Implementation Notes and Newsletters

Implementation Notes and Newsletters will keep trainees, and all those involved in training at a local level, up to date about the new Curriculum 2024 change programme.

What are Implementation Notes?

Implementation Notes are developed to help trainees, trainers and those with a responsibility for managing training locally with specific tasks or activities for implementing Curriculum 2024.

They have been drawn up and approved by the Curriculum 2024 Project Board.

What are the Newsletters for?

The newsletters keep you updated with what’s happening at a project board level and latest news about the Curriculum 2024 change programme.

Who is the information for?

The information and updates are specifically designed for:

  • Heads of School
  • Training Programme Directors
  • Regional Education Advisors and Representatives
  • College Tutors
  • Educational and Clinical Supervisors
  • All Trainers and all Ophthalmologists in Training

 

Implementation Notes

Purpose of this Note

Curriculum Transition Checklists- Implementation Note No. 1

Curriculum Transition Checklists

The Curriculum 2024 Project Board has been working with the Curriculum Transition Checklist Task and Finish Group (of the Training Committee) to develop a tool to assist the transition of trainees into the new curriculum. This work has been led by Miss Fiona Spencer, Training Committee Chair. This tool is known as the Curriculum Transition Checklist (CTC).

Four versions of the tool have been developed to date:

  • Level 1 – contains all the new requirements for Level 1 for both Patient Management and generic domains
  • Level 2 – contains all the new requirements for Level 2 for both Patient Management and generic domains
  • Generic Level 1-4 – contains all the new requirements for all Levels for the generic domains
  • Cataract Surgery Special Interest Area Level 1-4 – contains all the new requirements for all

Purpose of the CTC

The main purpose of the CTC is to help ST1-3 trainees prepare for the new curriculum, as they will be in the later stages of training when the new curriculum formally begins. The table below illustrates the progression expectations for these trainees.

Current ST Year        (Mar 2022) ST Year in Aug 2024 Level of Training in Aug 2024 Change to New Curriculum in Aug 2024
ST1 ST4 Start of Level 3 Yes
ST2 ST5 Level 3 Yes
ST3 ST6 Level 3 – six months left Optional
ST4 ST7 x NO

 

The CTC should be viewed as a developmental tool, not as a formal assessment. It is very important that by the time trainees reach ST6 there are no significant gaps in training.

CTC process

  • The CTCs will be sent to Educational Supervisors and Trainees on or around 9 May 2022. They will also be put onto the RCOphth website.
  • The CTCs include guidance for completion.
  • All ST1-3 trainees should pre-populate the CTCs for review with their Educational Supervisor, preferably prior to ARCP.
  • The completed CTCs should be uploaded to the ePortfolio for future reference. They are not a formal requirement of ARCP or of the new curriculum.
  • To allow planning of further training to cover any gaps, the process should be completed by 30 June 2022.
  • A similar process will be repeated for Level 3 and Level 4 around October 2022.

Further information

Please contact [email protected] if you have queries or want further information.

 

Purpose of this Note

This is the second in a series of Implementation Notes to help trainees, trainers and those with a responsibility for managing training locally with specific tasks or activities for implementing Curriculum 2024. The Notes will be put on the Curriculum 2024 website as well as emailed to target groups. They have been drawn up and approved by the Curriculum 2024 Project Board.

This Implementation Note is intended to inform Heads of School and Training Programme Directors (TPDs) about the Assessment Pilot.

Introduction

  1. Thank you for agreeing to take part in this important Pilot, which has been requested by the GMC prior to final confirmation of the new curriculum. This guidance document is aimed to assist TPDs with running the pilot in their deaneries. It can also be used by others wanting to take part in the Pilot who are not in the 6 pilot deaneries. The Assessment Pilot will run from 18 July to 31 October 2022 and the outcomes will be reported to the GMC. They will also be fed into the ongoing development of the new ePortfolio.
  2. The purposes of the Pilot are to:
    • To assess the effectiveness of 3 new individual assessment tools for all Levels
    • To consider how the proposed assessment structure works in practice
    • To report to GMC on 30 June 2023
  3. Following the Pilot, there will be a further pilot on the new ePortfolio from August 2023.
  4. The Assessment Task and Finish Group has worked with the Curriculum 2024 Project Board to finalise the new assessment tools and guidance for the Pilot. These are:
Name of form Abbreviation Type of form
Entrustable Professional Activity EPA Level 1
Level 2
Level 3 (for each of the 12 Special Interest Areas) Level 4 (for each of the 12 SIAs)
Multiple Assessor Report MAR N/A
Generic Skills Assessment Tool GSAT Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4

 5. Six deaneries have agreed to take part in the Main Pilot. These are: Scotland, Yorkshire & Humber, West Midlands, Northern Ireland, Northern and London. The Curriculum Sub-Committee has also agreed that anyone outside these deaneries can take part in the Pilot.

