in their career and meeting agreed objectives.

Prior to their ARCP meeting, trainees will be asked to submit the following to the RCS:

  • Clinical Supervisors report (for each placement)
  • ISCP logbook
  • Evidence of WBA’s
  • Evidence of Audit, Research

Quality Assurance

The RCS will regularly contact the IMG and supervising consultant throughout the placement to ensure that all parties are happy with the placement and to ensure that expectations are being met.

Interim feedback forms from the trainee and Educational Supervisor will also be required by the RCS.

Any problems experienced with the placement should be conveyed to the ISTP team at the earliest opportunity so that we can assist in resolving them. 

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