RCS Senior Clinical Fellowship Scheme

The Royal College of Surgeons of England and the Surgical Specialty Associations have established the RCS Senior Clinical Fellowship Scheme to manage, quality assure and publically recognise fellowship posts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland that comply with standards of educational quality. The College and Specialty Associations invite all organisers of quality fellowship posts to have their fellowship recognised as part of the Scheme and placed upon the National Fellowship Register.

What is a Fellowship Post?


The College and Specialty Associations define a fellowship post as a period of additional medical training, beyond that available in a usual CCT training programme, which:

  • Provides a structured educational experience prior to [Eg. ST5 or above] or immediately following CCT, designed to deliver the requirements of a particular sub-specialty which are not readily available within the CCT training programme.
  • Has an established curriculum (which includes levels of patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, communication skills, and professionalism) where the subject matter relates to one of the following:
    • Acquisition of sub-specialist skills – eg. where specialist surgery has been centralised in line with commissioning decisions.
    • Acquisition of super-specialty technical skills – for example, in new technologies and treatments which may not be readily available within a given region or training programme
    • Acquisition of multidisciplinary skills in a given clinical area.
  • Does not impinge on the training of pre CCT trainees
  • Is allied to workforce opportunities
  • Takes place in an institution that assumes ultimate responsibility for delivery of the programme of training and education; this includes providing sufficient protected time for both trainer(s) and trainees (fellows) and necessary financial support for the programme.
  • Has a single programme director assigned, with authority and accountability for the fellowship post.
  • Has identified faculty that will assume educational and supervisory responsibilities throughout the programme.
  • Has a written agreement in place specifying responsibilities for training, teaching, supervision and evaluation of the programme.
  • Provides opportunities for audit and research
  • Has an external evaluation process

Benefits of Fellowship Approval


Having a fellowship approved will demonstrate that the post meets the standards as set out by the Royal College of Surgeons and Specialty Associations, and that it offers a high quality learning experience. Recognition of these factors will assist in attracting high calibre fellows. The scheme will also benefit patients and the public, protect the interests of trainees and fellows and improve the quality of teaching, research and professional practice. Approved fellowships will also receive the following benefits:

  • Peer review from a panel of leading surgeons
  • Assurance that posts offer a high quality learning experience, reflecting the standards set by the College and specialty associations
  • Listing on the National Fellowship Register
  • Use of the RCS Logo on course materials and website
  • Use of the strap line ' This fellowship post has been approved by the Royal College of Surgeons and [……] [specialty association(s)] '
  • Listing in RCS Bulletin

Further Information


Full details of the Scheme’s fee structure can be reviewed on the Fees pages.Full details of the Scheme’s monitoring requirements can be reviewed on the Monitoring pages. For further information about Fellowship Approval including the Criteria and Standards, please review the Guidance/FAQs pages.

Apply now

To apply for Fellowship Approval, please select the link below:

Apply for Fellowship Approval