Key information about the new programme of assessment

What is changing?
A new programme of assessment has been developed for the new curriculum and this will include three new types of assessments:

    1. Entrustable Professional Assessment (EPA) – key method of assessing the patient management domains; will replace the current clinical supervisor report (CSR)
  1. Multi-Assessor Reports (MAR) – clinical assessments from other clinicians and professionals; will feed into the EPA
  2. Generic Skills Assessment Tool (GSAT) – key method to assess all the other domains

What will go?

  1. CSR – Clinical Supervisor Report: this will be replaced by EPA
  2. Most trainees will not need a high number of WpBAs as only a few of them will be mandatory, and there will be no minimum mandated number of case-based discussions.

What will stay?

  1. Some WpBAs will be mandatory, and they will be specified in the EPA forms. Most others will be optional.
  2. ESR – the Educational Supervisor Report will stay as the main tool feeding into the annual ARCPs but will change to reflect the new arrangements.
  3. MSF – remains unchanged

The proposed plan of assessments is given in the following flow chart. The frequency of assessments and responsible trainers are detailed in the table below.

Assessments How Many? Who Assesses? Evidence Used To Complete Assessment
EPA
Holistic assessment of competency of trainee in a patient management domain
One every six months for Levels 1 and 2, One for every SIA (Special Interest Area) in Level 3 One every six months per SIA for Level 4 Named Clinical Supervisor
One every six months for Levels 1 and 2.
One per SIA for Level 3 and level 4
Longitudinal observation, MAR (s), mandatory WpBAs, optional WpBAs
MAR
Clinical assessment from others as all competencies may not have been witnessed by CS
No number specified (will feed into the EPA) Other Supervising Consultants or cliniciansOther qualified professionals (eg orthoptist, optometrist, nurse practitioner) Direct observation; Other indirect evidence or feedback
GSAT one form for assessment of competencies for all non-clinical domains One every six months Educational Supervisor or Clinical supervisor (ultimate responsibility lies with ES) Evidence demonstrated by trainee.
MSF     Unchanged One every year Various NA
WpBAs Unchanged Some will be mandatory (specified in EPAs); rest will be optional Various NA
ESR One every six months Educational Supervisor EPA, GSAT, MSF, PDP, Others as currently

Which forms to pilot per training year

Training year EPA GSAT MAR
ST1 EPA L1 and try EPA L2 (we would not necessarily expect the EPA assessment to be ‘competent’ as this stage, it may be with ‘direct’ or ‘indirect supervision’) GSAT L1 and try GSAT L2 MAR
ST3 EPA L3 in a relevant SIA (please include the EPA for Cataract Surgery, too if possible) GSAT L3 MAR
ST4 EPA L3 as above GSAT L3 MAR
ST5 EPA L3 and try EPA L4 GSAT L3 and try GSAT L4 MAR
ST6 or ST7 EPA L4 GSAT L4 MAR

Method

  1. All materials for the pilot will be available on the RCOphth Curriculum 2024 webpage from 18 July 2022. They include:
    • This Implementation Note
    • Link to advice and support with the task in case there are questions
    • Downloadable Word templates for each type of form
    • Specific guidance for EPA, GSAT and MAR forms which will cover:

Introduction

Types of evidence that would be appropriate to reference
Who completes each form
How to complete each type of form (eg trainee pre-populates, forms completed together)

    • Each completed Level 1 and 2 EPA should be linked to a completed MAR
    • Each completed Level 1 EPA should be linked to a completed CRS Gonioscopy
    • Surgical Level 4 EPAs can be linked to a completed Level 4 EPA Operating List

How to access information (eg links to syllabi in the form templates)
How to send the completed form to the email address and obtain a link to the online survey

TPDs/Heads of School are asked to:

  1. identify as many trainee and supervisor volunteers from as wide a variety of backgrounds and stages of training as possible – this is so we can report on any barriers for those with protected characteristics to the GMC
  2. email the volunteers the link to the Assessment Pilot materials on the Curriculum 2024 web page https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/training/ophthalmic-specialist-training/ost-curriculum/curriculum-2024/
  3. ensure that they
    • understand the task (carry out the assessment, email completed forms and complete a short online survey for each form)
    • are aware that they can complete as many forms as they wish
    • are aware that completed forms will not form part of any formal assessment process
    • are aware that they should not focus on the current format of the assessment, which is in Word, as it will look different on the ePortfolio
    • are aware their confidentiality will be preserved
    • monitor progress with the pilot (number of forms completed, number of participants
    • report back to RCOphth on any issues or queries

