Abortion Care Special Skills Module

Our Special Skills Modules (SSMs) involve theoretical and practical training that enables healthcare professionals in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland to deliver specialist care in an area of sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH).

The practical elements of SSM training are supervised by a Principal Trainer at a training centre, and are captured within a logbook that is submitted to us for review.

By completing the Abortion Care SSM, you will demonstrate your ability to deliver high-quality specialist care in this area, and will be awarded a Faculty Certificate.

We also offer an SSM in Menopause CareUltrasound and Vasectomy.

Who can apply for the Abortion Care SSM?

The Abortion Care SSM is for healthcare professionals in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland who work regularly in the field of abortion care – such as doctors, nurses and midwives.

The consultation and medical abortion blocks of the SSM are open to doctors, nurses and midwives. The surgical abortion blocks are only open to doctors. You can specify which blocks you are applying for in your application.

The essential entry requirements are:

  • Fully registered with the GMC or NMC
  • Working in SRH, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, primary care or any other speciality related to women’s health care
  • Those undertaking training in later surgical procedures must be competent in the earlier gestation procedures and have the relevant surgical skills required to deal with complications

The desirable entry requirements are:

  • Holding a relevant post-registration qualification in contraception or sexual health (e.g. DFSRH for doctors, and a sexual health qualification or NFSRH for nurses and midwives)

How do I apply for the Abortion Care SSM?

You will need to secure a Principal Trainer before you apply. See the Principal Trainer tab below for how to do this.

You will also need to have a MyFSRH account. Find out how to create a MyFSRH account.

You can apply through our website as follows:

1.  Log in to your MyFSRH account and access the FSRH Training Hub
2.  Scroll to the FSRH Training Hub and click on 'Browse courses'
3.  Click on 'FSRH Special Skills Module' and then 'Go to course'
4.  On the FSRH Special Skills Modules page, scroll down to the 'Apply for an SSM' banner
5.  Open the banner and click on the 'Apply now' button
6.  Complete the SSM application form and pay for your chosen SSM

Once you have applied, we will let you know by email within 10 working days whether you have been accepted.

If you are not accepted, you will receive an email and a refund on your payment.

If you are accepted, you will be sent your logbook and trainee number by email. Once you receive these, you can begin your SSM training.

You must provide your GMC or NMC number when applying for an SSM. If you are providing your GMC number, you must have a current licence to practice medicine in the UK.

What does Abortion Care SSM training involve?

The SSM includes theoretical and practical assessments. These are met by the completion of theory or e-learning courses, and by the submission of an SSM logbook that captures the practical training elements that are supervised by a Principal Trainer.

Training is not undertaken for any set period of time, but until the skills, knowledge and competency levels have been reached. SSM trainees vary in the speed at which they acquire competency.

Please see the Theory Course and Logbook tabs below for more information.

Theory Course

Within a year of commencing any of the practical training blocks, you will need to complete the Abortion Care e-Tutorials available from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). This is a mandatory part of the SSM.

Anyone involved in delivering abortion care can undertake the Abortion Care e-Tutorials from the RCOG to gain clinical knowledge in this topic.

If you are a course organiser who would like us to endorse your theory course for one of our SSMs, check out our course endorsement process.

Logbook

The logbook outlines all the practical training elements that you will need to complete. You will receive an electronic version of the logbook when you are accepted on to the SSM. At the end of the logbook is a Certificate Checklist that lists each of the items that you need to submit to complete the SSM.

There are eight practical training blocks in the Abortion Care SSM that cover outpatient consultation as well as the methods of abortion at various gestations up to 24 weeks. All blocks are open to doctors and the three blocks on consultation and medical abortion are open to nurses and midwives who play a key role in abortion services.

The training blocks are:

1.  Consultation Skills
2.  Medical Abortion (up to 49 days post conception)
3.  Medical Abortion (beyond 49 days post conception)
4.  Manual Vacuum Aspiration
5.  Surgical Abortion (under 12 weeks)
6.  Surgical Abortion (12 to 13+ weeks)
7.  Surgical Abortion (14 to 19+ weeks)
8.  Surgical Abortion (20 to 23+ weeks)

These training blocks can be completed individually, in different combinations, or all together in one logbook submission.

