Higher Specialist Training in Paediatrics

Doctor performing check up.


Higher Specialist Training (HST) in General Paediatrics is a five-year programme completed in Specialist Registrar (SpR) posts.

On satisfactory completion of HST, you will receive a Certificate of Satisfactory Completion of Specialist Training (CSCST) which allows you to enter the Specialist Division of the Register with the Medical Council. This means you can apply for consultant posts.

Many doctors spend some time working abroad and building up their portfolio of research, audits and publications before becoming a consultant.

However, you will have met the core requirement for consultant appointment, which is registration on the Specialist Division of the Register with the Medical Council.

Read more about our five-year HST programme in the curriculum.

Doctor performing check up.
Doctor attends to neonate

Entry Requirements

You must have:

  • a certificate of completion of Basic Specialist Training (BST) in Paediatrics
  • achieved MRCPI in Paediatrics or MRCPCH or evidence of an equivalent qualification
  • at least six months’ experience in General Paediatrics and six months in Neonatology

What to Expect

Your HST programme will incorporate the following core elements:

  • At least two years in acute General Paediatrics, in inpatient and outpatient settings, with general on-call not less than one-in-six
  • 12 months in General Paediatrics, including 3 months of Community Paediatrics
  • 12 months continuous experience in neonatal intensive care
  • Experience in assessment and treatment of children in Accident & Emergency departments
  • Experience in large teaching hospitals with academic activity
  • At least one year in a subspecialty, the preferred option being training in a number of subspecialties.

Your first two years of HST will be spent in full-time clinical SpR posts in Ireland. After that, you can continue to train in full-time posts in Ireland, or you can start a period of full-time research or develop a subspecialty interest.

You can apply for up to 12 months’ credit towards your Certificate of Satisfactory Completion of Specialist Training (CSCST) for research undertaken during HST. This is optional but encouraged.

During the annual allocation of SpR posts, we will endeavour to be as flexible as possible, within the confines of your specialty requirements, to allow you to develop a subspecialty interest.

Doctor with child patient

What Do I Need to Do in Addition to Clinical Training?

In addition to supervised clinical training in the hospital, you will attend a number of mandatory courses and study days.

Theses are designed to help you develop professionally and acquire the non-clinical skills and knowledge needed to provide excellent patient care.


Trainee performing check up.

Where are our Graduates now?

Duration Five years
Job title/grade of doctor Specialist Registrar (SpR)
Average intake each year General Paediatrics - 30
Neonatology - 2
Paediatric Cardiology - 2

* these numbers are current and indicative and not a future predictor
Exams to pass None
Mandatory educational courses to be completed as part of HST • Ethics I: Professionalism – Run by RCPI
• Ethics II: Law – Run by RCPI
• Ethics III: Research – Run by RCPI
• Ethics IV: Paediatrics – Run by RCPI
• Mastering Communications – Run by RCPI
• Performing Audit – Run by RCPI
• Health Research Methods – An Introduction – Run by RCPI
• Childhood Developmental Disorders – Run by RCPI
• Leadership in Clinical Practice – Run by RCPI
• Informing families of their child’s disability – Available on www.informingfamilies.ie under Information for Professionals
• Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS)
• Neonatal Resuscitation Programme (NRP)
• STABLE programme – Run by hospitals
Study days to attend Six per year
Training body Faculty of Paediatrics, RCPI

Contact us

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Tel: +353 1 8639721

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