Survey

  1. Once each form is completed, it should be emailed to [email protected], whereupon an automated email will be sent with a link to a short survey. Please note that, as summarised in the table below:
    • if the MAR is linked to a Level 1 or Level 2 EPA, it should be emailed with the EPA as well as emailed separately
    • the MAR can be completed independently of a Level 1 or Level 2 EPA and a survey completed
    • completed CRS Gonioscopy forms should be emailed with each completed Level 1 EPA as well as emailed separately
    • for the surgical Level 4 EPAs, we have provided the Level 4 EPA Operating List, which is part of the mandatory evidence. If completed, it should be sent with the completed EPA but should not be emailed separately
    • whoever submits the form(s) by email will be asked to forward the automated email to the other party (trainee or supervisor), so they can also complete the survey – this does not apply to the MAR
      Form Accompanying form Emailed separately Survey email forwarded to colleague
      MAR N/A standalone Yes No
      Level 1 EPA CRS Gonioscopy Yes Yes
      Level 2 EPA MAR Yes Yes
      Level 4
      Surgical EPA
      Level 4 Operating List EPA No Yes
  2. Participants may submit more than one pilot form if they wish and should complete the survey each time they get the automated email with the survey link. This is to allow a variety of forms to be tested and for the Project Board to get detailed feedback on each type of form. Demographic information will only be requested the first time the survey is done.
  3. Participants will have the opportunity to request a certificate of participation/CPD points in the survey.
  4. To preserve confidentiality, names and personal details are not required to be entered into any pilot forms. After completed forms have been emailed, they will be saved by the RCOphth, and the email deleted.
  5. Completed forms will NOT form part of any formal assessment process.

Advice and resources

  1. Please email [email protected] if you have any queries or contact Kim Scrivener ([email protected]).
  2. The Curriculum 2024 webpage contains all the information about the new curriculum, including syllabi for each subject and level. It also contains links to all the new assessment forms in downloadable Word format.

Purpose of this Note

The Training Committee has approved the statement below as to the progression between the levels and the use of Outcome 1 as part of the guidance for the transition to Curriculum 2024. The statement is intended to help trainees and trainers to understand the progression requirements for transition to the new training levels on 1 August 2024.

 Completion of Level 3

  1. If the trainee fulfils the following criteria at the time of transitioning to the new Curriculum (August 2024), he/she will be considered to have completed Level 3 in that Special Interest Area (SIA) of the Patient Management Domain:
  • Completed and be signed off for that SIA by the Clinical Supervisor
  • Subsequently confirmed by the Educational Supervisor
  • Awarded Outcome 1 at the end of that training year in which that SIA was completed (if any other outcome has been awarded but the SIA has been signed off by the CS and ES, it should be considered and discussed on an individual basis with the TPD)

 

Example case
  • Trainee X is an ST4 in 2023-24 and is posted in Oculoplastics from August 2023 to February 2024, and Cornea from February 2024 to August 2024. They get signed off by the Cornea Clinical Supervisor as not needing further cornea training before CCT but the Oculoplastics Clinical Supervisor feels that further training in oculoplastics is required. Trainee X is awarded Outcome 1 in the ARCP held in June 2024.
  • This trainee will be considered to have completed Cornea Level 3. However, they will need to identify the deficiencies in oculoplastics training according to Level 3 of Curriculum 2024 and either spend further time in oculoplastics or use the RSTAs to gain those competencies.
  • This trainee will not be able to progress to Level 4 until all Level 3 competencies are gained.

 

  1. Trainees will also need to complete the Cataract, Urgent Eye Care and Community Ophthalmology Level 3 checklists to ensure that they have achieved the competencies required for Level 3 in these SIAs before progressing to Level 4. These will need to be signed off by the Educational Supervisor.
  2. Transition checklists will need to be completed up until Level 3 for the other six generic domains. These will also need to be signed off by the Educational Supervisor.

Completion of Level 2

  1. Trainees who have completed ST3 in August 2024 and have achieved Outcome 1 in their ARCPs in 2024 will be considered to have completed Level 2 and can progress to Level 3. However, if an adverse outcome has been awarded previously, it should be considered and discussed on an individual basis with the TPD.
  2. These trainees may have achieved more competencies and may be able to demonstrate that they have completed some SIAs of Level 3 by ST3. This will need to meet the requirements set out in points 1 and 2. These will need to be signed off by the Educational Supervisor

Completion of Level 1

  1. Trainees who have completed ST2 in August 2024 and have achieved Outcome 1 in their ARCPs in 2024 will be considered to have completed Level 1 and can progress to Level 2. However, if an adverse outcome has been awarded previously, it should be considered and discussed on an individual basis with the TPD.
  2. These trainees may have achieved more competencies and may be able to demonstrate that they have completed Level 2 by ST2. This will require Level 2 checklist completion and sign-off by the Educational Supervisor. These will need to be signed off by the Educational Supervisor.

