Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS) Programme

The ACCS Programme is a 2 year programme, followed by a third year in one of the following three specialities:

  • Anaesthesia (An)
  • Emergency Medicine (EM)
  • General (Internal) Medicine (Acute) (AM)

A trainee applies to ACCS with one of the three specialities as their named future specialist area.

The programme is organised by the ACCS STC and includes training in the three specialities. Anaesthesia includes either 6 or 3 months Intensive Care Medicine (ICM) – a minimum of 3 months in both Anaesthetics and ICM is a requirement. AM trainees are generally allocated to hospitals with 6 months ICM.

Following the 2 year common programme, ACCS trainees enter a third year of training in the named speciality which is under the supervision of the appropriate School. Entry into Anaesthetics CT2 is automatic for ACCS(A) trainees.

Continuing with Higher Specialist Training in the anaesthetics will require a further competitive application/interview process.

Swapping specialities is possible, although a competitive interview will be required.

Training and assessments are identical for all ACCS trainees during the two year programme, regardless of their intended future speciality.

Advantages of the ACCS Programme:

  • For future Intensivists; this is one of the ways to gain the 6 months Acute Medical experience required for Intensive Care Training, although you still have to apply for dual accreditation. . In the future, this is likely to become the main route to Intensive Care Speciality Training if it becomes a separate speciality.
  • For future Acute Medicine Specialists; this route is likely to offer a competitive edge over individuals entering Acute Medicine via Core Medical Training due to the wide acute care experience. it

ACCS Registration:

On commencing your ACCS Training all trainees need to register with the appropriate speciality for recognition of training. Upon registration, you will be issued with a training number.

Those looking to apply for dual accreditation in the future should read about Intensive Care accreditation/diploma. The Preliminary ICM paperwork should be completed during the 3-6months ICM block. The Intensive Care Portfolio should also be completed for recognition of training although ICM only counts 3 months of Basic level training towards the dual accreditation programme.

ACCS Assessments:

At the start of ACCS training, the Deanery sends all ACCS trainees a welcome letter that details the course, assessments, etc.

The ACCS Manual is available on the RCoA website. Every trainee must maintain an ACCS logbook which will be reviewed at each end of year ARCP assessment.

Satisfactory completion of the ACCS programme requires all ARCPs, paper assessments and relevant ‘exit’ exams to be passed.

ACCS Exams:

Required [or recommended in the case of ACCS(An)] exams, depending on named speciality, by the end of common training are as follows:

  • For Acute Medicine – Part 1 MRCP
  • For Anaesthetics/ICM – FRCA Primary MCQ (recommended but not required for progression to Anaesthetics CT2). Primary FRCA must be completed by the end of Anaesthetics CT2 in order to be eligble to apply for competetive entry into ST3.
  • For Emergency Medicine – Part 1 MCQ

Guidance & Forms



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November 2014
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