Our office phone number is changing

From 6 March 2023 our main phone number will be 0300 030 2020.  Use the telephone directory or use [email protected]phth.ac.uk to get in touch.


Are you the next Chair of the RCOphth Training committee?

  • 14 Oct 2021
  • RCOphth

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

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.

Fiona Spencer

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 Thursday 27 January 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: TBC

To be held in person at the College.

More information about the 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.