 

CURRICULUM TRANSITION CHECKLISTS FOR LEVEL 3 COMMUNITY OPHTHALMOLOGY & URGENT EYE CARE – IMPLEMENTATION NOTE NO 4

Purpose of this Note

This Implementation Note is intended to inform trainee ophthalmologists, Heads of School and TPDs about the new Curriculum Transition Checklists (CTC) for the new Level 3 Special Interest Areas (SIAs) in Community Ophthalmology, and in Urgent Eye Care.

Purpose of the CTC

The main purpose of the CTC is to help ST1-3 trainees prepare for the new curriculum, as they will be in the later stages of training when the new curriculum formally begins. The CTC should be viewed as a developmental tool, not as a formal assessment. It is very important that by the time trainees reach ST6 there are no significant gaps in training. The table below illustrates the progression expectations for these trainees.

List of CTCs

The Curriculum Sub-Committee has developed the following CTCs:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LEVEL 1-3 REGIONAL POST MAP GUIDANCE – IMPLEMENTATION NOTE NO 5

Purpose of this Note

This Implementation Note is intended to inform trainee ophthalmologists, Heads of School and TPDs about the Level 1-3 Regional Post Map Guidance. It has been approved by the Training Committee.

 Purpose of the Level 1-3 Regional Post Map Guidance

The main purpose of this guidance is to help TPDs and Heads of School plan their training programmes for the implementation of Curriculum 2024. The guidance can be downloaded as a PDF from here

Resources

  1. All documentation relating to the new Curriculum is on the Curriculum2024 webpage.
  2. All the syllabi can be found here https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/training/ophthalmic-specialist-training/ost-curriculum/curriculum-2024/syllabi-patient-management-and-other-domains/.
  3. All Level 1 outcomes are in this document https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Level-1-LOs-and-descriptors-all-domains.pdf
  4. All Level 2 outcomes are in this document https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Level-2-LOs-and-descriptors-all-domains.pdf
  5. There is a separate document for each Level 3 and Level 4 SIA. The links to the Level 3 SIA are below.

 

 

 

LEVEL 4 SPECIAL INTEREST AREA (SIA) GUIDANCE – IMPLEMENTATION NOTE NO 6

Purpose of this Note

This Implementation Note is intended to inform trainee ophthalmologists, Heads of School and TPDs about the Level 4 SIA Guidance. It has been drawn up and approved by the Training Committee.

 Purpose of the Level 4 SIA Guidance

The main purpose of the Level 4 guidance is to help TPDs and Heads of School plan their training programmes for the implementation of Curriculum 2024. The guidance can be downloaded as a PDF from here

Resources

  1. All documentation relating to the new Curriculum is on the Curriculum2024 webpage.
  2. All the syllabi can be found here https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/training/ophthalmic-specialist-training/ost-curriculum/curriculum-2024/syllabi-patient-management-and-other-domains/.
  3. All Level 1 outcomes are in this document https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Level-1-LOs-and-descriptors-all-domains.pdf
  4. All Level 2 outcomes are in this document https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Level-2-LOs-and-descriptors-all-domains.pdf
  5. There is a separate document for each Level 3 and Level 4 SIA.

Level 3 SIA

Level 4 SIA

 

Newsletters

Read about the proposed training model and the rationale for change.

To Heads of School, Training Programme Directors,

Regional Education Advisors and Representatives, College Tutors, Educational and Clinical Supervisors, all Trainers and all Ophthalmologists in Training

Re: New Ophthalmic Specialist Training (OST) curriculum 

The Ophthalmic Specialist Training (OST) curriculum is changing and we wanted to write to you all to give you some background information about the reasons for this and what you might expect over the next couple of years.

Background

Postgraduate training curricula for all medical specialities are changing to accommodate the GMC’s  Excellence by Design standards and implement the Generic Professional Capabilities (GPCs) framework. These standards aim to improve the flexibility of training and produce curricula that will better support patient, professional and service need, as set out in the Shape of Training Report.

Practice in ophthalmology has changed over time from mainly general to mainly specialist clinics, with most patients now being seen in a special interest or sub-specialist clinic, resulting in more efficient employment of the multi-professional team, improved productivity and reduced number of patient visits.

The current training pathway has evolved to support this special interest model, with general training in each of the special interest fields and a taster period of more in-depth sub-special training for six to twelve months at the end of the training programme (the ‘TSC’).  There is robust evidence showing that most ophthalmologists currently undertake a period of post-CCT fellowship (usually one or two years) to attain sub-specialist expertise before applying for a consultant post. 

Key changes

We have been challenged by the GMC to remove the current need for post-CCT training for almost all ophthalmologists.  We propose adjusting the curriculum so that, while the training period is maintained at seven years, the special interest areas are covered during the final 12-18 months of training.

