The College Of Anaesthetists

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Training in Anaesthesia


Specialist training in Anaesthesia, including Intensive Care and Pain Medicine, is a minimum six year programme. The six years of anaesthesia training is based in hospitals accredited by the College. Training is structured to maximise opportunities for learning and to provide a broad range of experience in different types of hospitals and of different sub-specialties in anaesthesia. 


Training comprises a combination of practical experience, clinical learning, theoretical learning, learning in non-clinical areas, individual study and mandatory elements including simulation courses.  Training will be subject to close supervision and trainees will be subject to assessment and formal examination throughout their training and are expected to record their clinical practice through the CAI Logbook and their academic activities through the CAI PCS recording system. Progression through the six year programme will depend upon achieving certain milestones, and competencies, and these will be reviewed through formal CAI interviews arranged by the Directors of Post Graduate Training. Completion of training will be subject to a formal review which will lead to the granting of a Certificate of Specialist Training (‘CST’).



Specialist Anaesthesia Training (‘SAT’), including Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Medicine, comprises a six year programme of training, assessment, formal examination and accreditation, organised and regulated by the CAI.   This is generally structured as two years of basic training (SAT 1 & 2), three years of sub-specialty training (SAT 3, 4, 5), and one year of advanced training (SAT 6). 


The aims of the National Training Programme are 

·         To produce Anaesthetists with adequate expertise for independent specialist practice in a broad range of clinical areas to fill the available Consultant posts throughout the country.

·         To optimise training by exposure to a broad and complex caseload. This should occur in Departments where high quality clinical care is provided with an emphasis on training rather than purely service provision.

·         To expose trainees to a variety of types of hospitals nationally.

·         To ensure exposure to core sub-specialties in Anaesthesia

·         To support service provision and in doing so provide the clinical experience necessary to allow trainees acquire the skill set to perform as experts in anaesthesia at completion of training.


All full-time anaesthesia training posts in Ireland are specifically numbered, accredited by CAI and funded by the HSE.


Coordination of Anaesthesia rotations:

The day to day running of the rotations is undertaken by the Training Department under the aegis of the Directors of Postgraduate Training and the Training Committee. Staff in the Training Department are available for discussion of issues which arise either with trainees or with hospitals. The rotations are designed to allow achievement of all competencies over the six years of the programme. A template which outlines indicative rotations can be viewed below:


Guidelines for swapping rotations communicated in Jan 2018

· Trainees can only swap with trainees in the same year of training

· The College needs notice of a potential swap 9 months in advance of the start date, so by 31st March for a January swap and by 30th September for a July swap

· All swaps have to be notified in writing to the Training Officer with the reason for the request clearly outlined and approved at the subsequent Training Committee meeting

· It needs to be clear whether the swap is for that six months or the complete rotation and neither party can create a situation where a key component of the rotation is compromised e.g. missing a module necessary for CST or experience in a smaller hospital (minimum 6 months) or to avoid the general rule that all trainees need to experience anaesthesia training in at least two geographical regions in a national 6-year training scheme

In relation to the January 2019 rotations, cut-off date for swaps for January 2019 has been extended to 31st May 2018.


Further details on anaesthesia training can be found in our training regulations attached.

Feb 2018: Please note that these Regulations are currently under review with changes required to some sections as a result of enhancements to the Training Programme