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Gynaecological Oncology Surgical Training

Gynaecological oncology is a highly specialised field, involving professionals from a large number of disciplines who collaborate to care for patients with gynaecological cancers.

Gynaecological surgeons looking after patients with gynaecological cancers require advanced training so they can obtain the necessary skills to do their job. There are two main pathways for obtaining these advanced skills the Advanced Training Skills Modules (ATSM) in oncology and subspecialty training in gynaecological oncology.

Subspeciality Training
Gynaecological oncologists are the primarily surgical members of the multidisciplinary team. Any individual wishing to become a specialist gynaecological oncologist in a cancer centre must first undergo specialist training as an obstetrician and gynaecologist within an RCOG approved training scheme or equivalent and then undertake subspecialty training in gynaecological oncology.

Once sufficiently advanced in their specialist training, candidates may apply for subspecialist training in gynaecological oncology. Subspecialist training is administered by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and subspecialty trainees are registered with and assessed by the RCOG. The training involves a placement within one of 27 cancer centres accredited for training for a period of two or three years. In a three year programme a proportion of time is dedicated toward research, while the rest is focused on clinical training, including short placements in related disciplines such as colorectal surgery, urology and clinical and medical oncology. Prior completion of the core obstetric and gynaecology training curriculum or equivalent is usually mandatory prior to entry into a subspecialty training programme.

Subspecialist training jobs are usually advertised through the NHS jobs https://www.jobs.nhs.uk website and entry into the programme occurs after a competitive selection process. Evidence of a long-term commitment to the specialty, outstanding surgical ability, leadership qualities, academic prowess and exceptional interpersonal skills are key in a successful application for subspecialist training.

For more details please refer to the links and contact details below.


Advanced Training Skills Modules (ATSM)
The Advanced Training Skills Module (ATSM) in oncology is provided for those clinician who will take on the role of a cancer lead at a cancer unit. This module provides the skills to manage women with suspected or diagnosed gynaecological cancers and to treat those with early stage endometrial cancer. The ATSM is typically undertaken by doctors in training in their final two years before completion of training, although it can be undertaken by any gynaecologist working in a unit approved for the provision of the ATSM.

Trainees will require registration with the RCOG at commencement of the programme after confirmation by a clinical supervisor, local preceptor and regional/ deanery preceptor that the ATSM can be provided. A certificate of ATSM completion is issued by the RCOG after satisfactory completion of the module. Training usually takes between 12 and 18 months to complete.

For more details please refer to the links and contact details below.

  • RCOG advanced training co-ordinator: Lusiana McCarty
    Email: lmccarty@rcog.org.uk
    Telephone: +44 20 7045 6789

Continued Professional Development (CPD)
The BGCS supports many opportunities for continued professional development. These include the webinar/ webcast programme, Practice-changing Research in Gynae-Oncology sessions courses for trainees and accredited specialists, Annual Scientific Meeting and the combined Annual Fellows’ Meeting & Educational Summit. Links and advertisements for these events can be found in the events section of the BGCS website. Trainee members of the BGCS have discounted registration at the Annual Scientific Meeting and the combined Annual Fellows’ Meeting & Educational Summit.

Annual Fellows’ Meeting
The Annual Fellows’ Meeting is usually held in January each year and is an opportunity for trainees with an interest in gynaecological oncology to meet and network with their colleagues and peers from different corners of the UK.  The day includes lectures on hot topics in gynaecological oncology and a panel discussion on training matters followed by drinks and a dinner directly afterwards. Any doctor in training with an interest in gynaecological oncology are very welcome at the meeting. The meeting is subsidised by the BGCS and industry sponsors and is run on a not for profit basis.

Please note the way study leave funds are distributed in England has changed. Trainees based in England should have all their core course expenses covered with the traditional cap on study leave expenses having being removed in most deaneries. This Annual Fellows’ Meeting should be considered a core educational activity for those on subspecialty training programmes. Please contact your LETB for more detail on these arrangements

The BGCS Training Subgroup
The BGCS training sub group provides support for the RCOG Subspecialty Training Programme and the ATSM training programme in Gynaecological Oncology for the mutual benefit of patients, specialists and subspecialty trainees in gynaecological oncology. The subgroup monitors the subspecialty training programme and advises the RCOG on training issues including training quality and training numbers.

Other Useful websites

Sub-specialty training FAQs


SST undertaken OOPT at another deanery


BSCCP information

RCOG module curriculum on Colposcopy