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Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

About the specialty

Training in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (CPT) is defined in the specialty training curriculum and is combined with training in General Internal Medicine (Internal Medicine Stage 2). Key aspects of specialty training include undertaking and interpreting clinical investigations including clinical trials; optimising the therapeutic use of drugs; detection and analysis of adverse drug effects; contribution to medicines evaluation and management of poisoning. Trainees will usually develop a clinical specialty interest (eg cardiovascular risk management, toxicology).

The main careers in CPT are:

  • Academic: senior lecturer/ reader/ professor in a medical school with an honorary NHS consultant contract. Most CPT academics have a subspecialty interest such as hypertension, oncology, epilepsy, gastroenterology, paediatrics etc.
  • NHS consultant. There are a few NHS consultant jobs in pure CPT, including ones in Poisons Units. Many more trained clinical pharmacologists have NHS consultant jobs in other specialties such as general acute medicine or cardiovascular medicine. CPT expertise is often put to use in drug and therapeutics committees, research ethics committees and formulary committees. Such a consultant typically spends about half their time in supervision of acute medical admissions, responsibility for medical inpatients and running outpatient clinics.
  • Pharmaceutical industry.
  • Drug regulation (eg MHRA).

Entry into Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics training is possible following successful completion of both a foundation programme and a core training programme. There are two core training programmes for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics training:

  • Internal Medicine Training (IMT)
  • Acute Care Common Stem - Internal Medicine (ACCS-IM)

Latest news and developments

A new curriculum for dual training in CPT and Internal Medicine was implemented in August 2022. Trainees already in training in 2022 will need to transfer to the new curriculum unless in their final year of training or in a single CPT or non-GIM dual CCT programme. Please see our transition guidance for more information. The ARCP decision aid and rough guide for the 2022 curriculum will be published in the guidance section below. 


The curriculum for each specialty defines the process of training and the capabilities 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.

The new curriculum given below was implemented in August 2022.

Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 2022 curriculum

The previous curriculum for postgraduate training in CPT is given 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 2022 curriculum is given below

CPT ARCP Decision Aid

The decison aid below should be used for trainees remaining on the previous curriculum.