Visit COVID-19 resources

[Skip to Content]

Consultation on proposed OST Curriculum

20 April 2021

All Royal Colleges and Faculties have been requested to rewrite their specialist curriculum by the GMC to include the Generic Professional Capabilities (GPC) Framework and meet the GMC standards of curricular design. This represents a move from multiple learning outcomes, used to describe each constituent part of a capability, to overarching learning outcomes that describe the capability itself.

The Curriculum Sub-committee believes that the proposed new OST Curriculum will accelerate progression to consultant posts and ensure national standardisation of high level special interest area training.

Background to the new curriculum

We wrote to trainees in 2019 to let you know about changes to the OST Curriculum in the coming years, and the rationale for these changes.

In 2020, the pandemic crisis left the Curriculum Sub-committee with little choice but to ask the GMC for some leeway with our submission date, which was granted.  This has resulted in the decision to postpone the full implementation of the new curriculum to August 2023, a year later than initially announced.

The proposed OST Curriculum has been developed by the Curriculum Sub-committee with input from specialist societies and an educationalist.  Committee representation includes ophthalmologists in training, trainers and patients. Other internal and external stakeholders have also contributed to the redevelopment work.

How trainees and trainers should prepare for changes to the curriculum

All ophthalmologists in training are strongly encouraged to acquire general competences as early as possible in their training over the next couple of years, and make plans to sit the final examinations by the end of ST5 or middle of ST6 year. This will allow a smoother transition to the new curriculum in 2023, with Level 4 special interest training in the final 18 months.

In 2022, selected groups of ST1s and ST3-4s (Early Adopters) will be asked to pilot the new OST Curriculum, supported by a new e-Portfolio, for up to one in year (partially or in full). Mock ARCPs will be set up to put the system to the test in an offline environment.

Structure of the new curriculum

Learning outcomes and descriptors in the new Curriculum will describe the ‘Levels’ ophthalmologists in training will need to evidence by the end of defined progression points:

  • end of OST2 (Level 1)
  • end of OST3 (Level 2)
  • mid-way of OST6 (Level 3)
  • at completion of training (Level 4)

All ophthalmologists will train up to Level 3 in all the clinical special interest areas (Oculoplastics and Orbit, Cornea and Ocular Surface Disease, Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Glaucoma, Uveitis, Medical Retina, Vitreoretinal Surgery, Ocular Motility, Neuro-ophthalmology, Paediatrics, Urgent Eye Care and Community Ophthalmology) and will then undertake at least two of the twelve clinical special interest areas to Level 4.

All ST1-6 ophthalmologists in training will be mandated to transfer to the new curriculum in August 2023. Trainees who are ST7s in August 2023 will be the only trainees permitted to remain on the current curriculum. ST7s training less-than-full-time (LTFT) or out of programme (OOP) at the start of that academic year will have two years to complete their training on the current curriculum and, if this is not possible, will be able to transfer to the new curriculum.

More information about the proposed OST Curriculum

Please follow the link to view the latest version of the OST Curriculum  and FAQs.


We held two webinars as part of this process on:

  1. Wednesday, 5 May 2021
  2. Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Participants had the opportunity to send their questions in advance.

Feedback Form

This online feedback form was only available during the consultation period. It was used to collect information on the opportunities and/or perceived challenges of these changes to the curriculum.

The closing date was Friday, 28 May 2021.