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Are you the next Chair of the RCOphth Training committee?

14 October 2021

The Chair of Training is an important role for The Royal College of Ophthalmologists with a wide portfolio of responsibilities.  As Chair, you will work closely with the Training Committee to promote high standards of training in ophthalmology.

Training has to adapt and develop as the healthcare environment changes rapidly. This has been increasingly challenging in recent years with new ways of working and the lasting effects of the recent pandemic.

You will be expected to develop robust relationships both internally with College Officers and staff, as well as externally with legislative bodies within the health care system. This role is varied with an emphasis on standards of training and strategic priorities.

A message from the Current Chair of the Training Committee

Fiona Spencer explains: 

‘Chairing the Training Committee has been a privilege and a pleasure. It has been exciting to work with the group of committed and passionate training leads from across the UK in the committee; to develop new initiatives and to respond to the recent challenges of training in a pandemic. 

I have been able to contribute, on behalf of the College, to several national work streams, through the Academy and with the General Medical Council (GMC) and Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans (COPMeD), on the introduction of Generic Professional Capabilities in all medical curricula, in assessing transferred competencies between specialties, in ensuring trainees are ready for CCT in the penultimate year of training and in a review/promotion of simulation by Health Education England (HEE). These opportunities have helped promote the College and its work on Training to have a higher national profile. 

Working with the Training Committee I have been able to lead a series of workshop style meetings, and this has made the committee very interactive. I believe it provides better opportunities to really share good practice and allows new Heads of School and Training Programme Directors (TPDs) to network and be supported by their peers and feel developed and part of the College. You also work with your Sub-committee chairs and leads across a wide portfolio that allows you to support all ophthalmologists training in both numbered and local posts. As well as providing support and guidance for them you develop your knowledge and skills in many different areas.

As a Chair of a College Standing Committee, you interact with the other Chairs and College Officers and the heads of all departments. You are a member of the Council, the Executive and potentially the Trustee Board. This brings the opportunity to be involved in policy making and strategy and is really rewarding, it develops your own leadership skills and management responsibilities and brings you connections with colleagues across the UK. I highly recommend the role.’ 

An overview of the Training Committee, it’s Sub-committees, Leads and Faculty 

The Training Committee works to set the curriculum and promote high standards of training in ophthalmology. The Committee comprises Heads of School or Training Programme Directors from the 25 different regions to develop and share good practice. It therefore supports trainers and trainees across all 4 nations. 

A number of separate subcommittees or faculties deliver different workstreams and the whole committee are involved in developing and delivering new standards. These include: 

  • The Recruitment Sub-committee ensure successful national recruitment in partnership with the Severn Deanery.
  • The Curriculum Sub-committee sets the requirements and the assessments of training.
  • The CESR Lead and faculty assess applicants for the Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration.
  • The International Medical Graduates Lead and faculty administers the dual sponsorship scheme (DSS) to support international doctors working in the UK.
  • The Skills Lead and faculty deliver surgical and practical skills courses from the introductions to ophthalmic surgery and phacoemulsification through to subspecialty courses for all stages of the ophthalmologists’ career.
  • The Simulation Leads promote all forms of virtual and dry/wetlab simulation through a network of regional simulation leads and trainee champions.

The Training Committee works closely with other College Standing Committees, particularly Examinations and Education and with the Ophthalmologists in Training Group (OTG).

Application documents

Role share: We welcome applications from those wishing to undertake a ‘job share’. Any applicant should indicate which skills they can bring to the different parts of the role for job sharing to be considered by the panel. 

Application process

Closing date: Applications are invited by Friday 19 November 2021 at 12.00 noon. 

Each applicant needs to complete the Application form for Chair of Training and the Declaration of Interest Form 2021. Applications to be submitted to [email protected]

Interview date: Thursday 22 January 2022.  

To be held in person at the College.

More information about the Chair of Training role

If you would like further information on the role, please get in touch by email to: [email protected] to speak with Fiona Spencer, Chair of Training or Alex Tytko Head of Education and Training on [email protected]

Other useful information 

  • Ophthalmic Specialist Training: The programme follows the College OST Curriculum, which is presented as a web-based document. 
  • Ophthalmology Local Training Programme: This training programme enables staff grade, associate specialist and specialty doctors to work and train in a structured and formally supported way to achieve Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR).
  • Certificate Confirming Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR): Allows doctors who have not completed a UK specialist training programme and have a combination of qualifications and/or training and experience gained anywhere in the world to be evaluated as part of an application for entry to the GMC Specialist Register.
  • International Medical Graduates: The College administers an IMG Tier 5 support scheme in place for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who wish to undertake clinical training for a maximum of 24 months in the UK and then return to their home country on completion of their training.
  • Simulation: Simulation training using artificial model eyes and artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the way trainee ophthalmologists develop surgical and clinical skills by simulating live surgery situations.
  • COVID-19 Support for Trainees: all COVID-19 guidance specifically related to Trainees.
  • Governance: including information about the Trustee Board and Council, the Terms of Reference for the College’s Trustee board and information about the standing committees.