You can either print out the logbook and scan in each page when it is ready for submission, or you can complete the pages of the logbook electronically and scan in the pages of evidence to support your logbook submission.

Once completed, the logbook will need to be emailed as an attachment to the Education Development Officer for Specialist Training, Rhian Jones, at rjones@fsrh.org.

Principal Trainers

Principal Trainers supervise the entire training process for each practical training block undertaken. They are responsible for the initial, interim and summative assessments, and the final SSM logbook sign off.

They are also responsible for delegating additional trainers for the assessments that require secondary trainer approval. It is their duty to ensure that these secondary trainers are sufficiently competent and able to train you.

How can I find an Abortion Care SSM Principal Trainer?

You will need to contact a registered Principal Trainer from the below list to ask if they could be your Principal Trainer for this SSM:

List of Abortion Care SSM Principal Trainers

The coverage of Principal Trainers across the UK is limited in some areas. Additionally, some Principal Trainers may have waiting lists of trainees, so it is highly recommended to contact several Principal Trainers prior to applying.

Training may require you to travel to a Principal Trainer if one is not available locally. Please take the time, distance and costs associated with this travel into account before agreeing on where to do your training with your Principal Trainer.

If there are no Principal Trainers who are available, or within a reasonable travel distance, you will need to ask a suitable person - who is conveniently located for you - to apply to become a Principal Trainer.

For more information on how to determine a suitable person and how they can apply to become a Principal Trainer, click on 'How do I apply to become an Abortion Care SSM Principal Trainer?' below.

How do I apply to become an Abortion Care SSM Principal Trainer?

Principal Trainers need both training and clinical skills to provide effective training and supervision of the practical elements of the Abortion Care SSM.

To become a Principal Trainer, you will need to meet these requirements:

  • Meet one of the following criteria:
    • Hospital training Consultant or Specialty Doctor
    • GP Trainer
  • Meet one of the following criteria:
    • Hold the FSRH Postgraduate Award in Medical Education in SRH
    • Hold the discontinued FSRH LoC Med
    • Hold a Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education
    • Attended a Training the Trainers course (including training in assessment and feedback methodology)
  • Currently actively involved in abortion services, and regularly seeing women requesting abortions in an outpatient setting
  • Job plan for at least two years has included performing abortion procedures and/or providing outpatient abortion care
  • Being a clinically responsible practitioner for the medical abortion service and been active in service delivery for the last two years
  • Demonstrable skills from personal clinical activity in the abortion care content in the blocks in which you will provide training
  • For up to 14 weeks gestation, performed on average (over the last two years) more than 100 abortions per year
  • For gestations of 14 weeks or more, undertaken surgical procedures at least monthly, on average, in the last two years

If you would like to apply to be an Abortion Care SSM Principal Trainer, please complete the below application form:

Apply to be an Abortion Care SSM Principal Trainer

This form will be sent to the Education and Training team and will be reviewed by the Module Guardian. You will then be contacted by the Education and Training team, and you may be asked to provide further information and evidence to support your application.

Principal Trainers must re-register every five years following the same process as above.

Fees & Costs

The SSM requires payment of a £50.00 registration fee. This is payable online when you apply via the FSRH Training Hub. Find out how to create a MyFSRH account to access the FSRH Training Hub.

You may also need to pay a fee to your Principal Trainer, which will need to be agreed with them.

FAQs

Browse the Abortion Care SSM FAQs here.

If you cannot find an answer to your question after checking the Abortion Care SSM FAQs page, please email the Education Development Officer for Specialist Training, Rhian Jones, at rjones@fsrh.org.

Contact Us

If you require any further information, please contact the Education Development Officer for Specialist Training, Rhian Jones, by phone +44 (0)20 7724 5675 or by email to rjones@fsrh.org.