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We provide valuable resources to our Specialty and Specialist (SAS) doctors in Wales

SAS doctors are an essential, significant and experienced part of the medical workforce in NHS Wales.

A career as a SAS doctor can be a very satisfying and rewarding alternative to traditional training routes and there are many different reasons for choosing it as a long or short term career option. Many SAS doctors chose this career path as it affords them an improved work-life balance.

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) in Wales has recently launched a new briefing paper that calls on health boards to further develop and recognise the skills, expertise and contribution of SAS doctors and we very much welcome this Report

Our SAS team provides leadership and facilitates the education, training and career progression for all SAS doctors and dentists in Wales. Lead by Mr Raj Nirula, a dedicated Associate Dean for more than ten years, he has developed and influenced strategic plans to help and support the SAS doctors’ network in Wales.

The team is also supported by a network of SAS tutors based in each of the health boards across Wales and the tutors help facilitate training and career progression for SAS doctors directly. At HEIW we are keen that SAS doctors have further access to the right advice particularly if they are considering embarking upon the CESR (Certificate of Edibility for Speciality Resignation) route to specialist registration. As a result of this, we have developed a network of doctors across Wales who have achieved specialist registration through this route. There are 30 or so doctors that actively take park in this network to support their colleagues through the process. We have also developed a CESR advice helpline so that doctors considering this route can contact us and obtain advice.

We are currently in the process of developing a range of generic learning modules for doctors covering topics such as medical education and human factors. We are planning to develop more modules this year. These modules will be run virtually and will be free to attend.

We have also allocated funding for professional development for SAS doctors/dentists. Individuals can apply for funding for courses and postgraduate qualifications considered to help in professional and service development. This funding is over and above the study leave budget that many Health Boards currently offer.

Each year (apart from during the height of the pandemic), two SAS doctors and dentists’ conferences have been held (typically one in North Wales and one in South Wales) providing an opportunity for SAS doctors to network with each other from different specialties, directorates and teams in local networks.

Our future plans include;

  • SAS tutors leading on the development of further training packages.
  • Development of bespoke leadership opportunities for SAS doctors.
  • Development of further support for SAS who are international medical graduates and new to UK practice.


Dr Ian Collings, Director of Medic Professional Support and Development said “We have always had a strong tradition of supporting our SAS doctors in Wales, with the resources in place we aim to build on this tradition moving forward to continue to positively raise awareness and increase understanding about the role and the potential it has in the future.

One of the main responsibilities of my role is to ensure that SAS doctors in Wales have access to support and development opportunities and we will be exploring options to further build on the resources we have in place over the next year and identify areas of best practice we could potentially implement in Wales”.

For more information, please take a look at our dedicated SAS webpages here;