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Glossary of terms for medical training

The General Medical Coucil has produced a glossary of terms for the regulation of medical education and training.  Please see the following link.

The JRCPTB also has its own glossary which contains many of the terms in common use in medical training.


Term Description


Acute Care Common Stem (Medicine). A first stage of training that will be of benefit if you want a career in anaesthesia, critical care, acute medicine or emergency medicine


Advanced Coronary Life Support (US or UK). Currently a mandatory requirement for all G(I)M SpRs.

Acting up

Occasionally trainees are asked to act up as a Consultant. Up to 3 months can count providing it has been approved prospectively and is in the final year of training.

Article 14



A systematic procedure for measuring a trainee's progress or level of achievement against defined criteria to make a judgement about a trainee.


Case Based Discussion. A method of work-based Performance Assessment. 


Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training awarded by the PMETB (now merged with the GMC as of 1st April 2010), upon recommendation of the PTB, marking the successful completion of a programme of specialist training. CCT holders are granted an entry in the Specialist Register, to allow them to practise as a consultant.



Certificate confirming Eligibility for Specialist Registration. A certificate confirming entry on the Specialist Register following an application to PMETB (now GMC) to have non-CCT specialist training recognised as equivalent to a CCT training programme. Allows the applicant to work as a consultant in the UK, but is not currently recognised EU-wide. 


Core Medical Training. The first stage of training for trainees who wish to achieve a CCT in a medical specialty. The years CT1 & CT2 correspond to ST1 & ST2. 


Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans. COPMeD provides a forum in which Postgraduate Deans meet to discuss current issues, share best practice and agree a consistent and equitable approach to medical training in all deaneries across the UK. It acts as a focal point for contact between the Postgraduate Medical Deans and other organisations.


Continuing Professional Development. Learning & development that occurs after postgraduate training.


Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.


Refers to the designated area of responsibility of a Postgraduate Dean. Responsibilities were absorbed by LETBs in April 2013.

Deanery Liaison Representative

A member of a SAC given responsibility for liaison with a specific deanery on behalf of the SAC.

DH or DoH

Department of Health.


Direct Observation of Procedural Skills. A method of work-based Performance Assessment. 

Dual Certification

Higher specialist training in two specialties eg, Rheumatology and General Internal Medicine.


Emergency Medicine


A developmental learning tool, for all physicians to use to plan, record and reflect on their training and continued education. It will allow for collection of an evidence-base of activities that the physician has undertaken.

Equivalence route


European Directive 93/16

European legislation covering postgraduate training. Lays down minimum specialty training duration.


Foundation Year 1. (See Foundation Programme)


Foundation Year 2. (See Foundation Programme)

Flexible Training

Working part time. EU legislation requires that those training part-time are doing so for a minimum of 50% of whole time equivalent (WTE). This would normally be 5 sessions per week. Training time is then calculated on a pro rata basis.

Form A

See Programme Outline.

Form B

See Quality Management of Specialist Training.

Foundation Programme

Two-year general training programme forming the bridge between medical school and specialist/GP training.


Fixed Term Specialty Training Appointments. Appointments outside the run-through training programme which offer formal training. 


Fixed Term Training Appointment for overseas and EU doctors without right of permanent residence. Now covered by FTSTAs.


General Internal Medicine


General Medical Council - The GMC is now responsible for the regulation of all stages of medical education and training, having merged with the PMETB on 1st of April 2010.

Gold Guide

To replace the Orange Book


General Professional Training - all trainees entering HMT must undertake a minimum of 2 years of basic specialist training with the correct amount of acute medical takes. As of August 2007 this will no longer apply.  See CMT


Genitourinary Medicine.

HEE Health Education England - established as a Special Health Authority in June 2012, assuming full operational responsibilities from April 2013 to provide leadership on the new education and training system.


Higher Medical Training.


International Language testing system. All doctors from outside the EU/EAA must score satisfactorily in the IELTS test before they can be granted registration.


Joint Academy COPMeD Specialty Action Group


Joint Committee on Basic Medical Training - formerly responsible for SHO training.  JCBMT will merge with JCHMT and become JRCPTB as of March 2007 with responsibility for medical CMT and Specialty Training.


Joint Committee on Higher Medical Training - A Federation of Royal College of Physicians of the UK organisation with delegated responsibility for carrying out the Physician Colleges' statutory function in respect of the administration of specialist training in GiM and the medical specialties and mono-specialties. JCHMT merged with JCBMT and became JRCPTB in March 2007.



Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board (also known as PTB). Replaced JCHMT in March 2007.


Locum Appointment for Service. Not a training post and does NOT count towards a CCT.


Locum Appointment for Training. Can count towards training provided post is enrolled with JRCPTB prospectively. 

Lead Dean

A Regional Postgraduate Dean who is also nationally responsible for a given number of specialties allocated by COPMed.

LETB Local Education and Training Boards - committees of HEE, made up of representatives from local providers of NHS services and cover the whole of England, broadly replacing deaneries.

Locum Consultant

Unlike ‘Acting Up' locum consultant experience does not count towards training. It is a service post.


Clinical Evaluation Exercise. A method of work-based Performance Assessment. 


The membership exam of the three Royal Colleges of Physicians of the UK. The standard entry requirement into medical specialist training.


Multi-Source Feedback (also known as 360º appraisal). A method of work-based Performance Assessment. 


Non Consultant Career Grade.


National Health Service Executive.


National Service Framework.


National Training Number allotted to each trainee by the Postgraduate Dean on appointment to an educationally approved and funded Specialist Registrar post. A trainee must hold an NTN in order to apply for a CCT.

Orange Book

‘A guide to specialist registrar training' issued by NHSE to be replaced by the Gold book


Out of Programme Experience. Training or research which may be taken into account in obtaining a CCT.


Paediatric Advanced Life Support

Performance Assessment

Assessment of a trainee's skills and attitudes whilst working within the everyday clinical setting.


Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education - other name for Medical Deanery offices where Postgraduate Dean resides.

PLAB test

The Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board. Most medical graduates from outside the EU must take the PLAB test before they can be granted registration. Some overseas doctors are exempt from this test. The PLAB is administered by the GMC.

Programme Outline

A PTB document to submit a programme listing training posts to be reviewed by SACs.


Physicians Training Board. See JRCPTB.


Penultimate Year Assessment. A review of a trainee's training which occurs approximately 12 to 18 months prior to their CCT date, at which targets are set and a final CCT date is agreed.

Quality Management of Specialist Training

A PTB document which seeks further details of a post submitted with a Programme Outline for specialty review by SACs.

RA (Training)

Regional Adviser is responsible for overseeing training in CMT within a region


Deputy Regional Adviser - assists the RA

College tutor

Responsible for ST1 & ST2 training within a hospital or trust

Associate college tutor

Junior doctors who assist college tutors in the implementation of ST1 & ST2 Training


Specialist Advisory Committee.


Sport and Exercise Medicine.


Specialist Training 


Specialist Training Committee. A committee of the postgraduate dean which has delegated to it many of the dean's duties in the specialty in question. Often chaired by the RSA.


Specialty Registrar - The NHS grade held by doctors undertaking competency based Specialty Training.


Union Européenne des Médecins Spécialistes - European Union of Medical Specialists


Whole Time Equivalent - amount of training required by a doctor who is training flexibly. It is the equivalent of what is required if working full time.

Yellow Forms

JRCPTB's Notification Form issued to trainees 9 months prior to their expected award of CCT to verify the satisfactory completion of training, and used in conjunction with RITA Form G