Immunology

About the specialty: 

Immunology encompasses clinical and laboratory activity dealing with the study, diagnosis and management of patients with diseases resulting from disordered immunological mechanisms, and conditions in which immunological manipulations form an important part of therapy. In the UK Immunologists provide combined clinical and laboratory services for patients with immunodeficiency, autoimmune disease, systemic vasculitis and allergy.

The clinical work of Immunologists is largely out-patient based and involves primary immunodeficiency, allergy, autoimmune rheumatic disease and systemic vasculitis (jointly with Rheumatologists), joint paediatric clinics for children with immunodeficiency and allergy and immunoglobulin infusion clinics for patients with antibody deficiency. On the laboratory front, Immunologists are responsible for directing diagnostic immunology services and perform a wide range of duties including clinical liaison, interpretation and validation of results, quality assurance and assay development.

Immunologists encounter a variety of clinical problems and have the opportunity to solve difficult diagnostic problems in patients with undefined immunodeficiencies or complex multi-system disease and the specialty is closely linked to cutting edge science and new immunomodulatory therapies.

Entry into Immunology training is possible following successful completion of both a foundation programme and a core training programme. There are three core training programmes for Immunology training:

  • Core Medical Training (CMT)
  • Acute Care Common Stem - Acute Medicine (ACCS-AM) 
  • Paediatric level 1
Latest news and developments: 

The General Medical Council has approved the following changes to the FRCPath Part 2 Immunology examination for candidates in a UK medical training programme.

Trainees with a CCT date on or before 30 April 2020: The examination format is unchanged. Trainees must pass the FRCPath Part 2 Immunology examination including the written option as part of the FRCPath Part 2 exam in order to be eligible for a CCT in Immunology.

Trainees with a CCT date on or after 1 May 2020: Trainees must pass the FRCPath Part 2 examination but this does not need to include the written option. Trainees will, however, need to demonstrate that they have completed all relevant Work Place Based Assessments (which will be checked at ARCP) in order to be eligible for a CCT in Immunology.

Curriculum: 

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. Please refer to the Royal College of Pathologists’ website for information about  FRCPath  including guidance for candidates.

The 2015 curriculum applies for all doctors starting in training from August 2015 and those transferring to the new curriculum. The version below includes administrative changes approved by the GMC in September 2016.

PDF icon 2015 Immunology Curriculum

Previous versions of the curriculum are no longer available online but copies can be requested from curriculum@jrcptb.org.uk.

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.

Trainees on the 2015 curriculum should refer to the 2015 ARCP decision aid and those remaining on the 2010 curriculum should use the 2010 version.

PDF icon 2015 Immunology ARCP Decision Aid.pdf

PDF icon 2010 Immunology ARCP Decision Aid (revised 2014).pdf

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 quality.management@jrcptb.org.uk.

PDF icon 2017 NTS Immunology Generic Indicators.pdf

PDF icon 2017 NTS Immunology Specialty Specific Questions.pdf

2015 curriculum implementation guidance

The following document provides guidance on implementation of the 2015 curriculum

PDF icon 2015 Immunology curriculum implementation guidance.pdf