Non-Technical Skills for Surgeons (NOTSS)

Key Facts

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Non-Technical Skills for Surgeons (NOTSS)

Technical skills alone are insufficient to ensure optimal outcomes following surgery. The Non-Technical Skills for Surgeons (NOTSS) Masterclass provides participants with a broad knowledge and practical experience of the non-technical skills that have been demonstrated to be essential for safe patient care. These include the cognitive and interpersonal aspects of operative surgery that are critical for optimising individual and team performance in surgery. 


Consultants and senior trainees in all surgical specialties.

Relevant Grades: ST7, ST8, SAS, Consultant

Course Format

Participants are sent reading material prior to attending the course. The course gives participants practical experience of observing and rating non-technical behaviours. The format is centered on small group work and the use of simulated scenarios from the operating theatre and other industries.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this masterclass, participants should be able to:

  • Discuss the underlying principles of non-technical skills which contribute to safe surgical care.
  • Differentiate between four major categories of non-technical skills: Situation Awareness, Decision Making, Team Communication, and Leadership.
  • Identify and assess surgical non-technical skills in a series of operative video simulations using the NOTSS taxonomy.


Costs for this course vary depending on the location. Contact details for each centre are below.

Course Director

Mr Richard Skipworth and Professor Steven Yule

Location Specific Details


To book a place on this course please contact:  Please note, this course is only available to higher surgical trainees in the West Midlands.


To book a place on this course please contact:



Course Fee: £215.00

RCSEd Member/Fellow: £194.00



To book a place on this course please contact:


London (Guys and St Thomas Hospital)

To book a place on this course please contact:


To book a place on this course please contact:


To book a place on this course please contact:

Great Yarmouth

To book a place on this course please contact:

Darent Valley Hospital

To book a place on this course please


To book a place on this course please contact:


To book a place on this course please contact:

Kuala Lumpur

To book a place on this course please contact: 

South Africa

To book a place on this course please contact:


Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any pre-course materials for this course?

Yes there are pre-course materials available for this course and you will be sent them by email three to four weeks prior to the course.

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.

Associated Documents

    This is a completely new and revised NOTSS Masterclass, launched in 2024 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of NOTSS. The course contains up to date behavioural science research findings on performance in the operating room, new video scenarios, and brand new section titled ‘Managing your cognitive load’.

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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
Ashley McEwen or Claire Falconer

Phone: +44 (0)131 668 9237
Fax: +44 (0)131 557 6406