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Clinical Genetics

About the specialty

Clinical Genetics is the diagnosis and management of genetic disorders affecting individuals and their families. The rapid increase in understanding of biological variation and its role in health and disease make it an exciting and expanding specialty. The training programme in clinical genetics is normally four years as a Specialty Registrar and research experience is actively encouraged.

Clinical genetic services run on a ‘hub and spoke' principle with central and district counselling services. There is close team working between Consultants, SpRs/StRs and Genetic Associates as well as interaction with cytogenetic and molecular laboratory colleagues. Members of the SAC in Clinical Genetics welcome queries from those considering a career in clinical genetics.

Entry into Clinical Genetics training is possible following successful completion of both a foundation programme and a core training programme The following are core training programmes for Clinical Genetics training:

  • Internal Medicine Training stage 1 - two years
  • ACCS-Internal Medicine - three years
  • Level 1 Paediatrics training - three years
  • Core Surgical Training - two years
  • Core level training in Anaesthetics - two years
  • Core Psychiatry Training - three years
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology training - two years
  • Ophthalmic Specialist Training - two years
  • General Practice training - three years


The curriculum for each specialty defines the process of training and the competencies needed for the award of a certificate of completion of training (CCT). The curriculum includes the assessment system for measuring trainees’ progress comprising workplace based assessment and knowledge based assessment.

A new Clinical Genetics curriculum was implemented in August 2021.

The 2021 curriculum and supporting documents are given below:

Clinical Genetics 2021 Curriculum

Clinical Genetics Mapping of 2021 CiPs to previous curriculum competencies

The Royal College of Pathologists provides the Certificate Examination in Medical Genetics and further information is available on the RCPath website

The previous curriculum for Clinical Genetics is available below. Earlier versions of the curriculum are no longer available online but copies can be requested from


ARCP Decision Aids

The ARCP decision aid for each specialty defines the targets that have to be achieved for a satisfactory ARCP outcome at the end of each training year. The ARCP decision aid for the new 2021 curriculum is available below

Clinical Genetics ARCP Decision Aid

The decision for those on the previous version of the curriculum is available below: 

Forms and guidance

The SAC has produced the following guide for training programme directors, supervisors and trainees to support the implementation of the new curriculum. 

Clinical Genetics 2021 Rough Guide to Implementation