New RCR clinical oncology and radiology curricula rolled out

Thursday 5 August 2021

New RCR curricula for clinical radiology (CR), interventional radiology (IR) and clinical oncology are being gradually implemented across the UK from this week (2 August 2021).   

The updated and reshaped curricula reflect the GMC’s Excellence by Design standards for postgraduate curricula. The new curricula replace the previous extensive and granular lists of knowledge, skills and behaviours with concise outcomes and a more intuitive and holistic approach to assessment. All three curricula include an increased emphasis on maintaining general capabilities alongside specialist practice, and on flexibility that will allow training to adapt to changing patient and service need.   

The new clinical oncology curriculum has been developed in close partnership with the Medical Oncology Specialty Advisory Committee. The clinical and medical oncology curricula have been closely aligned and contain shared outcomes, a common first year of training for clinical and medical oncology trainees, and an increased emphasis on preparing trainees to lead and develop acute oncology services.   

The new CR and IR curricula include a focus on developing the generalist skills required to support acute unscheduled care, a more concise and flexible approach to defining the capabilities required for special interest or subspecialty practice, and a requirement for trainees to embrace and be able to evaluate emerging techniques and technologies, such as artificial intelligence and hybrid imaging. 

A range of materials to support implementation are available on the clinical radiology and clinical oncology curriculum web pages.

Dr Rachel Cooper, RCR Medical Director of Education and Training for Clinical Oncology, said:

"The introduction of the new CO curriculum is an exciting opportunity to take training in clinical oncology to an even higher standard. The structure, with fewer higher-level outcomes, enables holistic assessment of a trainee's progression whilst retaining the rigour and breadth of training in oncology required of a consultant clinical oncologist.'

"The introduction of the oncology common stem year and training in acute oncology are exciting new developments, and I think ultimately will drive improvements in patient care."

Dr Stephen Harden, RCR Medical Director for Education and Training for Clinical Radiology, added:

“The new CR and IR curricular outcomes better reflect modern day practice, including current imaging techniques and interventional procedures, and also reflect the needs of the modern health service by the maintaining of broad general skills. Achievement of these outcomes will enable colleagues and patients to be assured of safe and high quality care.

“I am grateful for the large amount of work that colleagues have put into the writing and the wide consultation around these curricula, and more recently the support provided by our regional trainee and trainer curriculum champions, RCR Regional Specialty Advisers, clinical radiology schools and training programmes to ensure a smooth transition as these new curricula are implemented.”