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SAS Doctors

We offer comprehensive support for SAS doctors including courses, events and resources on navigating the CESR application route. Also find guidance on contracts, audit, appraisal and revalidation. We actively encourage applications for SAS educational grants or funding and involvement in research.

<p>SAS Doctors</p>

What is an SAS doctor?

SAS doctors are a group of doctors working in dermatology in the NHS who are not consultants or trainees. These doctors include specialty doctors, associate specialists, staff grades and a number of other career grades such as hospital practitioners, clinical assistants, senior clinical medical officers and clinical medical officers. Since 2008 all the above grades have been replaced by the Specialty Doctor grade and closed to new entrants.

The SAS Charter

This Charter sets outs what SAS Doctors can expect from their employers and employers can expect from them.

Download the SAS Charter for England


Download the SAS Charter for Scotland


Download the SAS Charter for Wales


Download the SAS Charter for Northern Ireland


Career Advice

The new specialty doctor contract is available to secondary care doctors working in non-training grades who are not general practitioners, who do not hold Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training and who do not hold a consultant post. It replaces the old contracts for Staff Grades and Associate Specialists. Both these grades are now closed to new entrants. Non-GP clinical assistants, hospital practitioners, Trust grade doctors and others in non-standard grades may be eligible for the specialty doctor contract.

Entry into the grade

Minimum entry requirements for the specialty doctor grade are full registration with the GMC.

Progression through the grade

The new contract has the advantage of offering structured progression through the grade without reliance on the previous unsatisfactory optional and discretionary points system which does not form part of the specialty doctor contract. Full details are available on the BMA website.

Understanding Assessment and Appraisal

Assessment is measuring how much the learner has learned or in the context of trainees, a measure of progress or level of achievement of an individual against an agreed standard. In the UK, evaluation is measuring the quality of teaching (e.g., your own teaching, a course, or the whole institution) and is distinguished from assessment. However, in other countries such as the USA, the term ‘evaluation’ may be used as an alternative to ‘assessment’.

Appraisal is a review of progress against agreed objectives. This should be a positive process, giving someone feedback on their performance, charting continuing progress, and identifying development needs. Reflection is an important part of development as a healthcare professional.


A good assessment should accurately determine the depth and breadth of learning that someone has achieved and be seen as fair by the assessors and those being assessed. Other features of good assessment include:

  • Reliability: is it consistent?
  • Validity: does it measure what it is supposed to measure?
  • Transparency: is the assessment system clear and understood by both the assessor and the assessed?
  • Feasibility: a system of assessment should not be too time-consuming, expensive or labour-intensive

In addition, trainee assessments should be objective, summative as well as formative, and use multiple assessments involving several assessors, leading to judgements at the time of the encounter.

Revalidation & Workplace Based Assessments (WBA)

Some SAS doctors have expressed an interest in more formalised demonstration of skills and competencies. Some advice on how they may be able to do this, including the use of accepted and standardised tools such as WBAs can be found below.

It would be highly appropriate for SAS doctors to be able to use these to support their Personal Development Plans for appraisals and to satisfy revalidation when this comes round.

See the JRCPTB work-based assessment guide

View Guide

See the revalidation guide for Physicians

Resources for SAS Doctors

Contract for SAS Doctors


Support Professional Activities (SPA) time for SAS Doctors


SAS Contract Negotiations


BAD approved SAS work guidelines

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