Doctors in training would rotate through all the specialist areas during their general training, as currently occurs, and senior trainees would then choose two or more areas in which to specialise.  They would be required to maintain their generalist skills throughout, which would usually include ongoing involvement with the on-call rota.

Learning outcomes and descriptors are being developed to describe the ‘Levels’ ophthalmologists in training will need to evidence by the end of defined progression points: end of OST2 (Level 1); end of OST3 (Level 2); mid-way of OST6 (Level 3); at the completion of training (Level 4).

We propose a model of training where trainees would train up to Level 3 in all the specialist areas to manage acute ophthalmology cases, including trauma, and provide a level of knowledge that would continue to allow a consultant ophthalmologist to deal with a patient with multiple ocular morbidities.  Trainees would undertake at least two clinical specialist areas to Level 4. These areas are:

  • Oculoplastics and Orbit
  • Cornea and Ocular Surface
  • Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • Glaucoma
  • Uveitis
  • Medical Retina
  • Vitreo-retina
  • Ocular Motility
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Paediatrics
  • Urgent Eye Care
  • Community Ophthalmology

 

We expect a combination of Cataract Surgery and another area would be picked by most trainees.  For some trainees, it may be possible to combine three areas.

Next steps

We will put in place a full implementation plan to support the move to the proposed new curriculum. This plan involves a phased approach.

We are consulting professional bodies to define content and indicative training times for each of the Level 4 special interest areas.

A working group, composed of Heads of School and TPDs, will be set up to ensure that trainees in all regions can access the special interest training they require, which may on occasion necessitate inter-Deanery transfers for 12-18 months.

We are developing new assessment tools, as well as reviewing existing ones, and will be starting the piloting phase in early 2020.

The new curriculum will be supported by a new e-Portfolio, which the College expects to pilot with a self-selected group of trainees for a full year before full implementation.  It is mandated by the GMC that all doctors in training must transfer to the latest version of the curriculum within two years of implementation, unless they are in their final year of training.

The College anticipates that the 2010 (2016) OST curriculum will remain in effect until August 2022.

Please keep an eye on future newsletters to keep abreast of key developments.

Miss Fiona Spencer FRCS (Glas) FRCOphth                 Miss Fiona Bishop FRCOphth

Chair – Training Committee                                                          Chair – Curriculum Sub-committee

To Heads of School, Training Programme Directors,

Regional Education Advisors and Representatives, College Tutors, Educational and Clinical Supervisors, all Trainers and all Ophthalmologists in Training

Re:   New Ophthalmic Specialist Training (OST) Curriculum  

We wrote to you all in 2019 to let you know about changes to the OST Curriculum in the coming years and the rationale for these changes.

The rewriting of the curriculum is at the request of the GMC for all Royal Colleges and Faculties to include the Generic Professional Capabilities (GPC) Framework and meet the GMC standards of curricular design.  The new curriculum represents a move from multiple learning outcomes, used to describe each constituent part of a capability, to overarching learning outcomes that describe the capability itself.

Timeline

In 2020, the pandemic crisis left the Curriculum Sub-committee with little choice but to ask the GMC for some leeway with our submission date, which was granted.  This has resulted in the decision to postpone the full implementation of the new curriculum to August 2023, a year later than initially announced.

We did not take this decision lightly. However, it would have been difficult to conduct a full consultation on the new curriculum during 2020, as well as piloting new assessment tools.

Preparing for the change

The Curriculum Sub-committee believes that the proposed new OST Curriculum will accelerate progression to consultant posts and ensure national standardisation of high-level special interest area training.

Learning outcomes and descriptors in the new Curriculum will describe the ‘Levels’ ophthalmologists in training will need to evidence by the end of defined progression points:

  • end of OST2 (Level 1)
  • end of OST3 (Level 2)
  • mid-way of OST6 (Level 3)
  • at the completion of training (Level 4)

All ophthalmologists will train up to Level 3 in all the clinical special interest areas (Oculoplastics and Orbit, Cornea and Ocular Surface Disease, Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Glaucoma, Uveitis, Medical Retina, Vitreoretinal Surgery, Ocular Motility, Neuro-ophthalmology, Paediatrics, Urgent Eye Care and Community Ophthalmology) and will then undertake at least two of the twelve clinical special interest areas to Level 4.

A new programme of assessment will be based on summative, untrustworthy professional activity (EPA) tools for each level.  The current WpBAs will continue to be available as formative assessments to inform EPAs. We plan to test the first iteration of the new tools with small groups before extending the trial to larger groups in regions whose Heads of School/TPDs have indicated a willingness to get involved.

Notwithstanding the current challenges that continue as a result of the pandemic, all ophthalmologists in training are strongly encouraged to acquire general competencies as early as possible in their training over the next couple of years and make plans to sit the final examinations by the end of ST5 or middle of ST6 year. This will allow a smoother transition to the new curriculum in 2023, with Level 4 special interest training in the final 18 months.

