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The BSCCP colposcopy training programme

FAQs about training

Background to the BSCCP colposcopy training programme

The BSCCP training programme was established to ensure the quality of colposcopists and colposcopy services within the NHS Cervical Screening Programme (NHSCSP).

The aim of this training programme is to enable trainees to obtain defined core knowledge, develop the necessary skills as well as the personal and professional attributes to enable competency in colposcopy. This should provide reassurance to the general public and health authorities as well as protection for colposcopists themselves.

At the end of the programme successful completion of an OSCE examination will result in the Colposcopist being added to the list of accredited colposcopists.

The programme aims to emphasise the importance of a wide range of professional skills as well as fostering a progressive and enthusiastic culture of evidence based medicine.

Skills developed by the programme

Clinical Competence

The course requires that the trainee perform at least 150 colposcopies under supervision. The bulk of the training programme is about the transference of theoretical knowledge into practical know-how. Actually performing colposcopy under supervision, i.e. apprenticeship, is the best way of learning not just how to recognise different clinical conditions but how to manage them.

Generic competencies

The syllabus specifically details a number of generic competencies and lists a number of related competencies in the log book which the trainee needs to acquire.

These include competencies such as communication skills and problem solving are an integral part of colposcopic practice and necessarily form part of clinical competence.

Commitment to continued medical education

All accredited colposcopists (including trainers) must attend a BSCCP approved conference or meeting every 3 years to maintain basic competency but involvement in colposcopy related audit and research would be seen as prerequisites for trainer status.

Core professional values

Whilst the main focus is on learning the skills directly related to performing colposcopy (communication, proficiency in conducting the examination) there are a variety of other areas that are involved informally, although not specifically detailed (medico-legal aspects, complaints, need for clear documentation).

Overall the programme has comprehensive content and it is anticipated that it will evolve to include additional features as deemed relevant by the CTC (training committee).

Download the Trainer-Trainee Guidelines

A guide for trainers and trainees has been developed to assist training for accreditation in colposcopy by encouraging standardisation of training and by providing explanation of the various requirements of the curriculum.

Any difficulties in understanding or achieving various requirements for training can be discussed with the Certification and Training Committee (c/o the BSCCP). This guide is intended for all trainers and also should be read by all trainees at the outset of training.

Useful links for trainees