Surgeons Career Journey

Surgeons Career Journey

Click on the career stages and boxes for more detailed information about each stage.

Medical degree

Medical school performance accounts for a maximum of 43/100 points towards Foundation Training application.

Foundation Training

A two-year workplace-based training programme that bridges the gap between medical school and specialist or GP training.

Foundation Programme Certificate of Completion (FPCC) awarded on successful completion of F2 > required for application to Core Surgical Training.

Core Surgical Training

Core Surgical Training is normally a two-year training post appointed through a national selection process overseen by

During CST, trainees use the intercollegiate surgical curriculum programme (ISCP) website to record progress

Core Surgical Trainees are advised to know the ST3 person specification for their chosen specialty to ensure they have the skills required to qualify for this specialty once they complete CST - available at

Specialty Training

10 different surgical specialties. A syllabus lays down the standards of specialty-based knowledge, clinical judgement, technical and operative skills and professional skills and behaviour, which must be acquired in order to progress. The curriculum is web-based and is accessed through

Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) assesses trainee’s progress through their training programme. Applications to specialty training via

Application to Foundation Training

Points-based application process where highest scoring applicants allocated available spaces. Points are awarded for medical school performance (43/100), SJT score (50/100), additional degrees (5/100), and publications (2/100). Application process and guidance at

Application to Core Surgical Training

Points-based application process where applicants are required to provide evidence of competencies, achievements, experience, and committment.

Applications managed through Oriel.

Situational judgement test

Situational judgement test is normally completed during the final year of medical school. The result accounts for a maximum of 50/100 points towards Foundation Training application.

MRCS OSCE completed

MRCS OSCE required for entry to Specialty Training.

The OSCE exam normally consists of 18 examined stations each of 9 minutes duration. After passing the exam, candidates are required to join the College in which they sat the exam. Please click here for information on discounts and access to exam preparation courses.

FRCS exam completed

Surgical trainees must successfully pass the FRCS exam in their chosen specialty before progressing to a consultant post. The timing of the exam may be different for different specialties. Specific specialty information can be found here.


Five-hour MCQ exam consisting of a three-hour paper (Applied Basic Science) followed by a two-hour paper (Principles of Surgery in General), taken on the same day. Marks for both papers are combined to give a total mark for Part A, and candidates are required to demonstrate a minimum level of competence in each of the two papers in addition to achieving the pass mark set for the combined total. Further information is available here.

CCT issued

Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) required for consultant appointment.

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