Trainees are allocated to 6-month jobs around the region. Trainees must rotate through all the main subspecialties of lower limb arthroplasty, shoulders, hands, spines, paediatrics, major trauma and foot and ankle to ensure both a broad experience of the whole syllabus and that indicative numbers are met.


The allocation of trainees helps to ensure that hospitals receive a fairly stable number of trainees each time and that all trainees needs are met during their time on the rotation. The aim is to allocate trainees to 12 months in the same hospital to help with continuity. Trainees who are post exam are invited to state their preferences for the next job. In the event that two trainees request the same job we have a scoring system based on academic merit that determines which trainee will be successful. Trainees who are pre-exam may state a preference for a training post or highlight any training needs that they may have, however the overall decision for where trainees are allocated remains with Mr Richard Hopcroft who is in charge of rotation planning. Wherever possible an effort is made to minimise travel times according to the trainee’s home address, however all trainees should expect to spend at least 6 months in both Carlisle and Middlesborough during their training, regardless of where they live.


Each December trainees are expected to sit the UKITE (UK and Ireland in Training Exam) exam, this is a 3 hour computer based orthopaedic knowledge exam which aims to replicate Part 1 of the FRCS. There is also an annual ITCA (In Training Clinical Assessment) exam usually held around the same time. This aims to replicate Part 2 of the FRCS with local consultants and their patients attending for clinical and viva stations.


Trainees in ST3 have an ARCP at 6 and 12 months, everyone else has an ARCP once a year. Further details can be found on the HEE website. The speciality administrator will email you well in advance to let you know the list of requirements.

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