2017 survey of medical certificate of completion of training (CCT) holders’ career progression

This is the ninth survey reporting the experiences of, and outcomes for, CCT holders within 1 year of gaining their CCT. It covers physicians who gained their training in 2016 in all 30 medical specialties in the UK.

Key recommendations

  • The RCP will:
    • investigate why CCT holders who describe themselves as being of white British ethnicity appear to apply for fewer posts, but are more likely to be shortlisted and be offered a post
    • continue to ensure all RCP representatives on advisory appointment committees receive equality and diversity training.
  • Mentoring should be offered to all newly appointed consultants; RCP representatives on advisory appointment committees should take the opportunity to encourage this practice.
  • Senior trainees should have the opportunity to undertake post-take ward rounds with the supervising consultant present to provide feedback.
  • All healthcare providers should take steps to improve GIM training experiences.

This unique survey is a collaboration between the RCP’s Medical Workforce Unit and the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board (JRCPTB) and has monitored changing outcomes for CCT holders since 2009.


  • 67% of the class of 2016 certificate of completion of training holders had gained a substantive post by August the following year, which is a significant improvement on recent years and is likely to reflect consultant shortages in many specialties.
  • 18% of trainees reported difficulty in transitioning from trainee to consultant. This was associated with younger consultants, a white ethnic background, certain specialties (geriatrics, haematology, palliative medicine), the quality of training, and regrets about choosing to train in their specialty.
  • 56% of CCT holders who were in a substantive post were offered mentoring. An encouraging 75% of those took it up and an impressive 92% found it helpful. Mentoring should clearly be made available to all newly appointed consultants.
  • 59% of CCT holders who trained in general internal medicine (GIM) reported ‘acting up’ during their training to undertake a post-take ward round (with their consultant simply watching to give feedback). 99.7% recommended it to other trainees. This opportunity should be made available to all trainees in general internal medicine.
  • 93% of CCT holders reported that they would train in their specialty if they had the chance to undertake their training period again. Worryingly, only 53% reported that they would train in GIM again.

Contact details and CCT dates for trainees in all 30 medical specialties were obtained from the JRCPTB.