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
New training pathways from 2021
Two new training pathways have been developed for Allergy and Immunology:
- Allergy and Clinical Immunology (ACI)
- Allergy, Clinical and Laboratory Immunology (ACLI)
These pathways will be implemented in August 2021, subject to GMC approval of the new curricula. The specialties will continue to be referred to as Allergy (ACI) and Immunology (ACLI) until the specialty name changes have been aprpoved by the Department of Health. Doctors in training will need to transfer to the new curricula in August 2021 unless within 12 months of their CCT. Further information including the curriculum and transition guidance will be published on this page.
FRCPath Part 2
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.
A new curriculum for Allergy, Clinical and Laboratory Immunology (currently known as Immunology) will be implemented in August 2021, subject to GMC approval. A copy of the draft curriculum is available below
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 is given below. A new curriculum will be implemented in 2021 subject to GMC approval.
Previous versions of the curriculum are no longer available online but copies can be requested from email@example.com.