Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

About the specialty: 

Training in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (CPT) is defined in the specialty training curriculum and is usually combined with training in General Internal Medicine and other dual specialty training programmes are possible. Key aspects of specialty training include undertaking and interpreting clinical investigations including clinical trials; optimising the therapeutic use of drugs; detection and analysis of adverse drug effects; contribution to medicines evaluation and management of poisoning. Trainees will usually develop a clinical specialty interest (eg cardiovascular risk management, toxicology).

The main careers in CPT are:

  • Academic: senior lecturer/ reader/ professor in a medical school with an honorary NHS consultant contract. Most CPT academics have a subspecialty interest such as hypertension, oncology, epilepsy, gastroenterology, paediatrics etc.
  • NHS consultant. There are a few NHS consultant jobs in pure CPT, including ones in Poisons Units. Many more trained clinical pharmacologists have NHS consultant jobs in other specialties such as general acute medicine or cardiovascular medicine. CPT expertise is often put to use in drug and therapeutics committees, research ethics committees and formulary committees. Such a consultant typically spends about half their time in supervision of acute medical admissions, responsibility for medical inpatients and running outpatient clinics.
  • Pharmaceutical industry.
  • Drug regulation (eg MHRA).

Entry into Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics training is possible following successful completion of both a foundation programme and a core training programme. There are two core training programmes for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics training:

  • Core Medical Training (CMT)
  • Acute Care Common Stem - Acute Medicine (ACCS-AM)
Latest news and developments: 

A new curriculum for dual training in CPT and Internal Medicine will be implemented in August 2022, subject to GMC approval. Trainees already in training in 2022 will need to transfer to the new curriculum unless in their final year of training. 


The curriculum for each specialty defines the process of training and the competencies 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.

A new curriculum to be implemented in 2022 will be submitted for GMC approval in October 2021. Please see the current draft version below:

CPT 2022 curriculum DRAFT July 2021

The current curriculum for postgraduate training in CPT is given below. Previous versions of the curriculum are no longer available online but copies can be requested from

PDF icon 2010 CPT (amendment 2011)

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. ARCP decision aids were revised to reflect the changes to the assessment and review process from August 2014 and replace all previous versions.

PDF icon 2010 CPT ARCP Decision Aid (revised August 2014)

Forms and guidance: 

2017 National Trainee Survey reports

The following reports are based on the results of the 2017 National Trainee Survey. For copies of older reports email

PDF icon 2017 NTS CPT Generic Indicators

PDF icon 2017 NTS CPT Specialty Specific Questions