The Curriculum Sub-committee is currently mapping existing learning outcomes to the proposed competency framework, and further details on this will be communicated in due course.

In 2022, selected groups of ST1s and ST3-4s (Early Adopters) will be asked to pilot the new OST Curriculum, supported by a new e-Portfolio, for up to one in the year (partially or in full). Mock ARCPs will be set up to put the system to the test in an offline environment.

All ST1-6 ophthalmologists in training will be mandated to transfer to the new curriculum in August 2023.  Trainees who are ST7s in August 2023 will be the only trainees permitted to remain on the current curriculum. ST7s  training less-than-full-time (LTFT)  or out of the programme (OOP) at the start of that academic year will have two years to complete their training on the current curriculum and, if this is not possible, will be able to transfer to the new curriculum.

Consultation

The proposed OST Curriculum has been developed by the Curriculum Sub-committee with input from specialist societies and an educationalist.   Committee representation includes ophthalmologists in training, trainers and patients.  Other internal and external stakeholders have also contributed to the redevelopment work.

We are launching a public consultation today which will close on Friday, 28 May 2021.   Please click on the link to view the new curriculum and comment on opportunities and/or perceived challenges using an online feedback form.

Trainees and trainers are also invited to join two webinars to learn more about the changes and take part in a Q&A session.  Please click on the links below to join the events.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Please email [email protected] if you would like to send your questions in advance or require further information.

Please continue to keep an eye on future newsletters to keep abreast of key developments.

Yours sincerely,

Miss Fiona Spencer FRCS (Glas) FRCOphth                  Miss Fiona Bishop FRCOphth

Chair – Training Committee                                                        Chair – Curriculum Sub-committee

Dr Sunil Mamtora

Chair – Ophthalmologists in Training Group (OTG)

Regional Education Advisors and Representatives, College Tutors, Educational and Clinical Supervisors, all Trainers and all Ophthalmologists in Training

Re: New Ophthalmic Specialist Training (OST) Curriculum 

We wrote to you all in 2019 and in April 2021 to let you know about changes to the OST Curriculum in the coming years and the rationale for these changes.

The curriculum is being rewritten to include the Generic Professional Capabilities (GPC) framework and meet the GMC standards of curricular design to make training more flexible for doctors and more responsive to patient and health service needs.

The key objective of the proposed new curriculum is to accelerate progression to consultant posts and ensure national standardisation of high-level special interest area training.

Stakeholder consultation

You might recall the public consultation undertaken earlier in the year (April-May 2021), which gave all stakeholders the opportunity to view the proposed new curriculum and comment on opportunities and/or perceived challenges.  We wish to thank all who have taken the time to complete the feedback form, as well as those trainees and trainers who joined two webinars to learn more about the changes and take part in a Q&A session.

It should be reiterated here that the difficult-to-navigate layout – the new curriculum was presented as a long and unwieldy pdf document – was for consultation purposes only.  After regulatory approval, the new curriculum will be presented in a web-based format to allow users to switch easily between levels, domains and syllabi.

It should also be noted that, although the 4-level structure is intended to remove the necessity for post-CCT fellowships for all ophthalmologists, it is not the RCOphth’s intention to remove them from UK hospitals altogether or prevent doctors to undertake them, should they wish to do so.

Some changes to content and adjustments to the length of Level 4 training for some special interest areas have been incorporated as a result of the feedback.  The revised draft curriculum is available here, where you will also be able to view the latest FAQs document and the consultation executive summary.

Timeline

Our final curriculum submission has been delayed by the GMC, due to COVID, until October 2021. Confirmation of approval might not be given until well into the first quarter of 2022.

This gives insufficient time following approval of the curriculum to complete the tender process and has a new e-Portfolio fully developed and ready for our originally intended pilot in August 2022 and full implementation in August 2023.  We believe that a one-year pilot is necessary to confirm the suitability of training posts for the new curriculum, new assessment tools and the new e-Portfolio, in order to identify adjustments necessary before full implementation.

We will therefore now be submitting the proposal with a start date for the new curriculum of August 2024 (with a pilot beginning August 2023), which should give us time to ensure the e-Portfolio is fully functional before the launch of the new curriculum.

Preparing for the change

All ophthalmologists in training are strongly encouraged to acquire general competencies as early as possible in their training over the next couple of years and make plans to sit the final examinations by the end of ST5 or middle of ST6 year. This will allow a smoother transition to the new curriculum in 2024.

Some might have come across new assessment tools that we are piloting to assess the level that which a doctor in training can be entrusted with independent practice.  Please contact your Head of School or Training Programme Director (TPD), should you wish to take part in the next iteration of the pilot with a Clinical Supervisor.

