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The RCP’s six-step course for the new consultant

RCP Education developed a programme evidenced by post CCT surveys, using our first hand experience of best leadership practice and working with doctors to design it for you. This year long programme  explores the role of a new consultant to successfully maximise the opportunities presented by your new role.

The programme is part of RCP Education's Clinicians as Leaders theme and fits a need for a practical year long programme with lots of group work and networking aimed at those stepping into a consultant role, including post CESR SAS doctors, “helping you to just do it”.

The need for this programme was evidenced in the regular post CCT survey showing only 25% of new consultants had access to a trust delivered development programme and only 64% had a job planning meeting before they began their consultant post.

“It would be nice to be in touch with other consultants. I felt overwhelmed and unsupported when I started, literally 'thrown in at the deep end' in a new region and new unit, a slightly gentler introduction would have been welcomed.”

This programme has been designed by a team including senior clinicians and those who are new consultants and includes patient representation. The programme consists of six contact days which will explore the themes below, with wellbeing woven through the days.


  • Day one: Developing yourself and your role – “Things you need to know when you first start” London: 8 November 2023, Liverpool: 16 November 2023 (Face-to-face teaching day)
  • Day two: Managing others and culture – “Leadership, culture and teamwork” 18 January 2024 (Online teaching day) 
  • Day three: Working within the legal structures of your role – “Conquering Complaints” London: 5 March 2024, Liverpool: 19 March 2024 (Face-to-face teaching day)
  • Day four: The NHS, improvement and efficiency – “Mastering management” 17 May 2024 (Online teaching day)
  • Day five: Recognising team culture – “Equality, inclusivity and understanding difference” London: 3 July 2024, Liverpool: 15 July 2024 (Face-to-face teaching day)
  • Day six: Onward into the future including the future of medicine – “Onward journey” London:12 September 2024, Liverpool: 25 September 2024 (Face-to-face teaching day) 

The contact days will be a combination of face to face and virtual to help busy Trusts and consultants make best use of time. Ensuring it is possible for anyone to do this programme successfully.

Teaching days will be interactive allowing learners to work together and explore specific areas important to the role. Supportive resources and reading lists will be supplied through the RCP Medical Education Resource Centre throughout the programme.

Find out more about the programme and its benefits in the video below:


Learners who attend all six teaching days are eligible to complete the accreditation associated with this programme. The accreditation will match a project you are currently involved with at your trust, to the skills learnt on one of the areas studied on the programme. Time will be given in the programme for looking at Trust based projects and how they can be supported with the tools you are learning.

There is the opportunity to get accreditation for this programme by completion of a study matching a project you are involved in your Trust. To the different areas studied in the programme and looking at how you have used the skills to help you in the project.

Quality improvement case study

AstraZeneca has provided funding to support the development of the Quality Improvement (QI) case studies component of Royal College of Physicians’ (RCP) New Consultants Leadership programme; and to allow the RCP to offer the New Consultant Leadership programme at a reduced cost for those that undertake a Quality Improvement case study. Learners will preferably provide someone in their own Trust who will support their project and if they cannot RCP may be able to help.

In order to be eligible to undertake the new consultants leadership programme at the reduced cost, participants will be expected to: 

(1) Agree to deliver their Quality Improvement work in the specified timescale.
(2) Align their Quality Improvement work to AstraZeneca’s six Medical Missions (as outlined in the downloadable information leaflet below) within the specialties of respiratory, nephrology and cardiology.
(3) Present their completed Quality Improvement programme case study either as an oral or poster presentation to AstraZeneca and RCP (AstraZeneca and RCP may choose to disseminate this work wider across the NHS with your prior agreement).
AstraZeneca has provided funding towards the development of this 6-step Quality Improvement Programme (QIP) for new consultants, aligned to AstraZeneca Medical Missions for healthcare practice change. Other than providing a digital leave piece for the QIP as well as communicating the existence the QIP and its purpose to new consultants, AstraZeneca, has no additional involvement in or influence over its design or specification, candidate selection, or written and published materials pertaining to the programme.
If you would like to be considered for a sponsored QI case study place, please complete the application form, selecting your preferences. You will also need to provide a 300 word personal statement. When applying, you will still have the opportunity to take place in the programme as a self-funded delegate, if you are not selected for sponsorship.
Find out more about AstraZeneca’s six Medical Missions that should be aligned to your Quality Improvement work here:

RCP will award places via a combined screening and lottery system used for selection.

Application information

The programme is aimed at those stepping into a consultant role, including post CESR SAS doctors.

The cost for the year long programme (for consultants not taking part in the AstraZeneca sponsored QI work) is £2,000 (£1,800 with our 10% member discount) which can be split over two financial years and we are encouraging use of study budgets and Trust top ups to fund this.

We are suggesting you ask your Medical Director or trust to support this programme. We are happy to contact them and discuss how this might be possible, contact us at education.courses@rcp.ac.uk.

Applications for the 2023 cohort are now closed. Applications for the Autumn 2024 cohort will open in Spring 2024, register your interest on the form below to be updated when applications open.