Ophthalmic Trainees Forum question and answer session at Congress 2019

Support for Ophthalmic Specialist Training

The RCOphth provides ophthalmologists throughout the Ophthalmic Specialist Training (OST) programme with useful resources to support learning and professional development.

The RCOphth’s resources can help you to achieve high standards of patient care and develop professionally throughout the Ophthalmic Specialist Training (OST) programme. Our resources aim to provide doctors in training and trainers with the answers to frequently asked questions on progression through the OST programme.

Representation for Doctors in Training

You are represented by the RCOphth through the Ophthalmologists in Training Group (OTG), made up of trainee representatives from each region. Your representatives speak on behalf of you and fellow trainees and should be able to provide you with the latest information from the RCOphth.

The OTG discusses issues relevant to training, the impact of health policy and workforce issues on sustainable ophthalmology services in the UK.  The OTG Chair sits on the RCOphth Council, ensuring trainees are represented at the highest level.

Find out more about the OTG

Support for Trainers

Trainers are an integral part of the OST programme as they deliver the OST Curriculum and teach and assess the progress of ophthalmologists in training.

These resources offer support and guidance to help train future ophthalmologists to deliver the very best patient care and develop professionally.



RCOphth Guide to Delivery of the OST

An overview of the OST programme and how the curriculum and examinations are used to assess and teach throughout training. This is a useful resource to understand in detail how ophthalmic specialist training is structured.

OST Introductory Booklet

An introduction to the OST programme, offering guidance about the seven most important things to do in the first month in training.

Guidance on Induction for Ophthalmology

This document offers guidance about what trainees should expect from their induction after joining the training programme and offers an overview of assessment and delivery of the OST programme.

ARCP Guidance

Health Education England (HEE) guidance on the Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) process.

Acute Services Training

RCOphth Training Committee guidance setting out the agreed principles for managing acute/emergency ophthalmology during training.

Simulation Training in the UK

Document highlighting the benefits of, and different types of, simulation training ophthalmologists in training should be familiar with.

Cataract Surgery Guidance

Clarification and guidance on cataract surgery competences and assessment - Learning Outcome SS04.


Ophthalmology is an immensely diverse branch of medicine. It is scientifically complex, constantly developing and provides opportunities for fulfilling experiences, but also requires doctors to manage uncertainty and the emotional demands of supporting patients and colleagues. Reflecting on this broad range of experiences is essential for professional development, high quality care and personal wellbeing.

Academy Guidance on ePortfolios

AoMRC guidance to help doctors in training, and their supervisors, in considering how to record their reflective practice.

Practical information

Less Than Full-Time Training (LTFT)

The delivery and organisation of LTFT is the responsibility of the individual HEE local offices / Deaneries. This document contains hints to make the most of LTFT and avoid common pitfalls.

Key training information

We publish key training notices to clarify the requirements for training and templates that will support ophthalmic training. These are reviewed bi-annually to ensure that they remain accurate and relevant. Updates will be cascaded through newsletters, eye-mail and social media channels.

Continuous cataract complications audit letter

Letter highlighting the curriculum requirement for trainees to maintain a continuous audit of cataract complications from the beginning of their training. This should be read alongside the 'Continuous cataract complications audit synopsis template'.

50 consecutive cases cataract audit guidance

It is a curriculum requirement for trainees to present a 50 consecutive cases cataract audit paper (with comparison to national standards) supported by raw data. This document should be read alongside the 'Example model 50 cases cataract audit'.


As a surgical-based specialty, ophthalmology encompasses a wide range of operations and clinic-based procedures, requiring ophthalmologists to make use of micro-surgical techniques. Simulation training enables trainee ophthalmologists to master these skills before in vivo training.

Find out more