Informed Consent: Sharing the Decision (ICONS)

Key Facts

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Informed Consent: Sharing the Decision (ICONS)

This innovative educational initiative was developed as a direct and constructive response to the communication inadequacies exposed by the Montgomery case, and subsequent legislation. While it is not difficult to give ‘more information’ it is harder for surgeons and patients to achieve a decision partnership.

The ICONS workshop content has been informed by internationally recognised experts in Shared Decision Making, by consensus among senior practising surgeons, by patients and by professional experts in risk management and risk communication.

Delegates on the ICONS workshops will acquire skills and knowledge to implement best practice in sharing the complex decisions surrounding informed consent. By participating in a workshop, they will also contribute to the development of resources for future training in the important area of informed consent.

This course demonstrates our commitment to the global health priority of patient safety and why we support the World Health Organisation’s World Patient Safety Day.


All grades of trainees; SAS / LED / Trust Doctors; Consultants. Non FRCS surgeons – Ophthalmologists; Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Surgical Care Practitioners (SCP)


Course Format

Focussed topic introductory talks. Small group facilitated discussion tutorials based on review of exemplar videos of consent and other patient doctor communication scenarios.

Course Objectives

The objectives of the course include:

  • Learn the potential catastrophic and costly consequences of failure adequately to share important surgical decisions
  • Recognise the importance of discussion treatment options rather than risks
  • Understand key features of the case Montgomery v LHB 2015
  • Appreciate the legal view of Shared Decision Making
  • Identify key elements of a Shared Decision Making consultation
  • Understand how to deliver treatment recommendations
  • Gain new consultation skills
  • Identify and apply effective ways of risk communication
  • Appreciate the role of decision support tools before, during and after the clinical encounter
  • Understand the added value of writing letters directly to patients

This brand new initiative also offers a unique preparation to train others in decision sharing. The workshop will help you to identify what forms of decision aid might work best for you in your areas of particular interest in the future and will prepare you to help others in your team understand the challenges of decision sharing.

Learning Outcomes

Having attended the ICONS workshop you will be able to:

  • Understand the practical importance of the Montgomery decision
  • Identify the key elements of a Shared Decision-Making consultation
  • Discuss options including surgery – elective and emergency
  • Employ efficient methods of eliciting patient needs, preferences, and values in a busy clinic
  • Understand the added value of patient activation before options are discussed, and decision distribution thereafter
  • Develop skills for well-balanced, meaningful surgeon patient interactions
  • Communicate risk to patients in a more realistic way
  • Appreciate the role of recommendation
  • Substitute the limitations of the consent form with alternative records of the shared decision-making process


Course Fee: £180.00

RCSEd Member/Fellow Fee: £162.00

Allied Professional Fee: £120.00

RCSEd Affiliate Fee: £120.00

Course Director

Prof Janet Wilson, ENT Surgeon, Newcastle upon Tyne, Council Member RCSEd

Location Specific Details

Birmingham - RCSEd

Date to be confirmed. For further information, please contact


To book a place on the course being held in Chorley, please contact:

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I contact the Education Section?

The Education Section is open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.  If you wish to contact a member of the team please see contact details below:

Education mailbox:

Phone number:  0131 527 1600

Will I receive CPD?

All RCSEd educational activity is awarded CPD hours. Please see individual course for specific award.

Will I receive a Certificate?

Yes, RCSEd Certificates of Attendance are awarded for all educational courses and are handed out at the end of the course (however, please note that where an event has a PASS or FAIL this will be posted to you after the event). 

What is RCSEd’s course cancellation policy?
  1. What happens if RCSEd cancels a course I am booked on?
  2. On occasion, RCSEd may need to cancel a course, for example if we are affected by an event out with our control or if it is not financially viable for us to deliver the course. If we do need to cancel, we will let you know as soon as possible and provide you with a full refund of course fees paid.

RCSEd shall incur no further liability (eg. travel or accommodation costs). You may wish to consider taking out appropriate travel insurance for any non-refundable costs you may incur when arranging to attend the course.

  1. What happens if I need to cancel my place on a course I am booked?
  2. If you cancel your place more than four weeks before the event date, you will incur an administration fee of 10% (or £50, whichever is greater) of the total course fee. NB: For course fees £250 and under, the cancellation fee is £30)

If you cancel your place less than four weeks before the course date, once the course has started, or you do not notify us, the total course fee will be charged, and no refund will be given.

Please also note that you cannot transfer your place on a Course to someone else.  This is because many of our courses have a waiting list, and we have an obligation to honour this.

  1. Can I cancel a course booking online?
  2. NO, cancellations must be made directly with the education team by email (
  3. Can I transfer to another date for the same course?
  4. YES, you can transfer to another date by contacting the Education section directly ( Please note that you can transfer only once and transfers can only be made if more than 4 weeks prior to the start of the course, without incurring additional costs.  Should you cancel again, no refund shall be given.

Should you have any further questions, the Education Team can be contacted on 0131 527 1600 or by email to

How do I book a place on an RCSEd course?

You can book a place for all our courses by visiting the RCSEd website, and selecting the course you wish to book.  Please note that you will need to register with the website in order to book.

For some regional and international courses you will need to book directly with the centre.  Please check individual courses for details.

You can also contact the Education Section by phone to book (0131 527 1600).

What payment methods do RCSEd accept?

Visa and MasterCard are accepted on the RCSEd website and over the phone to the education team.

All course bookings will receive a booking confirmation email:  this email acts as your receipt.

Request an Invoice:  If your course fees will be paid by a third party (eg trust, hospital, charitable fund) and they wish to be invoiced then they must provide us with an official purchase order.  We are unable to process applications without this.

The purchase order should be submitted with the application form and can be emailed to  Please note that we can only invoice organisations and not individuals.  Please check with your hospital or trust, as some may require you to pay yourself and then claim the money back.

Do I receive a discount if I am a Member of RCSEd?

A 10% discount is applied to all educational courses and events organised directly through RCSEd, for Members, Fellows, Associates and Affiliates.

Are you able to help me with my VISA application?

YES, RCSEd can provide you with a Visa support letter confirming the course details and fees paid by you.  This is only possible once you have booked your place on a course and RCSEd have received the full course fee.

If a course is fully booked what can I do? Is there a waiting list?

If a course appears full and you wish to be placed on a waiting list then please contact the education team directly by email or phone 0131 527 1600.

Do you provide lunch or refreshments?

YES, for all educational courses, refreshments are served throughout the day and lunch is provided if the duration is one day or more.

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Get in touch

If you have any questions about this course, please contact us and a member of our Education team will be happy to help you.

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
Education Section

Phone: +44 (0)131 527 1600
Fax: +44 (0)131 557 6406