SSSC Core Surgical Training

Courses are only the tip of the iceberg, or in the SSSC strategy, the pyramid:

Monthly Teaching Programme

The amount of simulation in the monthly teaching programmes is set to gradually increase, and this will be a work in progress over the coming year or two.

The RCSEd and RCPSG will provide evening webinars, so that the theoretical sessions can be largely covered in these. Obviously webinars are much easier to attend than days away, and they should free up time on the teaching days for more hands on work. These can occur in whichever of the many skills centres are suited to the subject matter.

We hope to have the east and west teaching programmes co-ordinated, so that if a trainee misses a session in one region they can migrate across to the other to attend on another day.


Incentivised Laparoscopy Practice (ILPS)

Laparoscopy lends itself to this approach. There are currently trainees learning the basic motor skills in the operating theatre, rather than moving on to learn higher skills, when in fact the technology exists to pre-train these skills away from the patient.

As a pilot, all of CT1/CT2 trainees in Scotland, at the start of general surgery posts, were given a take-home laparoscopic simulator kit (EO Sim) to plug into their laptop, PC or Mac. The groups will then crossover so everyone has the experience. Tasks will be set and target competences to be achieved by practice, as assessed by metric scores logged online, and by objective assessment of videos uploaded.

Uniquely, the practice will be incentivised: on attainment of the target competences, trainees should ask their trainer for progression in the real theatre from camera-holding to training in operative tasks. Trainers will be able to verify online that trainees have achieved their targets.



Scottish Core Surgical Boot Camp

This is the recommended introductory course for Core Surgical Training in Scotland. It is an intensive four-day course in the Inverness Clinical Skills Centre, run three times in the autumn, which teaches essential skills for the new CT1 using simulation-rich methods. These include non-technical skills such as how to run a ward round, communication skills, etc, and technical skills in the wet lab. Early in the course there is an introduction to the Non-Technical Skills for Surgeons taxonomy. Midway through there is a half day in the outdoors.

For further details on this course click here.

Care of the Critically ill surgical Patient (CCrISP)

This remains recommended and required at ST3 application, though we may bring its content into the in-house teaching programme in time.

To book a place on one of these courses click here.


During CT2, we recommend BaSiCS, a  two-day course in the Clinical Anatomy Skills Centre in Glasgow using cadavers. It puts together component skills learned during the teaching days, into whole procedures common in General Surgery and matched to the curriculum for transition from CT2 to ST3.

These courses are highly recommended. They cannot yet be mandated, simply because the cost will exceed your current annual study leave budget, and that is a subject on which the Collaborative will be campaigning on your behalf.To book a place on this course please visit the RCSPG website.


Chair: Alan Kirk
RCSEd lead: Mr David Smith
RCPSG lead: Mr Graham MacKay
Core Surgery TPDs: Mr Andrew Renwick (West), Mr Satheesh Yalamarthi (East)
Simulation Fellow ILP Project: Ms Laura Nicol

For further information about the Scottish Surgical Simulation Collaborative (SSSC) please email Secretariat, Amanda Hamilton at

back to top of page