Cardiology

About the specialty: 

Cardiovascular disease can present at any age. There is a growing population of young adults with congenital heart disease and rapidly increasing numbers of older patients with degenerative diseases of the heart. Cardiologists will contribute to the management of acute medical and cardiology emergency admissions in the full range of NHS hospitals, whilst also having more advanced capabilities to ensure expert delivery of acute and chronic cardiac care across inpatient, outpatient and community settings. Care of patients with cardiovascular disorders embraces a wide range of clinical activities and cardiologists need a broad view of the cardiovascular needs of individual patients and the communities in which they live, including an understanding of any prevailing health inequalities. This requires knowledge of not only the diagnostic and therapeutic modalities available, but also an appreciation of the importance of the epidemiology and potential for prevention of cardiovascular disease. The ability to deal with the acutely ill patient with a cardiac emergency, including the delivery of emergency intervention such as percutaneous coronary intervention, cardiac pacing or management of acute heart failure will remain a critical service need.

From August 2022, Cardiology training will be delivered alongside General Internal Medicine training over an indicative five years. Core cardiology capabilities are organised into five themes, with a concentration on the competencies required to deliver safe emergency care at the outset of training, building up through elective and strategic skills. Trainees will be required to acquire capabilities in one of the five themes to an advanced level. Training in the advanced theme will commence in the third year of training and run alongside continued internal medicine and core cardiology training until completion of training.

There are a wide variety of opportunities for research in Cardiology. The Specialist Advisory Committee (SAC) and its academic sub-committee helps to advise trainees wishing to develop their academic potential whilst obtaining a CCT in the specialty.

Entry into Cardiology training is possible following successful completion of both a Foundation Programme and a core training programme. There are two core training programme routes to Cardiology training:

  • Internal Medicine Training (IMT)
  • Acute Care Common Stem - Internal Medicine (ACCS-IM)
Latest news and developments: 

A new curriculum for dual training in Cardiology and Internal Medicine will be implemented in August 2022. Transition arrangements for trainees already in training in 2022 are detailed on our transition guidance page.

We held a webinar for trainers and trainees on Tuesday 21 June 2022 and a recording is available in the forms and guidance section below.

Curriculum: 

The curriculum for each specialty defines the process of training and the capabilities needed for the award of a certificate of completion of training (CCT). The curriculum includes the assessment system for measuring trainees’ progress comprising workplace based assessment and knowledge based assessment. Please refer to the British Cardiovascular Society website for information on the knowledge based assessment in Cardiology (known as the EECC).

A new curriculum for Cardiology has been approved by the GMC and was implemented in August 2022. 

Cardiology 2022 curriculum

The 2010 curriculum for Cardiology training appears below. Earlier versions of the curriculum are no longer available online but copies can be requested from curriculum@jrcptb.org.uk.

PDF icon 2010 Cardiology Curriculum (amendments 2016)

ARCP Decision Aids: 

The ARCP decision aid for each specialty defines the targets that have to be achieved for a satisfactory ARCP outcome at the end of each training year. The ARCP decision aid for the new 2022 curriculum is given below.

Cardiology 2022 ARCP Decision Aid

The decison aid below should be used for trainees remaining on the previous curriculum. 

A derogation to the 2010 (2016 amendments) curriculum has been approved by the GMC which allows trainees to complete training with cardiac catheterisation skills at Level 2 (able to perform the procedure with limited supervision), except where they will be taking the PCI special interest module. The updated ARCP decision aid is given below and replaces previous versions. 

Cardiology 2010 ARCP decision aid (updated 2016)

Forms and guidance: 

Guidance on implementation of the 2022 Cardiology curriculum

The SAC has produced the following guide for training programme directors, supervisors and trainees to support the implementation of the new curriculum

Cardiology 2022 Rough Guide

We held a webinar for trainers and trainees on Tuesday 21 June 2022 and a recording is available below.

Echocardiography Curriculum Delivery Tool

File Echo curriculum delivery tool Nov2016.docx

Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) Checklist

The following checklist should be used to confirm completion of core training in ACHD. Trainees should upload the signed document to their personal library on the eportfolio.

File Cardiology ACHD Checklist.docx

Dual CCT training in Cardiology and General Internal Medicine (GIM)

Guidance on indicative training time for dual training programmes.

PDF icon Dual CCT in Cardiology and GIM guidance February 2015.pdf

PDF icon Dual CCT in Cardiology and GIM guidance February 2015.pdf

 PDF icon Allocation to Cardiology Advanced Modules 2012.pdf