The framework, available in RACS’ Surgical Competence and Performance Guide, reflects the standards we hold as a profession and our commitment to the community to deliver high quality patient centred surgical care. Comprising 10 competencies, the framework forms the foundation of the assessment and development of surgeons across all areas of surgical practice.  

The new RACS Professional Skills Curriculum will be aligned with eight out of the 10 competencies. 

  • Communication 
  • Collaboration and teamwork 
  • Cultural competence and cultural safety 
  • Education and teaching 
  • Health advocacy 
  • Judgement and clinical decision making 
  • Leadership and management
  • Professionalism 

Medical and technical expertise are specific to each surgical specialty.  This curriculum is planned to complement the existing curricula offered by our specialty boards. 

The curriculum is being created to provide surgical Trainees, Specialist International Medical Graduates (SIMGs) and supervisors with consistent and standardised expectations of surgical education and training. We are working closely with and gathering feedback from a working group comprising surgeons from nine specialities. 

What will the RACS Professional Skills Curriculum do to enhance surgical education? 

The new curriculum will support Trainees and Specialist International Medical Graduates (SIMGs) as they learn and demonstrate professional skills deemed essential by the College. The curriculum will give Trainees and SIMGs clarity on how they develop their professional identity while highlighting what they are assessed on and the standards of performance they need to achieve within each competency. Importantly, we hope having a curriculum to refer to will increase the graduates’ confidence when they become Fellows and supervisors themselves and operate within the clinical setting. 

Similarly, we intend the curriculum to provide Fellows, as surgical supervisors, with a guide that will help them to efficiently and effectively supervise and assess Trainees and SIMGs as they undertake clinical activities. Supervisors will have clear statements of learning outcomes that must be demonstrated by Trainees and SIMGs at identified stages of their training. 

We envisage the curriculum as being part of an ongoing cycle of quality improvement in surgical education and training. It will be integrated with existing skills courses and will complement the medical and technical curricula components offered by our specialty societies. 

The curriculum presents a three-stage program to provide both supervisors and Trainees a clear pathway to track areas for development during the Surgical and Education Training (SET) program. The College will actively engage Fellows to develop the curriculum, by meeting regularly with Specialty Training Boards (both Fellows and training managers). We will take feedback and instructions on how well the competencies have been addressed.  

We look forward to sharing more information about the curriculum with you soon.