Vascular Training

Amy Stimpson's guide for Welsh trainees

An act of Parliament in 2013 established Vascular as a surgical speciality in its own right, due to the increasing role & benefits of endovascular techniques and the requirement of specialists to be proficient in both this and open surgery. This means that the only way to achieve CCT in Vascular Surgery is now to gain a vascular specific NTN.

For new trainees there is no longer an option to hold a general surgical number with an interest in vascular surgery. Allowances were made for existing general trainees with an interest in vascular to declare; this deadline has passed and as such the only route to gain a vascular CCT is via the new training programme.

This page should aim to provide information for trainees and students who have an interest, or would like to find out more regarding vascular surgery and the application process. As well as information and tips around selection process, there are links to relevant societies, clubs and networks which may be of interest.


Registrar Selection

  • 22 NTN's across UK
  • National Selection hosted by London Deanery
  • Currently 1 Welsh number annually but expected to increase


Presently selection is combined with general surgical, however it is anticipated this will become a standalone interview. All those applying for a general or vascular number will attend the same interview and presently receive all the same stations. The trainee must select either general, vascular or both at the time of application to demonstrate what programmes they wish to be considered for.

All trainees attending for interview are ranked in order of score received and numbers appointed on the basis of their job/programme selection. More about the registrar interview can be found on the specific section of the website.


Portfolio station

The portfolio station is your only opportunity to highlight an interest in vascular surgery

  • Your logbook should be formatted in such a way that surgical and endovascular exposure is clearly highlighted, with tables breaking down number of femoral exposures, punctures, & anastomosis performed to demonstrate key skills.

  • Work based assessments should focus on improvement and development across surgical and clinical skills, with evidence of CBD development in management of common Vascular presentations.

  • Publications and research marks will be given to any peer reviewed publication or higher degree. Vascular related projects and publications will impress the panel.

  • Completed audit cycles will gain most recognition & even if not vascular related should probably be focussed on rather than vascular audit without completion of cycle.


Core Training

Core surgical training remains generic to allow for the development of generalist skills and cover a range of specialties and vascular will remain part of these general surgical rotations. CST2 is designed as a more focused period taking into account the trainee’s chosen specialty.

It is therefore essential that a CT with an interest in vascular gains at least one vascular rotation; early communication with the programme director and at ARCP is key. Changing placement is much more acceptable when expressions of career development are discussed as opposed to geographical location!

CT2+ year is offered in Wales as a useful backup if unsuccessful at interview, not finished exams or generally feel more experience is required. Again talking with the programme director early will give you a better opportunity at being placed in a rotation which meets your educational needs.


Foundation years

Having some experience in Vascular can be helpful to see if you enjoy the type of work involved, however it is not essential that you get a vascular post during foundation.

Aiming to get a good exposure of medicine and surgery is key to develop basic skills, with opportunities for taster weeks in FP2 to explore career options. Taster weeks often allow a chance to see more operative, endovascular and clinic work, which may not necessarily be experienced whilst dong foundation jobs with a firm.


Created by Dafydd Loughran