Core and Specialist Training

What is Intensive Care Medicine (ICM)? 

Intensive Care Medicine (ICM), also referred to as critical care medicine, is a body of specialist knowledge and practice concerned with the treatment of patients, with, at risk of, or recovering from potentially life-threatening failure of one or more of the body’s organ systems.  It includes the provision of organ system support, the investigation, diagnosis, and treatment of acute illness, systems management and patient safety, ethics, end-of-life care, and the support of families.

It has been possible to train in ICM since the launch of the Joint CCT in 2001.  This was amended into a full CCT training programme in 2011, with the first trainees entering the programme in 2012.

Please click here for details about the specialty and why you should join us.  Further information is also available on the Health Careers website.


How do I start training?

You may have had some exposure to ICM during your undergraduate or foundation training, but your career towards ICM will begin by picking one of the core programmes that leads to specialist ICM training.

This leaflet gives a brief summary of ICM training. Click here for information on Dual CCTs and the standalone ICM CCT

ICM CCT training is entered at ST3 level following completion of one of four designated core programmes:

Core Medical Training will be replaced with Internal Medicine training from August 2019, which will include 3 months of direct training in ICM.

In addition to completion of one of the identified ICM core training programmes you will need to have completed one of the following exams, as relevant to that core programme:

  • FRCA (Primary)
  • MRCP UK (Full)
  • FRCEM Primary (or MRCEM Part A after August 2012) AND FRCEM Intermediate SAQ (or MRCEM Part B after August 2012) AND FRCEM Intermediate SJP OR MRCEM obtained prior to August 2018


Now I have completed core training, what about higher training?

Entry to ICM is by competitive national interview.  Please click here for details on national recruitment.

The curriculum for ICM specialist training is available here.


Further reading:

  • For more information on the FICM Training, Assessment & Quality Committee which is responsible for matters relating to the curriculum please see the Committees of the Faculty.
  • Please click here for the GMC 'Way Forward' statement regarding ICM training.