Next steps

A project is underway to produce a clear mapping of already collected e-Portfolio evidence and prior ARCP outcomes to the new curriculum. It is planned that each trainee transitioning to the new curriculum will have a one-to-one ‘Curriculum Transition’ meeting with their Educational Supervisor. This will result in clarity about the high-level learning outcomes that have already been achieved on the new curriculum and a ‘gap analysis’ for those still to be achieved.

Delivery of training in all domains will be described in a ‘Delivery of the New OST Curriculum’ document and will include addressing concerns expressed during the consultation process.  Structured educational and support packages for the new curriculum will be made available for trainers and trainees on the new curriculum webpage.

The Training the Trainers Sub-committee will construct a programme – working together with the Training Committee and Curriculum Sub-committee – to develop a detailed plan to ensure this can be cascaded in advance of the implementation of the new curriculum by August 2024.

Please continue to keep an eye on future newsletters to keep abreast of key developments. Should you require further information, please send your query to [email protected] .

Yours sincerely,

Miss Fiona Spencer FRCS (Glas) FRCOphth                  Miss Fiona Bishop FRCOphth

Chair – Training Committee                                                          Chair – Curriculum Sub-committee

Dr Sunil Mamtora

Chair – Ophthalmologists in Training Group (OTG)

The GMC has approved the new OST Curriculum (subject to action), which will be fully implemented from August 2024. Find out more here

To Heads of School, Training Programme Directors,

Regional Education Advisors and Representatives, College Tutors, Educational and Clinical Supervisors, all Trainers and all Trainee Ophthalmologists


Re: Ophthalmic Specialist Training (OST) Curriculum 2024 

Curriculum 2024 approved by GMC (subject to further actions)

We wrote to you all in 2019 and 2021 to let you know about changes to the OST Curriculum in the coming years and the rationale for these changes. In October 2021 we submitted the draft documentation to the GMC and, on 14 January 2022, they confirmed approval, subject to further actions being taken. This is very good news, as it means we can now press ahead with the huge amount of work that is needed to move to the new curriculum in August 2024.

To remind you of the overall timetable (which had to be changed due to COVID), we intend to test the functionality of the new OST Curriculum and Programme of Assessment on the new e-Portfolio from August 2023 until August 2024. However, one of the further actions the GMC has requested is that we undertake a pilot of all the new assessment tools, reporting back to them by 30 June 2023. This has to be done in order for them to confirm final approval prior to implementation in August 2024.  At the same time, we need to identify and develop a new training e-Portfolio.

Developments at the College

  • The RCOphth has appointed a new Project Manager, Ms Kim Scrivener, who will be responsible for coordinating the implementation of the new OST Curriculum and e-Portfolio. Kim has successfully managed the implementation of three new curricula in two other Medical Royal Colleges and has a lot of experience in postgraduate medical education.
  • Some members of the Curriculum Sub-Committee will act as the OST Project Board to oversee the work around the implementation of the new curriculum. There will be an e-Portfolio Steering Group to oversee the e-Portfolio procurement and development process. Both groups include trainee ophthalmologists.
  • The Training Committee has formed four new Task and Finish Groups on Assessments, Level 1-3, Level 4 and Curriculum Transition Checklist. They have already made recommendations that are now being incorporated into the overall project plan.
  • Initial e-Portfolio suppliers have been identified and will be approached in the very near future.
  • There is a new dedicated space on the RCOphth website. We want to make it easier for you to find out about what is going on and the latest news. Please use the link below to have a look.

https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/training/ophthalmic-specialist-training/ost-curriculum/curriculum-2024/

  • The most immediate task for the Project Board is to respond to the GMC requests for further action by 31 March 2022, the most important part of which is to present a plan for the pilot of all the new assessment tools.  Some Heads of School and TPDs have already volunteered to help with this important pilot and more details will be cascaded in due course to the regions taking part.

Prepare for Curriculum 2024

In the meantime, please prepare for the change.

  • Familiarise yourself with the draft new curriculum through the website https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/training/ophthalmic-specialist-training/ost-curriculum/curriculum-2024/
  • All trainee ophthalmologists are strongly encouraged to acquire general competencies as early as possible in their training over the next couple of years (equating to Levels 1-3 of the new curriculum).
  • Trainee ophthalmologists should make plans to sit the final examinations by the end of ST5 or the middle of ST6 year. This will allow a smoother transition to the new curriculum in 2024.
  • Please sign up for at least one of the sessions being organised to introduce you to the changes – these include webinars, sessions in the RCOphth Congress at Glasgow and locally organised sessions by your TPD/ Head of School/ College Tutors.

Trainees and trainers are invited to join two webinars to learn more about the Curriculum Transition Checklist and take part in a Q&A session.  Please click on the links below to register for one of the events.

