Enhancing the Surgical Trainer's Non-Technical Skills

7th March 2023, 19:00 to 20:00 GMT


Whilst the educational contract employed in surgical training is a bilateral process, emphasis is placed on the evaluation of the trainee performance and the outcome of training is assumed to be a measure of the trainee’s ability. Less monitoring and scrutiny is applied to the trainers contribution and a tacit assumption made that the quality of training provided is equitable across deanery’s and regions. This webinar explores ways to rate and enhance the training skills of consultants and draws upon the design and language used in the taxonomy of non-technical skills for surgeons.


Thus webinar aims to evaluate the contribution that non-technical skills make to the ability and performance of surgical trainers and review the categories employed in the NOTSS tool and discuss whether these might be applicable to formative assessment during surgical training.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this webinar, attendees should be provided with a point of reference and context to promote reflection on their training skills.

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Our panellists include:

Prof. George Youngson CBE - Emeritus Prof. of  Paediatric Surgery, University of Aberdeen. Professor George Youngson was a Consultant Paediatric Surgeon at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital from 1984 until 2010. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Paediatric Surgery at the University of Aberdeen. Having previously been involved in  a number of roles at  the College including Regional Adviser, Director of Standards, Council Member and Vice President, he was a part of the Patient Safety Board at its inception and has been close to the development and subsequent roll out of the NOTSS programme from its outset. Apart from his interest in surgical education, he was involved in managing children’s cancer services in Scotland and in the configuration of children’s surgical services.

Mr Simon Paterson Brown - Convenor of NoTSS Courses RCSEd. Simon was a Consultant General Surgeon in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, UK, between January 1994 and March 2021. His main sub-specialty interest was upper GI surgery with a particular interest in the management of patients with benign and malignant oesophago-gastric disorders and benign biliary disease. He also had an additional interest in emergency surgery and trauma as well as the re-structuring of surgical services. He has also worked over the last few years in remote and rural hospitals in Scotland carrying out emergency surgery, endoscopy and clinics. He continues to be involved in teaching post-graduate students at Edinburgh University as an Honorary Senior Lecturer, in addition to running training courses for surgeons and surgical teams for the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He is the co-editor of the Companion to Surgical Practice series (now in its 6th edition) and the Year One programme director for the Edinburgh Surgery Online MSc course in Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors.

Prof Steve Yule - Chair of Behavioural Sciences, University of Edinburgh and Director of Non-Technical Skills, RCSEd. Professor Steven Yule is Chair of Behavioural Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, Director of Non-Technical Skills at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and leads the Edinburgh Surgical Sabermetrics Research Group. He is an academic psychologist and human factors scientist with 20 years’ experience studying team performance and non-technical skills in high risk/ high reliability industries (surgery, healthcare, energy, transportation, space exploration). Prof Yule is internationally recognized for his work in non-technical skills, patient safety, and surgical team simulation. His interests are in developing automated assessments of technical and non-technical skills in surgery, video for performance enhancement, coaching, global surgery, and medical care in long duration spaceflight. Current funding includes grants from National Institutes for Health (NIH), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd), Melville Trust, and Canadian Department of National Defence. Prof. Yule recently returned to Scotland after a decade in Boston USA, where he served as Director of Research and Innovation at the STRATUS Center for Medical Simulation at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School.

Miss Emily Baird - Emily Baird has been a Paediatric Orthopaedic Consultant at The Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh since 2015. She trained in both the South-East and West of Scotland, and underwent Fellowship training in Edinburgh and Toronto, Canada. During her training she was involved in the British Orthopaedic Trainees’ Association, culminating in Presidency. Children’s orthopaedic surgery brings huge variety but as well as enjoying the generality of the specialty, Emily has a particular interest in trauma, and conditions of the immature hip and foot, and how children with developmental dysplasia of the hip and congenital talipes equinovarus are looked after by the MDT.  Emily is an Educational Supervisor and Clinical Supervisor to a range of Doctors in Training, leads the Educational Programme for T&O in SE Scotland and is an Examiner for FRCS. She is the Undergraduate Lead for the hospital and is keen to widen access to medicine as a career, and support students choosing to specialise in surgery though mentorship, and diversity and inclusion projects.


Miss Anne Ewing - Anne is an ST8 trainee in General and Upper GI Surgery in South East Scotland, based in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Throughout training she has worked in the South East, East & Northern Deaneries in Scotland. Anne has a wide range of surgical interests, including both benign & malignant UGI, bariatric surgery, and abdominal wall reconstruction. Her other non-clinical interests are in team working and teaching. This has lead to the development of a structured training programme for surgical nurse practitioners, working alongside other specialties such as ITU & Radiology. She also constructed teaching programmes for trainees during Covid & has coordinated regional trainee teaching. She has always been interested in the teaching & application of non-technical skills, and has been a NOTSS Faculty member since 2021.


1 Hour

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A recording of the webinar will be made available on this page in the days following the live broadcast.

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