Table 2

Description of competency levels

Has observed
‘Acts as assistant’
Can do with assistance
‘Directly supervised’
Can do whole but may need assistance
‘Indirectly supervised’
Competent to do without assistance, including complications
  • Has adequate knowledge of the steps through direct observation

  • Demonstrates that he/she can handle instruments relevant to the procedure appropriately and safely

  • Can perform some parts of the procedure with reasonable fluency

  • Knows all the steps—and the reasons that lie behind the methodology

  • Can carry out a straightforward procedure fluently from start to finish

  • Knows and demonstrates when to call for assistance/advice from the supervisor

  • Can adapt to well-known variations in the procedure encountered, without direct input from the trainer

  • Recognises and makes a correct assessment of common problems that are encountered

  • Is able to deal with most of the common problems

  • Knows and demonstrates when he/she needs help

  • Requires advice rather than help that requires the trainer to scrub

  • With regard to the common clinical situations in the specialty, can deal with straightforward and difficult cases to a satisfactory level and without the requirement for external input

  • The level at which one would expect a UK consultant surgeon to function

  • Is capable of supervising trainees