Wednesday 20 April 2022, 17.30 – 1830 

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcvdu2qpjIrH9y8LGhkVDF8Pe0cRnfmjyRI

Thursday 28 April 2022, 19.30 – 20.30

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUrcOGorT0sE9NbcJGcsqL7EaZiqy7FZop_

Should you require further information, please send your query to [email protected] .

Yours sincerely,

Miss Fiona Spencer FRCS (Glas) FRCOphth                  Dr Vikas Chadha FRCOphth

Chair – Training Committee                                               Chair – Curriculum Sub-committee

Dr Sunil Mamtora

Chair – Ophthalmologists in Training Group (OTG)

To Heads of School, Training Programme Directors, Regional Education Advisors and Representatives, College Tutors, Educational and Clinical Supervisors, all Trainers and all Trainee Ophthalmologists

Update from Curriculum 2024 Project Team

The Curriculum 2024 Project Board and ePortfolio Steering Group, chaired by Mr Vikas Chadha and Mr Alan Cunningham respectively, have been meeting regularly since the GMC provisionally approved the curriculum. The following activities have been instigated:

  1. Curriculum Transition Checklists (CTCs) The first CTCs were disseminated to all Educational Supervisors and ST1-3 trainees (who will be in ST4-6 when the new curriculum begins in August 2024) for completion by 30 June 2022. The purposes of the CTCs are to provide a benchmark of achievement in preparation for transfer to the new curriculum in August 2024 and identify any gaps in training. Two new CTCs on Level 3 Community Ophthalmology and Urgent Eye Care are now available on the Curriculum 2024 webpage (Implementation Note No 4).
  2. Assessment Pilot The pilot began on 18 July and finished on 14 November 2022. Six deaneries took part and we are truly grateful for the time and commitment shown by those who completed one or more of the three new assessments. We exceeded our target expectations in terms of forms and surveys completed by both supervisors and trainees. Certificates have been sent to those who asked for them.
  3. New ePortfolio We are delighted to announce that, following a rigorous selection process, the RCOphth has signed a contract with FourteenFish and that work has already started on developing the new ePortfolio. FourteenFish supply the RCGP’s trainee ePortfolio, and successfully moved all trainees and curricula onto their platform during the pandemic, so they have a wealth of experience and knowledge of postgraduate medical education. Rather than building an ePortfolio from scratch, we will be working with FourteenFish to customize their existing templates and workflows. So we will be looking for volunteers, both trainees and supervisors, to undertake various tasks at key points to test the functionality of the ePortfolio. We intend to begin a full pilot of the new curriculum in August 2023.
  4. CESR We have agreed a position statement with the GMC on the guidance to be given to CESR applicants in relation to the new curriculum which is now on the RCOphth website. We hope that this guidance will help CESR applicants decide when they would like to submit their applications to the GMC.
  5. Curriculum 2024 webpage The website has been revamped to include all curriculum documentation, links to FAQs, news and resources. Please do have a look if you have not done so already.
  6. Transition Progression Requirements The statement, which is Implementation Note No 3 on the website, describes the progression between the levels and the use of Outcome 1 as part of the guidance for the transition to Curriculum 2024. The statement is intended to help trainees and trainers to understand the progression requirements for transition to the new training levels on 1 August 2024.
  7. Level 1-3 and Level 4 Intensive work is being carried out with TPDs and Heads of School on how the new curriculum will be managed in each region. Guidance on Level 1-3 and Level 4 has been developed to help those who manage training plan future rotations.
  8. Webinars We held two very successful webinars in April 2022 (see here for a link to the video recording), followed by two lunchtime sessions at the May Congress.

Continue to prepare for Curriculum 2024

In the meantime, please continue to prepare for the change.

  • Familiarise yourself with the draft new curriculum through the website https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/training/ophthalmic-specialist-training/ost-curriculum/curriculum-2024/
  • All trainee ophthalmologists are strongly encouraged to acquire general competencies as early as possible in their training over the next couple of years (equating to Levels 1-3 of the new curriculum).
  • Trainee ophthalmologists should make plans to sit the final examinations by the end of ST5 or the middle of ST6 year. This will allow a smoother transition to the new curriculum in 2024.
  • Please sign up to at least one of the sessions being organised to introduce you to the changes – these could include sessions in the RCOphth Congress at Birmingham and locally organised sessions by your TPD/Head of School/College Tutors.
  • Take part in future pilot exercises when invited to do so.

Should you require further information, please send your query to [email protected] .

Yours sincerely

Ms Sarah Maling FRCOphth                                          

Chair – Training Committee                                    

Dr Vikas Chadha FRCOphth

Chair – Curriculum Sub-committee

Mr Hasan Naveed FRCOphth

Chair – Ophthalmologists in Training Group (OTG)