Click one of the letters above to advance the page to terms beginning with that letter.



A core training programme that leads into higher specialty training in emergency medicine, general internal medicine, acute internal medicine and anaesthetics.


A positive process to provide constructive feedback on the performance of a student, doctor in training or a member of staff to chart their continuing progress, and to identify their development needs.


Annual Review of Competence Progression - a process which scrutinises the suitability of each doctor in training to progress to the next stage of, or to complete, a training programme.


The Annual Specialty Report submitted to the GMC. The ASR provides an essential specialty perspective, a national overview by specialty and sub-specialty, and is particularly useful for small specialties. The analysis of such data by the colleges and faculties ensures that specialty-specific issues and context are fully taken on board by the GMC.

Associate Specialist

A non-training grade, now closed to new entrants.



Certificate of Completion of Training. This has been awarded by the GMC from April 2010 onwards, to doctors in training who satisfactorily complete their training in an approved specialty training programme and fulfil the approved curriculum.


Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration. Doctors who have knowledge, skills and experience in a specialty that is approved for the award of a CCT by the GMC but have gained these outside of an approved training programme may apply for entry onto the Specialist Register with a CESR in a CCT specialty.


Capabilities in Practice. Learning outcomes for internal medicine that collectively cover the key professional activities expected of a fully trained physician.

Clinical supervisor

A clinical supervisor is a trainer who is selected and appropriately trained to be responsible for overseeing the clinical work of a specified doctor in training and for providing constructive feedback on that work during a training placement. Some training schemes appoint an educational supervisor for each placement. The roles of clinical and educational supervisor may then be merged.

College tutors

College tutors represent their College in a local education provider. They oversee and co-ordinate the training provided in their LEP in the specialties concerned.

Combined programme

Doctors who have been appointed to a GMC-approved training programme above the usual entry point, and who successfully complete the rest of the programme, may apply for entry onto the Specialist Register with a CESR or entry onto the GP Register with a CEGPR through the combined programme (CESR(CP) or CEGPR(CP)).


Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans.  It provides a focus for those responsible for the strategic overview and operational delivery of postgraduate medical training in the four nations of the United Kingdom.


Continuing professional development - refers to any learning undertaken outside undergraduate education and postgraduate training which helps to maintain and improve performance. In the case of doctors, it covers the development of knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours across all areas of medical practice. It includes all learning activities, both formal and informal, by which doctors maintain and develop the quality of their professional work.

Curriculum Advisory Group (CAG)

The GMC approves curricula and assessment systems for postgraduate medical specialties and subspecialties. Under the Quality Improvement Framework the GMC uses the expertise of a standing panel of associates to evaluate changes. The purpose of the CAG is to:

  1. scrutinise changes to specialty and sub-specialty curricula and assessment systems and evaluate them against the GMC’s curriculum standards
  2. scrutinise applications for approval of new subspecialties and evaluate them against the GMC’s protocol
  3. provide recommendations to the GMC on the conclusions of these evaluations.



The UK bodies that the GMC has authorised to manage GMC-approved training programmes and the training posts within them according to GMC standards. Postgraduate deans are responsible for managing doctors' progression through these training programmes. They are also generally the Responsible Officers responsible for making recommendations about revalidating the doctors in their local training programmes.

In England, the postgraduate dean and deanery functions sit within Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs) from April 2013. In Northern Ireland the dean and deanery functions are held by the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Authority. In Scotland the postgraduate deans and deaneries are part of NHS Education for Scotland. In Wales the dean is part of the Wales Deanery (Postgraduate Medical and Dental School), University of Cardiff.


Educational supervisor

An educational supervisor is a trainer who is selected and appropriately trained to be responsible for the overall supervision and management of the educational progress of a doctor in training during a training placement or series of placements (a rotation). The educational supervisor is responsible for the educational agreement of the doctor in training.

External assessor

An assessor appointed by JRCPTB to take part in a Penultimate Year Assessment (PYA). The EA should be from outside the deanery where the assessed doctor is training.


Foundation Programme

The Foundation Programme is a two-year (full time equivalent) generic training programme in the UK which forms the bridge between medical school and specialist/general practice training.



