Radiology curriculum FAQs

A list of frequently asked questions related to the new radiology curriculum can be found below.

There is a significant overlap between the clinical and interventional radiology curricula, therefore all answers are applicable to both curriculums unless specified.


Why has the curriculum changed?

Feedback was that the existing curriculum format was long-winded, repetitive and not user friendly. As a technology driven specialty, radiology is fast moving and the curriculum was out of date and did not provide the flexibility to address new techniques and technology. The new curriculum will provide more flexibility and better support patient, professional and service need.

The desire to review the curriculum coincided with the release of new standards for postgraduate medical curricula from the GMC and the changes made allow the curriculum to meet these standards.

What is different in the new curriculum?

The new curriculum for clinical radiology is structured around high level learning outcomes, called capabilities in practice (CiPs), which describe clearly and at a high level what a doctor will be able to do on completion of training. There are 12 CiPs for clinical radiology, including generic CiPs that apply to all doctors and specialty-specific CiPs.  The interventional radiology curriculum contains two additional CiPs which trainees must achieve in addition to the 12 CiPs detailed in the parent clinical radiology curriculum.

The CiPs are underpinned by descriptors that provide guidance on the clinical context which supports their achievement, and by tables that provide a brief outline of key presentations, conditions, modalities and procedures. This approach makes the curriculum much more concise and user friendly.

Emerging technologies and techniques are addressed in the descriptors and in dedicated sections of the clinical radiology curriculum, allowing the curriculum to be future-proof and to effectively prepare trainees for the demands of a rapidly changing service.

Trainees may demonstrate their progress against the CiPs in a variety of different ways, reflecting their strengths, areas of interest and the resources available to them. This, along with the inclusion of generic CiPs, creates a flexibile curriculum that can be tailored to individual trainees and meet local service needs.

Progress against the CiPs is assessed using a scale based on the concept of entrustable professional activities, allowing intuitive decisions about progress, supported by progression grids that clearly define the expected level of competence for each stage of training. 

Are there any new assessments?

There will be no new assessments. The new curriculum includes the same range of formative workplace based assessment found in the 2016 clinical radiology and interventional radiology curricula and there have been no changes to the FRCR examinations. The use and structure of these assessments is well established and they can easily be applied to the new curriculum. 

There are minor changes to the structure of some of the forms used to record workplace-based assessments in the e-portfolio, however the assessments themselves will not change.

It is our intention to conduct a wider review of assessment, including the timing and content of the FRCR examinations, once the new curriculum is embedded and following a suitable period of research and piloting. 

I’m a current clinical/interventional radiology trainee, will I have to switch to the new curriculum?

All radiology trainees will need to transfer to their respective new curriculum, unless they are due to CCT before 1 September 2022, or 1 March 2023 for LTFT trainees.  

Current trainees will transfer to the new curriculum following their ARCP for the 2020/21 training year, normally by August 2021.

Clinical radiology trainees in ST5 will not be required to transfer to the new curriculum, provided that they are due to CCT before 1st September 2022, or 1 March 2023 for LTFT trainees.  

Interventional radiology trainees in ST6 will not be required to transfer to the new curriculum, provided that they are due to CCT before 1st September 2022, or 1 March 2023 for LTFT trainees.  

There is some additional flexibility for exceptional circumstances, however the final deadline for all trainees to transfer is August 2023.  More information can be found in our guidance on transfer to the new curriculum on the implementation tools webpage.

I’m a trainee working less than full time (LTFT), when will I be transferred?

LTFT trainees will transfer to the new curriculum unless they are due to CCT before 1 March 2023. This normally will take place following your ARCP for the 2020/21 training year.

There is some additional flexibility for exceptional circumstances, however the final deadline for all trainees to transfer is August 2023.  More information can be found in our guidance on transfer to the new curriculum on the implementation tools webpage.

I'm a trainee and will be out of programme/on statutory leave during the transition period - when will I be transferred?

All radiology trainees will need to transfer to their respective new curriculum, unless they are due to CCT before 1 September 2022, or 1 March 2023 for LTFT trainees.  If you are out of programme or on statutory leave during this period you will follow the new curriculum when you return to training.  

There is some additional flexibility for exceptional circumstances, however the final deadline for all trainees to transfer is August 2023.  More information can be found in our guidance on transfer to the new curriculum on the implementation tools webpage.

There are no changes to workplace based assessment or examinations and evidence collected while following the current curriculum can be used to show progress against the CiPs. A mapping document detailing how the CiPs relate to the competences listed in the current curriculum is available to support trainees and ARCP panels in this process.

What support will there be for trainers and trainees?

A full programme of support will be available for trainees and trainers, including face to face training, short videos, and guidance documents. Trainee and trainer ‘curriculum champions’ will provide a local point of contact and help to cascade training throughout the regions. 

What should I be doing to prepare for the transition?

Make sure that you have familiarised yourself with the new curricula and that you look out for implementation updates in newsletters, e-bulletins and on the curriculum website. The website includes a checklist to show what you can be doing to prepare for curriculum implementation, with a range of resources to help you. 

How do I find out more?

There will be regular updates through newsletters, e-bulletins and the curriculum website.  You can also speak to your curriculum champions for information and advice – these will be your local experts on all things related to the new curriculum.

For specific queries not addressed on the website or by your Curriculum Champions, you can contact curriculum@rcr.ac.uk.

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