Training and development (anaesthetics)

This page provides useful information on the training and development for this specialty and also has tips for people at all stages of their training including medical school.

The approved postgraduate training programme for anaesthetics is available from the GMC. The GMC provides information for trainees who decide to change career direction and apply for anaesthesia. It also provides information for applicants from other European Union states and elsewhere.

Training pathway for anaesthetics

Download full image of the anaesthetics training pathway

The full training programme for anaesthetics lasts a minimum of seven years. Selection takes place before entry to CT1 (after the foundation programme) and again before entry to ST3. In order to progress from one training year to the next, a trainee must achieve set milestones and pass the essential units of training (the core competencies required for a CCT).

Before applying for ST3 specialty training the trainee must also have completed the primary part of the Fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (FRCA) examination or an equivalent.

It is possible to undertake dual training in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine. The training lasts for eight and a half years. If you want to undertake dual training, guidance is available from the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine.

Less than full time (LTFT) training is possible for those who meet the requirements. Anaesthesia is second only to paediatrics for numbers of part-time trainees.

There are two main training pathways at CT1 for anaesthetics:

Successful completion of intermediate, higher and advanced specialty training (ST3-7), as well as completion of the final part of the FRCA examination, will enable you to gain a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) and to be registered on the Specialist Register in anaesthetics.

Workplace assessments take place and anaesthetists are required to achieve well defined standards set by the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

Anaesthesia has multiple recognised sub specialties, such as pre-hospital emergency medicine but in the later years of training, anaesthetists can develop their interest and expertise in areas of anaesthesia including:

Detailed entry requirements and all essential and desirable criteria are listed in the person specification 2017 for anaesthesia (ACCS) CT1 and person specification 2017 for anaesthesia CT1, CT2, ST3.

All 2017 person specifications can be found on the NHS specialty training website. Please note that these documents are updated every year in the autumn before the recruitment round opens.

This information is correct at the time of writing. Full and accurate details of training pathways are available from medical royal colleges, or the GMC.

Getting in tips

These tips will give you some ideas to add to your CV. Here are some suggestions for people at different stages of their career:

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