General Medical Council

Gold Guide

The Gold Guide (formally, A Reference Guide for Postgraduate Specialty Training in the UK) sets out the arrangements for specialty registrar (StR) and GP registrar (GPR) training from June 2010.



Health Education England - provides national leadership and oversight on strategic planning and development of the health and public health workforce, and allocates education and training resources.

HEE local office

Health Education England local office - there are 13 teams situated across England responsible for the education, training and workforce planning for all NHS staff.


Inter Deanery Transfer (IDT)

The process that enables medical trainees who, due to an unforeseen and significant change in their circumstances, need to move from one region to another.

Find out more on the HEE website.



Local appointment for service - this is a short-term appointment used to fill a service gap. Experience in such posts cannot count towards a CCT but may, in certain circumstances, be used as evidence for a CESR application.


Locum appointment for training - This is a short-term appointment to fill a gap in a training programme. The minimum duration is three months (full time equivalent) and a LAT should not normally last more than 12 months (full time equivalent). Providing the post and experience acquired can be seen to contribute demonstrably towards progress through a programme, the LAT can be used prospectively to count toward a CCT.


Local education provider - refers to the organisation responsible for the environment (usually clinical) in which training is taking place, whether in primary, secondary, community or academic placements. LEPs include health boards, NHS trusts, independent sector organisations and any other service providers that host and support medical students and doctors in training.


Local education and training board - Responsible for the training and education of NHS staff, both clinical and non-clinical, within their area. LETBs are committees of HEE and made up of representatives from local providers of NHS services and cover the whole of England.



Membership of the college of emergency medicine



NHS Education Scotland - a special health board responsible for supporting NHS services in Scotland by developing and delivering education and training for those who work in NHSScotland.



The Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board of the GMC oversees the PLAB test. The test is the main route by which International Medical Graduates demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to practise medicine in the UK.


Primary medical qualification - in relation to UK graduates, a first medical degree awarded by a body or combination of bodies that is recognised by the GMC for this purpose, or that was empowered to issue PMQs at the time the degree was awarded.


A formal alignment or rotation of placements which together comprise a programme of training in a given specialty or sub-specialty. A programme may either deliver the totality of the curriculum though linked stages in an entirety to CCT, or the programme may deliver different component elements of the approved curriculum. The GMC approves programmes of training in all specialties, which are based on a particular geographical area (which could cover one or more deaneries). They are managed by a training programme director (TPD) or their equivalent. A programme is not a personal programme undertaken by a particular doctor in training.


Penultimate year assessment - A summative assessment for doctors in training which occurs approximately 12–18 months before their CCT date at which targets are set and a final CCT date is agreed.



Quality improvement framework - the GMC’s approach to the regulation of medical education and training and the name of the document which describes the approach. This has four elements: Approval against standards; Shared evidence; Visits including checks; and Responses to concerns.

Quality assurance

The QA of medical education and training in the UK includes all the policies, standards, systems and processes in place to maintain and enhance quality. The GMC carries out systematic activities to assure the public and patients that medical education and training meets the required standards. This activity is carried out within the principles of better regulation as described in the GMC's Quality Improvement Framework.


Reflective practice

A means by which doctors in training can develop a greater self-awareness about the nature and impact of their performance. This creates opportunities for professional growth and development.


SAS doctors

Doctors that are not in training grades and nor are they consultants or GPs. There is some variation in what SAS is understood to cover but the BMA uses the acronym to stand for Staff grade doctors, Associate Specialists and Specialty Doctors. The Staff grade and the Associate Specialist grade are now closed to new entrants.


Specialist Registrar - the title given to doctors in training who were appointed into specialist training prior to 2007. These appointments followed completion of a period as an SHO.

Staff grade

A non-training grade, now closed to new entrants. Also see SAS doctors.


Specialty Registrar - A doctor on a specialty training programme appointed since August 2007. Specialty training levels are referred to as ST1, ST2, ST3 etc and correlate to a year of full-time training.



Training programme director - usually an experienced consultant who is selected and resourced to manage a postgraduate training programme, which includes a number of doctors in training and their respective trainers, on behalf of the deanery.

Training number

This is the reference number allocated to doctors in training by the postgraduate deanery. Each is allocated a single training number that is either a National Training Number (NTN) or a Deanery Reference Number (DRN).