SAS doctors

Specialty and associate specialist (SAS) doctors* are non-training roles where the doctor has at least four years of postgraduate training, two of those being in a relevant specialty.

SAS doctors are usually more focused on meeting NHS service requirements, compared to trainee or consultant roles. For example, they often have considerably fewer administrative functions compared to consultants.

female hospital doctor with patient

This may suit some doctors, and in fact there are many reasons why doctors might decide to take on a SAS doctor role.

For example:

*Not all non-training medical roles are SAS doctors – It depends on the contract that the doctor is on as to whether or not they are a SAS doctor. When the term was introduced there were specifics in the contract, including details of the amount of experience they needed to hold in the specialty before entering the role. Staff grade and associate specialists are amongst the grades included as SAS doctors, however these grades are now closed to new entrants. New recruits are named ’Specialty Doctors’.  A copy of the contract for Specialty Doctors is available on the NHS Employers website.

Career progression for SAS doctors

There are now an increasing number of national initiatives that have given staff grade, specialty doctors and associate specialists (SAS doctors) the opportunity to access resources for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). SAS doctors are regularly involved with teaching, leading service development and research. Local guidance on funding for CPD can be obtained from your local HEE office or deanery.  

Find out more by watching a video about a SAS doctor:

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