Combined Programme (CP)

Combined Programme (CP)

IMPORTANT NOTE Combined Programme posts can only be taken up by those who have full GMC registration. You should only contact local training programmes about the Combined Programme if you already hold full GMC registration with a licence to practise.  See more detail below.

In the UK, clinical radiology trainees complete about five years of specialty training according to the current training curriculum in posts approved by the GMC (years ST1-5). When they successfully complete training they are awarded a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in the specialty of clinical radiology. The CCT allows them GMC specialist registration. 

The Combined Programme (CP) route to specialist registration allows local training programmes to decide that some or all of your previous clinical radiology training, experience, and/or qualifications has allowed you to develop some of the professional capabilities set out in the CCT curriculum.  The local recruitment process can then appoint you to the CCT specialty training programme at a point higher than ST1.

The organisations responsible for appointments to local training programmes are deaneries, Health Education and Improvement Wales and Health Education England local teams - from here referred to as ‘deaneries’.

You will need to be appointed to an approved training programme post with a National Training Number (NTN). You then complete your training according to the current CCT curriculum, all in approved posts with an NTN.  The combination of your previous clinical radiology experience and your UK training must cover all the requirements of the current CCT curriculum. Once appointed to an approved training programme, training is managed following the same processes as a CCT trainee. You will need to meet the assessment milestones that a CCT trainee must meet from the point of entry to the training programme, which will include the FRCR Examination.

You must have full GMC registration with a licence to practise to take up a CP post – see Routes to GMC Registration

You must contact a local training programme to establish whether there are any openings for the CP. However, you should only do this if you already have GMC registration. GMC registration will take some time to achieve through PLAB or FRCR and local programmes cannot keep posts open indefinitely.   We do not sponsor doctors for GMC registration for CP posts. If you have GMC registration, you can find a list of local organisations which run training programmes here COPMED/deaneries.

Most often when successfully completed the CP allows specialist registration through a CESR. Some doctors who complete the CP may now be awarded a CCT. If their ARCP Outcome 6 was prior to 1 January 2021 a CCT can only be awarded to those who have completed a minimum of four years in approved posts in the UK.  Those with an ARCP Outcome 6 from 1 January 2021 can be awarded a CCT with no minium requirement.  Otherwise, those who complete the CP will be awarded a CESR as has always been the case. Both are the same for the purpose of entering the UK specialist register. A CESR has always been considered to be equivalent to the CCT for the purpose of GMC registration and practice in the UK.

Once you are appointed to a CP post with an NTN, you and the deanery must advise us as soon as possible so that you can be enrolled as a trainee and your appointment to the CP at a level above ST1 can be confirmed.  The deanery must then advise the GMC that you have been appointed to the CP. Your training proceeds according to the current CCT curriculum; at your first ARCP it should be confirmed that the initial appointment level was appropriate and that your end of training date remains as originally planned.  Changes to the initial appointment will be factored into your training.