Accreditation and CPD awards
Providing a quality mark for surgical education
The Royal College of Surgeons of England is committed to supporting surgical education through the accreditation of high-quality learning.
Accreditation ensures that the educational activity being delivered has met the required educational standards and provides reassurance to participants and delegates that the centre, course or event will provide a high-quality learning experience.
We currently accredit a huge amount of educational activity around the world.
There are different types of accreditation to suit each activity:
The highest level of accreditation is aimed at any provider, domestic or international, that offers a significant portfolio of surgical education and provides a kite mark of quality to all of their activity.
Centre Accreditation can be for NHS educational departments through to global commercial companies and everything in between. The training method can also be everything from traditional face-to-face learning through to Virtual Reality and e-learning.
Applications are reviewed against the Centre Accreditation standards.
Applications are made after an initial consultation with the QA and Accreditation team. If you are a commercial provider or a surgical education provider for a device then the process may differ. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance.
Centre Accreditation is subject to annual monitoring.
Please see our list of Accredited Centres.
This is aimed at short courses - either face-to-face or online - that run annually or several times a year.
Each course must meet the required Course Accreditation standards for educational content, teaching methods, aims and have appropriate learning outcomes.
Accredited courses are also awarded Continuing Professional Development (CPD) /CME points.
Course Accreditation is subject to annual monitoring.
Please see our list of Accredited Courses.
University Programme Accreditation
We are keen to support the development of Higher Education Institution programmes for surgical trainees which enhance the knowledge and skills underpinning evidence-based clinical practice and research in surgery.
Having a programme accredited demonstrates that the programme meets the Programme Accreditation standards as defined by RCS England and that it offers a high-quality learning experience. Recognition of these factors may assist in attracting students
Applications are made on the Accreditation Portal.
Please see our list of Accredited Programmes.
Surgical Care Practitioner Programmes
The inclusion of SCPs in the surgical team is essential to meet the evolving changes in healthcare. SCPs work independently in the surgical team with appropriate supervision, and complement the team’s workload to enable surgical trainees to have greater training opportunities.
Having an SCP programme accredited demonstrates that the programme meets the standards as defined by the RCS, and that it offers a high-quality learning experience. Recognition of these factors may assist in attracting students.
For more information please visit here.
Senior Clinical Fellowships Scheme
For more information and how to apply please visit here.
There are a number of benefits that apply across the above accreditation types, which are all recognised for a three-year approval period after approval.
- peer review from a panel of leading surgeons
- use of the RCS England logo on programme materials and website
- use of the strap line ‘Accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons of England’
- listing on RCS England website
- listing in RCS England Bulletin
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Points
CPD events provide learning opportunities which play a key part in maintaining a knowledge base and performance throughout the surgeon’s working life. Gaining a minimum number of CPD points each year is one way in which surgeons in the UK are expected to comply with the GMC’s revalidation requirements. Typically, CPD points are for one-off events and are calculated as 1 point per 1 hour of educational activity.
Internationally, CPD points and CME credits are often used interchangeably. Typically, 1 CPD point would equate to 1 CME credit. Due to significant differences in national legislations regulating CPD/CME, we encourage non-UK participants to liaise directly with their respective national accreditation or revalidation bodies.
Applications are made on the Accreditation Portal or by returning an application form for either a face-to-face event or online event to email@example.com. Applications are reviewed against the CPD standards and should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event or risk being rejected.
For support and guidance, you can read the Frequently Asked Questions or use the annotated application form for face-to-face CPD events.
The following benefits apply to CPD awards:
- A review by leading surgeons
- A quality mark from a leading body for the accreditation of surgical education;
- Participants and speakers can use for their records;
- The use of the strapline ‘The Royal College of Surgeons of England has awarded up to x number of CPD points’ to enhance marketing materials and encourage participation;
- Listing on the RCS England Accreditation Portal (for non-accredited centres);
- Advertising discount with RCS England publications.
Please note that we do not provide the use of the RCS England logo for the purposes of the CPD award. Use of any other wording (e.g. “accreditation”, “affiliation” or “sponsored” etc…) is not permitted.
Activities awarded CPD points
A list of activities that have been awarded CPD points can be found here.
Fees for all accreditation activities can be found here. Once the accreditation is approved you will be issued with an invoice which must be paid within 30 days.
Approval process for Centre, Course, University Programme and Surgical Care Practitioner Programme Accreditations
There is a desk-based review of each application, including an assessment of course participant feedback. If the application is viable, a visit to the centre, course or programme by an RCS England review panel including one or more senior surgeons takes place. If you are a commercial provider or a surgical education provider for a device then the process may differ.
An approval report is written by a QA and Accreditation team member for consideration at the next available Quality Assurance Operational Group (QAOG), which meets four times a year.
If successful the accreditation is approved. This approval may include conditions and recommendations for the provider.
Approval process for CPD Awards
CPD Awards require a desk based assessment by a QA and Accreditation team member with a secondary review by a clinical reviewer. This award does not require a panel visit but participant feedback may be requested for any subsequent applications. You must submit your application at least two weeks prior to the event to allow sufficient time for the review panel.