Introduction to Training
Paediatric Intensive Care Medicine (PICM) training is accredited by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH). It is provided as a GRID sub-speciality training programme for senior trainees. Details are available on the RCPCH website.
PICM training is overseen by the RCPCH Paediatric Intensive Care Medicine Intercollegiate Speciality Advisory Committee – commonly known as the ‘RCPCH PICM ISAC’ or ‘ISAC’.
The Paediatric Critical Care Society (PCCS) run several Masterclass training days targeted at PICM trainees, as well as providing support, education and research opportunities aimed at the entire Paediatric Critical Care community.
Training and Accreditation Process
The most common routes into PICM training are from Paediatric, Anaesthetic or Intensive Care Medicine (ICM) training backgrounds. Other training routes may be considered on an individual basis (e.g. Paediatric Emergency Medicine). PICM training consists of two years of sub-speciality training (NTN Grid) based in one or more UK Paediatric Intensive Care Units (PICUs). In addition to these two years, paediatricians must gain 6 months anaesthetic experience and non-paediatric trainees must gain 6 months paediatric or neonatal experience.
Training Post Locations
The selection of PICM GRID training rotations changes from year to year depending on local and national factors. Recent training programmes can be seen on the RCPCH website (2023 list).
Paediatric (RCPCH) Trainees
Paediatric trainees can only become accredited as a paediatric intensivist by gaining a national GRID post. In 2022/3, you must apply for this during your ST5 or ST6 years. From 2023/4 onwards, applications will be from ST4.
A full description of how to apply for RCPCH PICM sub-speciality (national training grid programme) can be found on the RCPCH website.
Anaesthesia (RCOA) Trainees
The route for trainees from an Anaesthetic background was previously detailed on the Royal College of Anaesthesia (RCoA) website. Anaesthesia trainees must also apply for a PICM GRID post via the RCPCH application pathway. Applicants must hold an anaesthesia National Training Number, have completed the FRCA Final examinations and can only start a GRID training post after completing ST5. The GRID programme is undertaken as a two-year OOPE from anaesthesia training, and applicants should have support from their training programme director with this before applying. RCoA trainees will currently receive a single-speciality Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in anaesthesia, with an additional certification from the PICM ISAC to recognise the completion of PICM training.
To undertake GRID training and achieve a CCT in Anaesthesia requires approval of a bespoke training programme and approval from the RCoA. It will require an extension to a trainee’s predicted CCT date. A number of trainees have taken this route, and this should not discourage anaesthetic trainees from pursuing a career in PICM.
There is excellent information for FICM trainees wishing to explore a career in paediatric intensive care medicine on the FICM website.
Doctors with equivalent experience can apply for UK recognition of training via the General Medical Council’s Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) pathway – contact the CSAC team for advice on this pathway.
Current Trainees – Assessment
Details on PICM GRID curriculum and assessment can be found on the RCPCH website. Briefly, assessment comprises of supervisor reports, workplace-based assessments, and completion of 10 Extended Case Summaries.
Extended Case Summaries
More information about Extended Case Summaries can be found in this document. Trainees are encouraged to discuss these summaries with more senior trainees and their Educational Supervisor. They are intended to act as part of the ongoing assessment for progress and require time for planning, writing, and where necessary, making revisions. The topics of Extended Case Summaries are left to the discretion of trainees but should cover a spread of the PICM curriculum.
A peer-written ‘survival guide’ to the PICM GRID programme is available here.
PICU GRID trainees are represented on the RCPCH PICM ISAC and at PCCS by three trainee representatives. They are a good first port of call for advice and information. The trainee group coordinate a WhatsApp Group, Trello board and email update list. Please contact the trainee reps to gain access to these resources (contact details via the RCPCH ISAC page).
The ISAC committee is made up of a group of motivated and approachable PICM Consultants. They are keen to be contacted for advice or if concerns arise.
Last updated December 2022 by Ged Manning – PCCS Trainee Rep