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Chief Registrar Programme: recruitment guidance for NHS organisations

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This page provides information for NHS organisations interested in recruiting chief registrars. 

What is a chief registrar?

Chief registrars are senior trainees (ST4+ or equivalent) with protected time for leadership and management. Supported by a bespoke development programme from the RCP, chief registrars work on service improvement, engagement and morale, education and training, workforce and sustainability, and deliver better outcomes for patients, teams and services. 

Key criteria for recruitment

  • Open to all physician and non-physician specialties
  • Doctors in training must be minimum ST4 level or equivalent
  • Posts must be for a minimum of 12 months
  • Doctors in training must have 40-50% time protected for chief registrar activities
  • Role may be done in programme or out of programme (training or experience). 

Recruitment process and deadlines

Recruitment of chief registrars is coordinated and carried out locally by NHS organisations, but follows the steps and timeline set out by the RCP below. 

Expressions of interest for the Chief Registrar Programme 2024-25 are now closed. 

Expressing an interest

Before starting recruitment, NHS organisations should express their interest to the RCP to reserve a provisional place(s) on the Chief Registrar Programme. If we do not receive an expression of interest, we will not be able to reserve an indicative place for a chief registrar from your organisation. You can find a expressions of interest form at the bottom of this page, under downloads.

Once an indicative place has been reserved, and you have received confirmation from the Royal College of Physicians, the organisation can then procced to recruit a chief registrar. When all the indicative places have been allocated, organisations will be placed on a waiting list and offered an indicative place when one becomes available.

The RCP has expanded the Chief Registrar Programme to all physician and non-physician specialties in response to demand. We encourage you to take an organisation-wide overview of which departments your chief registrar(s) will be located in. 

To express your interest download the expression of interest form and return it to chiefregistrar@rcp.ac.uk.

Funding arrangements

Costs associated with recruiting a chief registrar vary according to whether the role is carried out in or out of programme. The cost per place is £4,219 (VAT exempt).

Expressions of interest can be submitted before funding arrangements are confirmed, but recruiting organisations must provide the RCP with an update on recruitment. This is so any places which have not been recruited to can be reallocated to other organistions. 

Starting recruitment

Once you have expressed an interest, and recieved confirmation of your place your NHS organisation can start the recruitment process. The RCP can provide you with a sample job description and other useful documents, tailored to your local requirements. Should you wish to make significant changes to the job description, please discuss this with the RCP. 

Confirming appointment of your chief registrar

Please let us know as soon as you have recruited your chief registrar. To do this please download and complete the appointment details form and return it to chiefregistrar@rcp.ac.uk

If we do not receive confirmation that you have or are appointing a chief registrar, we reserve the right to re-allocate the indicative place to an organisation on the waiting list.