Applications to become a BCSP screening colonoscopist are made online through the Screening Assessment and Accreditation System (SAAS) web-site (www.saas.nhs.uk).
There are two stages to this process, first, an endoscopist must apply to become a candidate, then an application needs to be completed, submitted and approved in order to take an assessment.
Colonoscopy candidate criteria and application process
To become a colonoscopy candidate, the following criteria must be met:
- Candidates must be fully registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) or appropriate professional body and must be in good standing. It is not necessary for an endoscopist in the programme to be a nurse or doctor, but they must be registered as a health care professional. This means that they must be able to work unsupervised and take upon themselves responsibility for their own professional actions and practice.
- Candidates must be attached to a screening centre.
The screening centre director/programme manager should complete a request form for a new screening colonoscopist (available via http://www.saas.nhs.uk/Downloads.aspx) to seek approval for the proposed candidate from the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes (NHS CSP) national office.
Once approved, an account will be created for the candidate to apply online at www.saas.nhs.uk. This will be carried out by the SAAS administrator in the JAG office and an automated email from firstname.lastname@example.org will be sent to the candidate confirming the application arrangements. No paper applications will be accepted.
Eligibility criteria for colonoscopy assessment
Once a person is approved as a candidate they must meet the following criteria to be eligible for a colonoscopy assessment.
- Applications must have a minimum lifetime experience of 1000 examinations.
- A minimum of 150 examinations is required in the 12 months prior to the submission of an application, although a proportion of these examinations are expected to be undertaken by specialist registrars (SpRs) or others under the supervision of the candidate, or in private practice.
- Candidates should have a documented unadjusted completion rate on an intention-to-treat basis of 90% or greater over the preceding year. This may include patients with bowel resection; however, patients with incomplete examinations owing to, for example, obstructing lesions or faecal obstruction will count as failures.
- Candidates should also have polyp detection rates of 20% or more, and meet the current criteria with respect to sedation. Evidence will be required of the complication rate of this series, including vasovagal attacks, bleeding problems, unplanned admissions and the use of reversal agents. The audit should be verified and signed off by the Endoscopy Unit Sister or Manager and by a consultant colleague/clinical director/medical director. Both should have been invited to inspect the raw data.
- All candidates must have a named BCSP mentor who is a current BCSP screener and has attended either the BCSP mentor/DOPyS training day, or a TCT course along with an in house mentorship training day.
- Candidates must submit four completed DOPyS forms. A BCSP mentor or local BCSP assessor may complete the DOPyS by observing four polypectomies. These do not have to be video recorded. All four must be snare polypectomies; at least one >10mm and at least one using EMR technique. All 4 DOPyS forms must be scoring as ‘competent for independent practice’ overall.
Submitting an application for the accreditation process is part of the ongoing quality assurance of the BCSP and all data from applications and assessments may be used for evaluation and audit purposes.
Please note that candidates who do not complete their application within 12 months of commencing the process will be required to start the application process from the beginning.