The SAS Grade
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 at:
Specialty doctor posts offer geographical stability and the potential for a fulfilling career. Many in the grade will work at a senior level and will take on outside responsibilities. In England and Wales, but not yet in the devolved nations, specific funding has been made available for the professional development of SAS doctors.
The maximum salary is £16,000 less than the maximum attainable in the new but now closed associate specialist grade. There is no training element in the specialty doctor contract and no mechanism for acquiring either a CCST or a CESR. Exit from the grade is by competition for a training post or by application to GMC via article 14 for a CESR. This is a time-consuming, daunting and expensive process and at present there is only a 50% success rate.
Those considering a Specialty Doctor post should take careful career advice from dedicated SAS Postgraduate Deans in those areas of the UK where they exist. Members of the BMA can benefit from the Association’s advice service.
SAS Workload Guidelines
In February 2011, The BAD SAS Sub-committe agreed that there was a need for a SAS Workload guidelines. The document was submitted for approval at the BAD Executive meeting in May 2011. Workload Guidelines
SPA time for SAS's doctors
Please click on the link below for further for information and clarity on SPA (Support Professsional activities) time for SAS's doctors.
How to access Career Development Funding for SASs in your area:
Because the vast majority of Deanery websites now have details of SAS Associate Deans and Clinical Tutors accessible either on the website or via link, there is no longer any need to have the list on the BAD SAS website (as it will be less up to date). The Information would also be available from the Director of Education for their Trust.
In May 2013 Dr Roger Palmer wrote a report on SAS Doctors funding development in Wessex. This report might be used as a useful resource for SAS Doctors. Report on SAS Doctors Career Development in Wessex
** Information about SAS's job planning coming soon.