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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

The Psychiatric Trainees' Committee

Welcome message from Dr Karl Scheeres, PTC Chair (2014-2015) 

Karl Scheeres, PTC Chair (2014-2015)I’m Karl, the chair of the PTC for 2014/5, and on behalf of all the PTC reps I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our web pages.  Your PTC representatives are elected by you to represent your views at all levels in the College and beyond.  As a group, we care deeply about the quality of psychiatric training, and we work hard to make sure your views are heard. 


We are a diverse group of 48 people from every part of the UK, including a mixture of core trainees and higher trainees, as well as a service user representative, a carer representative and others. We meet four times a year and work in small working groups using e-mails, Skype etc to get things done in between meetings; you’d be amazed by the numbers of e-mails flying about amongst us.  We also send a trainee to virtually every single committee at the College (including the exams committee), a level of representation that is unique amongst the Royal Colleges.


The last year has been a big year for the PTC and there have been lots of positive changes for trainees including a reduction in the number of exams and a shelving of the proposed exit exam (influenced by our survey). We made the front-page news following our mental health beds survey.  Additionally, the College has developed Trainees Online (TrOn) to help trainees with revision for the MRCPsych (this was funded by the historical surplus from the exams).


Please do get in touch with us and let us know concerns you have about training, ideas you have or anything you think we should either know about or discuss nationally.  There are two ways to do this:


Speak to your local PTC representative – they are listed here

Contact us centrally:  Either through our e-mail: or on Twitter: @RCPsychTrainees We are also on Facebook (search for Psychiatric Trainees Committee).


I would strongly encourage you to consider standing for the PTC; for me personally it has been a great experience – I have come a long way from when I joined in 2011.  It’s not about ‘box ticking’ and getting on committees for the sake of it, but genuinely being involved with trying to improve psychiatric training and the lot of trainees.  The best bit is undoubtedly meeting trainees from other parts of the country, who have differing experiences of training and ideas of improvement. The divisions that are electing in 2015 are listed below, so look out for that important e-mail amongst all the others and don't be afraid to put yourself forward.


Karl Scheeres

PTC Chair 2014-2015

ST5 Liaison Psychiatry Trainee, Bath

Twitter: @karlscheeres



Working Groups in the PTC

The committee has divided itself in to five groups to better address the issues that matter to trainees


The Shape of Training group:

If you haven’t heard of the Shape of Training, you soon will. This could potentially be the biggest future shake up of medical training since MMC, and we have formed a group to ensure that we protect all we value about our current system of training, but also think about the opportunities to improve it.  The original Shape of Training document is here.


Recruitment Group

The Recruitment group looks at ways to encourage medical students and Foundation doctors to consider a career in psychiatry.  This is one of the biggest challenges facing us as a profession.


Training Group

The Training and Evidence group focuses on understanding the educational impact of recent changes to services and considering ways that training could be improved.


Communications Group

The Communications group's role is to engage with trainees and ensure that information is shared effectively.


Welfare Group

The Welfare group looks at all aspects of trainee wellbeing, including how support systems can be developed to give people a better experience of training.


Information about the PTC

Membership of the PTC

The Psychiatric Trainees’ Committee (PTC) consists of 37 elected members, three from each Division (the regional sub-groups that represent each area of England), three from Wales, three from Northern Ireland, two from each of the three Scottish regions and one from the armed forces. At least one member per division must be a pre-membership psychiatric trainee. There are also an additional 9 co-opted members, three for the London Division, one from The Irish College of Psychiatrists, one from Hong Kong, one Medical Student SA, one Foundation Doctor SA, one Carer observer, and one Service User observer. The immediate past PTC Chair and the Dean are ex-officio members.

Elections are held in half of the Divisions every year, with members serving a two-year term with the possibility of being re-elected for a further two years. The committee meets at the College four times a year, including once which is an annual meeting and induction meeting to welcome the new committee members. The PTC often forms working groups of four or five members in order to formulate ideas about particular training issues. A Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary are elected annually from within the PTC membership. Elections for Student Associate Members occur every year, as these members serve a one year term.

The Role of the PTC

The committee structure of the College is split into two broad arms. The first is responsible for the overall management and control of College affairs, and is headed by the Council. The second structure formulates and ratifies all aspects of educational policy and reports to the Education and Training Committee. The PTC sends a representative to almost every committee in the College and the trainee representatives do far more than observe the workings of these committees, and take an active role in influencing College policy. PTC representatives on other committees are elected annually from within the PTC membership.

The PTC is represented at the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges via the Academy Trainee Doctors’ Group, and at the BMA Junior Doctors’ Committee meetings. Representatives of the PTC attend meetings of the European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees and are involved in various working groups looking at training issues across Europe.


The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges' has developed a Charter for Postgraduate Training,  which highlights the value of the Doctor in Training.  The PTC have representation on the Academy’s Trainee Doctor Group (ATDG) and have been instrumental in the creation of this document.  Please take the time to read this and share the Charter with your colleagues.

Click here to read 'A Charter for Postgraduate Medical Training: Value of the Doctor in Training'.

The AoMRC has been working with the College and the GMC to develop more generic training to better suit the needs of patients. The Shape of Training steering group has prepared the following paper. Please take the time to read this and share it with your colleagues.   

Click here to read the AoMRC's Shape of Training paper

Click here to read the PTC Shape of Training update

PTC Elections

Each year elections will be held for half of the Divisions.  Elections shall be held for the North West, Scottish, South East, Trent, Welsh, Ireland (North) and West Midland Divisions in one year followed by elections for Eastern, Northern and Yorkshire, London, Ireland (South) and South West Divisions in the following year.

2016 elections will be held for the following divisions:

  • North West
  • Scotland
  • South East
  • Trent
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland
  • West Midlands

Please read the Committee Member job description carefully, before nominating yourself, to ensure you are able to fulfil all responsibilities. If you are elected you will be expected to attend the PTC's annual meeting and induction, more information can be found here.

If you have any queries regarding the election process please contact Sue Duncan.

PTC Co-options

Co-options for the Trent and North West divisions are now open.

Nomination forms must be completed in full, according to the instructions provided in the form. Nominations must arrive no later than no later than Thursday 22nd October 2015.

Please read the Committee Member job description carefully, before nominating yourself, to ensure you are able to fulfill all responsibilities. If you are elected you will be expected to attend the PTC's next meeting, which will be held at the College on the 18th December 2015.

For more guidance on being a co-opted member please see here. If you have any queries regarding the election process please contact PTC Support

PTC Job Descriptions

Future PTC meeting dates

  • 18th December 2015 (London)

All PTC Members are asked to note that it was agreed at the 2003 PTC's annual meeting and induction that members who fail to attend two consecutive PTC meetings, and do not forward apologies to the PTC Support, or find an alternative attendee, should be voted off the PTC.

Annual Meeting and Induction dates:

The PTC have an annual meeting and induction which are held on a rotating basis in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

The locations of the most recent annual meeting and induction were:

2008: Birmingham, England

2009: Belfast, Northern Ireland

2010: Edinburgh, Scotland

2011: London, England

2012: Cardiff, Wales

2013: Belfast, Northern Ireland

2014: Newcastle, England
2015: Glasgow, Scotland




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Last updated 8/10/2015