University Programme Accreditation
Providing a quality mark for surgical education
It is essential that further opportunities are made available to surgical trainees who wish to supplement their formal training programme. We are therefore keen to support the development of Higher Education Institution (HEI) programmes which enhance the knowledge and skills underpinning evidence-based clinical practice and research in surgery.
We have established a process for the accreditation of HEI programmes in surgery and surgery related disciplines. In this, we seek to work in partnership with the providers of surgical education in HEIs to ensure the highest standards of education in surgery.
Benefits of Programme Accreditation
Having a programme accredited will demonstrate that the programme meets the standards as defined by the RCS, and that it offers a high-quality learning experience. Recognition of these factors may assist in attracting students. Accredited programmes will also receive the following benefits:
- peer review from a panel of leading surgeons;
- use of the RCS Logo on programme materials and website;
- use of the strap line ‘Accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons of England’;
- listing on RCS Website;
- listing on RCS Accreditation Portal;
- listing in RCS Bulletin;
- use of RCS participant evaluation materials.
How to apply
Our accreditation process for HEI programmes has been designed to articulate closely with the course validation and quality assurance requirements that are common to most universities. We review the programme documents and materials, and conduct a panel visit. The criteria against which proposals would be considered are in line with those for the approval of an undergraduate programme to comply with the Quality Assurance Agency's Quality Code for Higher Education.
In order to apply, a programme organiser must register with the RCS Accreditation Portal and complete an application under 'Higher Education / Degree Programmes'. The fee structure for Programme Accreditation and further information about the process can be reviewed on the RCS Accreditation Portal.
RCS Council makes the final decision on awarding accreditation. If awarded, accreditation lasts for three years. Accreditation may be accompanied by conditions to be met and/or recommendations to be considered by the applicant. The accreditation is accompanied by ongoing monitoring of educational provision.
RCS Accreditation process
Accreditation can be applied for on our Accreditation Portal, by registering for a free account and starting a new activity. Once an application has been submitted, the stages broadly follow the cycle shown below.
Step 1 - Desktop assessment
Initial desk-based review of application for accreditation, including assesment of course participant feedback.
At each step of the process, the applicant may be asked for further information, or to amend the educational activity the provide, to meet RCS education standards.
Step 2 - Panel visit
If the application is viable, a visit to the course by an RCS review panel (including one or more senior surgeons) takes place.
Step 3 - Report writing stage
A report is written by a QA team member, including input from the RCS review panel, to be presented to the Quality Assurance Operational Group (QAOG). This may include conditions and recommendations for the provider.
Step 4 - RCS Quality Assurance Operational Group meeting
The report is presented at the next QAOG meeting, which are held four times a year. Members of the QAOG discuss the application and the group makes a collective recommendation to approve or reject the application. This may include conditions and recommendations for the provider.
Step 5 - RCS Learning & Assesment Committee
The recommendation of the QAOG is presented to the L&A Committee, who make the final decision on awarding accreditation. If awarded, accreditation lasts for three years. Accreditation may be accompanied by conditions to be met or recommendations to be considered by the applicant. The accreditation is accompanied by ongoing monitoring of educational provision.
Edge Hill University MCh Master of Surgery
Accreditation period: Some pathways were initially accredited in Jul 2014. Reaccredited Jul 2018 - Jun 2021. All MCh pathways are now included in the Edge Hill postgraduate surgical education centre accreditation
Programme lead: Dr June Jones
Duration: 2-3 years part-time
Queen Mary University of London Reconstructive Microsurgery MSc
Programme lead: Simon Myers, Professsor in Academic Plastic Surgery
Duration: 2 years part-time distance learning
Queen Mary University of London Orthopaedic Trauma Science Online MSc
Queen Mary University of London Trauma Sciences (Military and Humanitarian) Online MSc
Queen Mary University of London Trauma Sciences Online MSc
University of Dundee MSc in Orthopaedic Science (distance learning)
Accreditation period: Initially accredited July 2013; reaccredited January 2020 - January 2023
Programme leads: Dr Tim Drew & Mr Arpit Jariwala
University of Dundee Orthopaedic Science MSc
Approval period: Initially accredited July 2013; reaccredited January 2020 - January 2023
Programme leads: Dr Tim Drew & Mr Arpit Jariwala
Duration: 12 months full-time
University of Dundee MCh in Orthopaedic Surgery
Programme leads: Mr Arpit Jariwala & Dr Tim Drew
Duration: 9 months
If you have any queries about HEI programme accreditation that are not covered in our standards and frequently asked questions, please contact the Quality Assurance Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7869 6236.