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The training programme begins from entry at ST 1 after the Foundation Training, and trainees will progress, according to acquisition of competencies, until the third level of competency is reached. This will usually be after 8 years, but may in exceptional cases be as short as 6 years. Trainees should note that shortening their training programme will be at the discretion of the ARCP panels, reviewing evidence at the end of each training year.  If you are considering a request to shorten your training from the 8 year standard then you should discuss this with your Educational supervisor and / or appropriate Training Programme director at the earliest opportunity. Your e portfolio will need to demonstrate excellence and completion of the appropriate competency level and it should show evidence of extensive reflection and aquisition of skills.  Please note that if you are going to make a request to shorten training you should inform your educational supervisor and TPD AT LEAST 6 months in advance.  This is especially important if you are planning to leave the programme early.

Run-through programmes for levels 1 and 2 training occur in posts across the region. Programmes for level 3 training vary according to the career pathway of individual trainees. Based on the current consultant requirements, more than half of trainees are expected to follow the general paediatric curriculum and one third to follow paediatric subspecialty curricula (including neonatology and community paediatrics). Trainees who wish to train in subspecialties compete nationally for grid posts.  Details of this can be found on RCPCH website.

Level 1 Training (ST1-3)

Years ST1 to ST3 comprise basic specialist training. All trainees spend the first year in one of the District General Hospitals in posts which provide a mix of general paediatric training and in a level 2 neonatal unit. The second year is generally spent in Oxford working in the tertiary NNU and having an oportunity to spend some time in another subspecialty. There are 12-14  posts in each of the first three years. The MRCPCH examination needs to be completed to enter level 2 training (ie by the START of ST4).  Trainees will be encouraged to take on more responsibility

in ST3, this may include some middle grade duties.  This will be at the discretion of the local department and will be considered for trainees who

are competent to take on these roles.

The Level 1 training programme contains relatively more neonatal experience than general paediatrics for many trainees. This is because it is these competences particularly that need to be achieved before taking on the responsibility of a middle-grade post.

Teaching is determined by the curriculum for level 1 training.

The Job Descriptions for level 1 posts can be found at the bottom of the page:


The Training Programme Director for level 1 training is Dr Nicola Pritchard (


Level 2 Training (ST4-5)

During these two years the core middle-grade competencies are learned during posts in general paediatrics, community paediatrics and neonates, each section of which is a minimum of 6 months – generally 1 year in general paediatrics, and 6 months in each of community paediatrics and neonates. The majority of these posts are provided outside Oxford and the school do not generally support ANY changes to the 2 year programme as the core registrar are crucial years in order to consolidate your level 2 compencies.

The training will be according to the curriculum for level 2 training.


Level 3 Training (ST 6-8)


This training would generally last three years although there is the possibility of reaching the competencies in general paediatrics in two years. Programmes vary according to the career pathway of individual trainees. Applicants need to be aware the final decision regarding their placement will take into account the service needs of all sites within the training programmes.


Community Paediatrics Training


Please note that training grade doctors in community paediatrics will remain part of the 'general paediatric' on call rota, and will be expected to be equal partners in this.  Most current rotas give approximately 35% of the total hours as acute cover within these rotas.


In addition, there is one Specialist Neurodisability post available on the National Grid (see below) which rotates between the Community Paediatric Department in Reading and the Wolfson Centre in London.


             Specialty posts in Oxford

Trainees will be able to spend 18 months - 2 years at ST6-8 in various specialties in Oxford. Most will do at least 6 months of PICU.  We plan to offer further tertiary neonates during this time, particularly if planning a consultant job in a DGH which may require NNU cover. The Specialty posts available in Oxford include the following :


   Oncology (may include National Grid)    Gastroenterology (may include National Grid)    Respiratory Paediatrics (may include National Grid)

   Endocrinology and Diabetes    Neurology (may include National Grid)    Intensive Care (includes one post with secondment to Paediatric          Cardiology for a year)

   Tertiary Neonatology (may include National Grid)


Please note that training is not provided in the Oxford Deanery in nephrology, infectious diseases (apart from academic posts) or rheumatology


             National training grid

Trainees who wish to train as a subspecialist will compete nationally towards the end of level 2 training,  these posts are organised through the National Grid scheme.   All those interested in a grid specialty should contact their educational supervisor early on in level 2 training.


The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health runs the National Grid Scheme to allow trainees to compete for nationally available subspecialty training programmes. On an annual basis in the autumn, appropriate trainees (usually for those going into year ST6) are requested to submit applications for competitive entry into a NTG post. Almost all pediatric subspecialities participate in this scheme and there is comprehensive information about the scheme on the RCPCH website.


              Final Year


Following subspecialty attachments in Oxford, most trainees will then return to the District General Hospitals to consolidate their acute paediatrics, but also to learn the skills required for the management of long-term conditions and the further managerial roles of a consultant paediatrician.

Training in all of the Level 3 posts will be according to the Level 3 general and specialty-specific curricula from the RCPCH.


The Training Programme Director for level 2 and 3 training is Dr Alison Shefler (


Opportunities for training in Clinical Genetics in Oxford:

Clinical Genetics is a rapidly advancing, cutting-edge speciality which closely links clinical medicine to basic sciences. Trainees who have completed their membership exams and are at ST3 level (or higher) may wish to consider a career in Clinical Genetics. A 4 year training course that leads to a CCT in Clinical Genetics is offered by the Department of Clinical Genetics, and these posts can be applied for in competition in the usual recruitment rounds. Opportunities for research leading up to a MD/ PhD are available during the training.

Opportunities may also be available for trainees to enhance their paediatric training by spending a short time (up to a period of 6 months) in Clinical Genetics. These posts will need to be applied for as out-of-programme training and will therefore need some planning. Funding for these posts comes from the Clinical Genetics Department and not from the School of Paediatrics. This will be discussed on an individual basis, but please let the Training Programme Director know well in advance if you are thinking of applying for one of these posts.

For further details, please contact: Dr. Usha Kini, Training Programme Director, Clinical Genetics, Oxford Deanery on or 01865 226020.

Milton Keynes Reading Wexham Park Stoke Mandeville Oxford - General & Specialty Oxford Neonatology
Milton Keynes - level 2/3
Reading - level 2/3 Wexham Park - level 2/3 Stoke Mandeville - level 2/3 Oxford - Acute level 2/3 Oxford Neonates - level 2

Programme Overview