Severn Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) is committed to providing high quality medical training across Avon, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire. The Postgraduate Dean is Professor Martin Beaman. The Head of the Severn Postgraduate School of Psychiatry is Dr Melanie Merricks. The Core Training Programme Director is Dr Linda Heaney. Psychiatric Training is managed by the Severn School of Psychiatry working in close partnership with the Royal College of Psychiatrists and 5 NHS Trusts across the Severn area. All the posts within the Severn School of Psychiatry have been approved by the GMC.

There are 64 training placements available for Trainees in the Core Psychiatric Training Programme, including three Academic Clinical Fellow posts. The scheme offers a wide variety of training posts and is designed to facilitate the transfer from Core to Advanced training. Each post lasts for six months.

During the first two years of the rotation, the placements are designed to give trainees a broad experience of general adult psychiatry, old age psychiatry, and a developmental post. Trainees will mostly stay in the same geographical area during this time and are more likely to move for the final year of placements. All sites have a local tutor who will oversee the progress of the trainee.

The CT3 year is focused around specialist psychiatric training, including experience in Forensic Psychiatry, Learning Disability Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Liaison Psychiatry, Rehabilitation Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry. During their final Core Training year, trainees are also expected to spend one session per week in a ‘special interest’ session, in order to broaden their experience of the specialities.

All Trainees receive one hour of protected supervision with their Educational Supervisor. There is a weekly academic meeting in all centres across the Core Training Programme. All Core Trainees have access to psychotherapy training, including attendance at a Balint Group. All Core Trainees are expected to attend the Core Psychiatry Training Course.

All Trainees’ timetables are designed to allow them guaranteed access to the Core Psychiatry Training Course and study leave support and expenses are available. There is training available in the OSCE component of the MRCPsych membership exam. In each post Trainees are encouraged to take part in multi-disciplinary clinical audit and will receive support from their Educational Supervisor to do so. The Core Trainees are expected to develop their own skills as medical teachers and the local academic programmes will allow them opportunities to develop these skills with support.

To find out more information about Core Specialitst Training, please contact Linda Heaney

A Guide to Core Training

A powerpoint presentation created for 26th August 2009 (the School Welcome Day) to summarise an overview of the training programme in Severn and the training experienices required over the three years for completion of training. This includes a brief guide to posts and rotations, psychotherapy experience, work based assessments and ARCP. For further information on the ARCP page.

A National Guide to Training - The Gold Guide

This Reference Guide is for Postgraduate Specialty Training in the UK and is applicable to all trainees (StRs) taking up appointments in specialty (including GP) training which commenced on or after 1 August 2007. The 6th edition published on 17th February 2016 replaces all previous editions of the Gold Guide with immediate effect.

Appraisal Processes

All trainees will be appraised throughout their core training. Please refer to the Core Training Appraisal Process.

Core Psychiatry Training Course

All trainees are expected to attend a Core Psychiatry Training course, which is run by the School of Psychiatry. This takes place on Thursdays and is held at the Vassall Conference Centre. The course closely follows the Curriculum, and is designed primarily to give trainees a solid grounding in psychiatry, as well as helping to prepare for MRCPsych exams. The Course Co-ordinator is Dr Reenee Barton.


Please see the Royal College of Psychiatrists Website for the Examination Calendar and for further information on MRCPsych exams please refer to the Royal College of Psychiatrists 'Exam Page'.

Applying for Core Psychiatry Positions within the Severn PGME

The recruitment process for Core Psychiatry is governed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (College Website), and is part of the National Recruitment Programme led by Health Education England-North West. Applications are made via the Oriel recruitment portal and candidates are asked to preference whilst undergoing this activity.

When taking part in a recruitment round, Severn PGME will always advertise their posts on their local recruitment website. The information presented here will give candidates useful information such as scheduled interview dates, predicted number of vacancies and links to the Health Education England-North West recruitment portal, Oriel and applicants guide.  Candidates are also advised to visit the Specialty Training website as this website is useful when applying for specialty training posts.

Typically the main recruitment window is November to January to fill posts which commence in August. Invariably there tends to be a few posts which are not filled and therefore Severn PGME may progress to the next round. This typically runs from January to April. It is always a good idea to keep an eye on the Health Education England-North West National Recruitment website however, as the dates are liable to change.

There may also be the possibility of Core Psychiatry recruitment taking place in the summer recruiting to posts which begin in February of the subsequent year. Health Education England-North West will release further information about this and Severn PGME will keep its website updated with information.

All candidates who are recruited to a Core Psychiatry post must fulfill the Health Education England (HEE) person specification for the particular specialty. These can be found on the HEE website in the specialty training section.

Health Education England-North West tends to make the recruitment process as clear as possible often publishing the interview questions on its website long before the interviews take place. It is therefore advisable for all candidates to regularly check the Health Education England-North West website.

Career Advice

If you are interested in a career within psychiatry then the College’s webpage entitled A Career in Psychiatry will be of use.