We will pay close attention to evidence of ongoing CPD and therefore it is vital to complete the additional activities section and to ensure that you are achieving the appropriate number of hours of CPD. This applies to both rheumatology and general medicine when you are undertaking dual accreditation. Particular emphasis is placed on attending the Eastern Region training sessions.

For GIM the requirement is 10 sessions per annum where one session is ½ day or 3.5 hours. You must attend at least 70% of the sessions over a 5-year training period i.e. a minimum of 35 sessions with maintenance of a verified attendance record.

There are currently no fixed requirements for rheumatology CPD but we would expect a similar level of attendance for regional rheumatology training days / EARS meetings. We would also suggest attendance at one national / international meeting yearly , where possible.

You should be registered with the Royal College of Physicians for online CPD and a print out meetings attended should be produced prior to your ARCP. Please do not forget to collect certificates of attendance, which can be placed in a separate section of your folder to create a learning portfolio.


We will expect to have the recommended number of completed assessments available, including DOPS/Mini CEX and 360° feedback. This is mandatory for trainees in the new run through grades but would be highly recommended for all trainees, irrespective of your start date to the rotation. In particular, a multi source feedback is very helpful for the PYA.

PYA's (Penultimate Year Assessment)

In your penultimate year we would anticipate that you will have attended a management-training course or at least booked for one, as it will be an essential requirement before CCST. Similarly you must ensure that your ALS is up-to-date, and you should consider enrolling for some form of teaching or training module.

When you attend the ARCP, the eportfolio serves as a reflection on your efforts to demonstrate you have achieved the appropriate training and education over the preceding year and therefore it is vital that you take this opportunity to prepare as thoroughly as possible rather than to wait for any deficiencies to be pointed out.

In order to assist your preparation please use the checklist guide.

  • Dr Frances Borg
  • Dr Sandeep Dahiya
Research Opportunities

For trainees considering research in Rheumatology in the East of England area there are a number of 'research active' Rheumatology Consultants and researchers allied to clinical musculoskeletal immunological disease who are willing to consider supervising a period of research. Details of those people, their research interest areas and current activities can be found here.

If you are considering a one year period of research (e.g. OOPE) or indeed studying for a formal qualification (MD or PhD) then this resource may help you make plans at an early stage. All people on this list are willing to be contacted to discuss potential projects.

For the initial steps into creating a research project, see the below Research Decision Aid, created by Dr Sudip Purkayastha, academic rheumatology trainee;

Specialty Certificate Exam

In order to complete training the Specialty Certificate Exam must be passed. This is taken once a year in June, venue is booked in advance and will often be your nearest driving theory test centre.

Unlike previous MRCP Written papers the main problem you will face when studying for this exam is the relative lack of resources. At time of writing (Aug 18) none of the big medical revision sites such as PasTest or OnExamination have any material for this exam.

The only past question resources are available from StudyPRN and RCP Rheumatology Sample Questions. You can also revise pathology from Oxford Desk Reference of Rheumatology for pathology, although treatment will likely be out of date until the latest version comes out.

A book is being written by the name of; 'Best of Five MCQs for the Rheumatology SCE' but is not currently scheduled for release until Dec 2019.

At BSR Conference there are SpR focussed teaching sessions at a level appropriate for the SCE.

The following advice is purely anecdotal but based on my personal experience of failing, then subsequently passing the exam.


  • Treat the exam with respect, remember pass mark is means tested and will be around 67%, possibly higher. Scoring well on past questions alone is not enough, you need to score well compared to your peers.
  • Start early, if you revise properly there's a lot to get through and last minute cramming will be of little use, given the complex and, at times, tedious nature of some of the topics.
  • Practice interpreting imaging, either with teaching from a friendly radiologist or by working through the musculoskeletal section of Radiopedia. You will need to be confident at recognising classic hand/shoulder/spine/knee features of common rheumatology conditions, as well as recognising bone tumours. Cross sectional imaging is unlikely to come up other than L-spine/SI joint MRI scans.
  • Begin your revision with past questions, by noting questions you got wrong and why it will help identify which areas you're weak and need to study the relevant guidelines the most.
  • Revise all of the rheumatology relevant NICE guidelines, especially osteoporosis treatments.
  • Review EULAR guidelines for those not covered by NICE such as Behcets and ANCA Associated Vasculitis.
  • Keep up to date with the latest biologics, mechanism of action, when they should reassessed and response criteria.


  • Rely on past questions alone for revision.
  • Leave revision too late.