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Sport and Exercise Medicine

About the specialty

Sport and Exercise Medicine training provides doctors with the generic professional and specialty specific capabilities, skills and leadership in two major priority healthcare domains. Firstly, specialists in SEM lead and deliver comprehensive musculoskeletal (MSK) services, caring for school aged children, adults and older adults, including those with additional co-morbidities and chronic disease burden.

Secondly, SEM consultants have the knowledge and the understanding of the practical application of exercise medicine in chronic disease at an individual and population level. SEM specialists will support and promote both population and individual person health through physical activity and will work alongside Public Health specialists to assess and deliver population needs.

The training also includes emergency presentations, pitchside care and medical problems, and the wider care of the exercising individual and team in a sporting environment. Training in SEM will provide the competencies required to work in sports teams and event medicine settings which encompass disabled and able bodied populations across all age groups.

Once trainee doctors have completed specialist training, SEM consultants will work in community and or/ hospital based environments for MSK medicine and lead on embedding exercise medicine and physical activity within clinical pathways for the prevention and management of chronic disease.

SEM doctors need the ability to work within, and be leaders of, MDTs and systems involving other healthcare professionals, including physiotherapists, exercise therapists, physiologists, psychologists, rehabilitation practitioners and podiatrists, to effectively provide optimal patient care. These groups of patients include, but are not limited to, people with disability, veterans, military personnel, athletes and children. It is expected that SEM doctors will be able to provide care in military settings, which is where a proportion of existing SEM doctors are working currently.

Entry into Sport and Exercise Medicine training is possible following successful completion of both a foundation programme and a core training programme. There are three core training programmes for Sport and Exercise Medicine training:

  • Internal Medicine (IM) stage 1
  • Acute Care Common Stem - Acute Medicine (ACCS-IM)
  • General Practice Training 


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 curriculum for Sport and Exercise Medicine was implemented in 2021, and the final version is published below.

Sport and Exercise Medicine 2021 Training Curriculum

For those remaining on the old curriculum, the 2010 (revised 2017) curriculum can be found below. Previous 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. 

Sport and Exercise Medicine 2021 Decision Aid

For those remaining on the old curriculum, the 2010 decision aid can be found below.