The aim of core surgical training is to give aspiring surgeons the opportunity to acquire and develop the knowledge, skills, judgement and professional behaviours required to enter Higher Surgical Training in their chosen specialty. Core Surgical Training is undertaken in all of the Peninsula hospitals. The Peninsula School of Surgery is responsible for the organisation and delivery of training and assessment, under the auspices of Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education.

The new 2021 curriculum is outcome-based training. However, it will normally be completed in an indicative time of two years. Each two years rotation is usually split into four six-month placements and will contain a combination of specialties from the following list: Vascular Surgery, General Surgery, Plastic Surgery, ENT, Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, Urology, Neurosurgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery. On joining a rotation, trainees are required to register with the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Program (ISCP), this will be used to monitor and assess training and development over the ensuing two years. Each trainee is allocated an Educational Supervisor who will oversee this process.

The School of Surgery offers core surgical training at the following hospitals:

  1. Derriford Hospital, Plymouth
  2. Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro
  3. Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Exeter
  4. Torbay Hospital, Torquay
  5. North Devon District Hospital, Barnstaple

Education (as is usual in surgery) is mainly ‘hands on’ however more formal, theoretical education will be arranged allowing trainees to study away from the busy clinical environment, preparing for examinations and developing skills to be used in clinical practice. These training sessions will be compulsory and each hospital is expected to make core surgical trainees available at the appropriate times during the two year training program. Information on the Core Surgery Regional Training Days can be found here.

The aim of the Core Surgical Training Programme is to prepare young surgeons for entry into higher surgical training. By the end of the two years we therefore expect trainees to have passed the MRCS examination ( ,, to have demonstrated competence in basic surgical procedures appropriate to their intended career and to have shown good progress in professional development in areas such as audit and research.

Our rotations are themed in general areas such as General /Vascular /Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery for those wanting more broad based training or more specific areas such as Plastic Surgery or ENT.

Overseeing Core Surgical Training in each Hospital is a Royal College of Surgeons College Tutor. They will be responsible for allocating your Educational Supervisor. 

For assessment requirements, please see the New Curriculum.

Please see the School Structure page for Head of School, Training Programme Director, College Tutor and School Management contact details.