Education and training

Entry to 4 years of clinical genetics training at StR grade is at ST3 level after core medical training. The MRCP or MRCPCH diploma must be attained prior to entry. Up to 12 months of training spent in pre-agreed research, such as a PhD, may be recognised. Training posts are based in regional genetics centres. Most training programmes involve rotation through different subspecialties and acquire competency in normal genetics and basic sciences, common genetic referrals, neurogenetics, paediatric genetics and dysmorphology, cancer genetics, prenatal genetics, cardiac genetics, laboratory genetics, ethical and legal issues and population genetics.

From 2012, trainees have been required to take a Specialty Certificate Examination, a Diploma of the Royal College of Pathologists.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) has produced a cost of training document setting out the mandatory costs of training involved in college enrolment fees, examination costs and GMC fees. Published in October 2017, it has been compiled to help pre-specialty doctors make fully informed career selections, with a clear understanding of the mandatory costs of their future training pathway. 

Continuing professional development

Due to the specialised nature of clinical genetics, most continuing professional development (CPD) is offered regionally and nationally. Consultants are expected to take part in regular case-based discussion locally and to access local specialty-specific CPD events relevant to their area of specialism. Consultants are expected to maintain their CPD in line with RCP guidelines. The following are available to attend:

  • multicentre regional meetings for audit and training, eg thrice-yearly South West of Britain group involving 6 regional genetic centres
  • annual national conferences: Clinical Genetics Society, British Society of Genomic Medicine, Cancer Genetics Group, Association of Inherited Cardiac Conditions, Skeletal Dysplasia Group
  • regional, supra regional and national dysmorphology meetings, eg M62, PanThames, South West
  • annual specialty-specific study days with other specialties, eg Neurogenetics and Genethics Club
  • since 2015, overseen by Health Education England, a programme of genomics education for all healthcare professionals including an MSc in Genomic Medicine.