Neurodisability GRID trainee information pack For new and current grid trainees in paediatric neurodisability, this trainee information pack has recently been compiled to provide guidance about training, curriculum and ARCP requirements, useful training resources and who to contact if you have any concerns or queries.

BACD Annual Trainees’ Meeting We hold an annual BACD Trainees’ Day every winter; this is a great opportunity for keeping up to date with neurodisability and wider training topics, as well as meeting other trainees and networking. Previous study days have also offered the option of a one-to-one appointment with members of the CSAC to discuss training, for both trainees interested in neurodisability and current trainees.

BACD BACD is an independent charity, representing the needs of childhood disability professionals and support you to provide the best quality of care for children, young people and their families, and is the only body to bring together the whole multidisciplinary team in childhood disability. Consider joining BACD to keep up to date with current practice, improve standards and influence the future of childhood disability care. BACD members receive discounts on BACD conferences, annual trainees’ day and regional educational meetings.

Useful courses, study days and events:

  • The BACD hold an Annual Scientific Meeting, as well as regional educational meetings which are useful learning opportunities, covering a range of topical neurodisability topics. The regional meetings are a good way to keep up to date with what is happening in your local area and to find out about anything that you may be able to get involved with. View all up and coming events here.
  • The BACD and Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust endorsed Paediatric Disability Distance Learning Course complements the RCPCH Paediatric Neurodisability Level 3 training programme, as well as Level 3 Community Child Health training for those with a particular interest in neurodisability. It encompasses twelve subject units, delivered in four clinical modules, covering the many aspects of paediatric disability. A number of the units can also be done as stand alone units, including ‘An introduction to paediatric disability and clinical assessment’, ‘Children and young people with cerebral palsies’, ‘Autism, speech, language and communication needs in childhood’ and ‘ADHD and co-morbid conditions’. BACD members are eligible for discounted fees on all PDDL courses.
  • The Neurodisability Community run regular online neurodisability teaching sessions for trainees. These online teaching sessions were initially set up in response to the first wave of COVID to enable trainees to keep connected to neurodisability and the grid curriculum, and also to have more of a face-to-face connection between trainees. In response to positive feedback, these sessions are continuing . There are also regular teaching sessions aimed at Community Child Health trainees. If you would like to join or find out more, please email: t[email protected]
  • Disability Matters e-learning modules are a free resource to support those who work with disabled children and young people and their families. They cover a range of topics highly relevant to paediatric neurodisability and have a wealth of practical advice about supporting disabled children, young people and their families to achieve the outcomes that matter to them.

In addition to the BACD, the British Paediatric Neurology Association (BPNA), Association for Paediatric Palliative Medicine (APPM), British Association for Community Child Health (BACCH) and European Academy of Childhood Disability (EACD) are relevant to neurodisability training.

  • The BPNA run a number of courses including the Paediatric Epilepsy Training (PET) 1-3, Approaching Children’s Tone and Paediatric Movement Disorders, as well as regular webinars, annual conference and trainees meeting. The BPNA also run a distance learning course, focussing on neurology topics. These can be booked via the BPNA website.
  • The CoLab Partnership is a group of individuals and organisations committed to working together and sharing good practice and resources to improve the healthcare of children with medical complexity and their families, and provide support and educational materials for the professionals looking after them. They also hold useful study days and are keen to hear from individuals interested in getting involved with their workstreams. 
  • The Neurodisability Community Trello boards The Neurodisability Community is an online trainee-led platform designed to support networking and education for neurodisability and community child health trainees, hosted through Trello. Two Trello ‘boards’ with a range of useful training resources have been created covering training, courses, research, condition specific resources and an area to share projects and learning; and START preparation and resources. To join, find out more or contribute to the work of the TNC, send an email to: [email protected]

Peer support Current trainees have highlighted the importance of peer support and meeting trainees from other regions. Ways that trainees have found useful include:

  • Through the Sheffield Paediatric Disability Distance Learning Course
  • Attending BACD Annual Trainees’ Meeting
  • Joining online teaching sessions
  • Contacting trainee representatives
  • Joining The Neurodisability Community Trello boards

There is also an informal WhatsApp group for trainees. Formal, important information will always be sent to you via email so joining this group is not required, but it is a nice way to have easy contact with each other and for more readily sharing information and resources that we have found useful. If you would like to join the group, please email [email protected] with your phone number.


START is an assessment undertaken with consultant paediatricians which assesses your abilities relating to clinical decision making as a new consultant, and is aimed at helping you identify and address any gaps that you may have in your training as you prepare for completion of training and practice as a new consultant paediatrician.

START is undertaken in your grid sub-specialty (neurodisability or community child health), however if you are doing neurodisability SPIN, you will sit the general paediatrics START. START is normally hosted twice a year, in the spring and autumn; however for certain sub-specialties the relevant circuit may only be run once a year – please check the RCPCH website for up to date information relating to this.

You can apply for START from ST6, but it is expected that most trainees will complete START during their ST7 year, as this allows enough training time to address any highlighted learning requirements and if you are undertaking this in a sub-specialty, you should be confident that you are ready to be assessed in your sub-specialty before you apply. However, priority for places is determined by your CCT date as recorded in your e-portfolio and the RCPCH highlight that you should not expect to be guaranteed a place even if you have applied previously, therefore it is important to start thinking about and planning for START early. There are currently fixed application windows for applying for START.

START is a circuit of stations which test different skills; these include a number of specialty specific scenario based discussions as well as safeguarding; ward round and handover; safe prescribing; ethics, consent and law; logistics and organisation; conflict and risk management; teaching and critical appraisal.

There is no pass or fail mark for START, but you are provided with detailed feedback and recommendations to address any development areas. You should discuss your feedback with your educational supervisor and together put together a targeted PDP to help you address any areas needed.

Please see the RCPCH website for further information relating to START. 

The RCPCH advise that START doesn’t require any ‘revision’ as the scenarios are examples of your ‘day-to-day’ work, but approached as if you are a day one consultant. Some trainees choose to approach the assessment with their ‘normal’ daily practice whereas other trainees feel more comfortable having done some preparation. The RCPCH suggest that you will probably find it helpful to familiarise yourself and keep up to date with NICE and GMC guidance on confidentiality, consent, capacity, duty of candour, colleague in difficulty, answering complaints and safeguarding.

If you choose to prepare in advance, The Neurodisability Community has a Trello board specific to START preparation with a lot of useful resources and information. It can also be helpful to get in touch with other trainees who are undertaking START at the same time. The RCPCH START guidance for trainees by trainees also has useful information and ideas of key areas which may useful to focus on in your preparation, if you wish to do so.

Who to contact for information and advice

  • BACD trainee representatives BACD has three trainee representatives who are very happy to be contacted about any questions about training in paediatric neurodisability, advice about applying to GRID and would love to hear from you and for you to get involved in things they are currently working on.
  • BACD regional representatives BACD regional representatives are local points of contact for interested trainees to find out more about neurodisability training routes, neurodisability careers and to find out more about what is happening in your local area.
  • Paediatric Neurodisability CSAC The College Specialty Advisory Committees (CSAC) is a sub-committee of the RCPCH Education and Training Quality Committee, which helps to set the standards for the training programme. The CSAC are happy to be contacted with any queries or problems related to training. 

Please get in touch If you would like to contribute to the work we are doing as BACD trainee reps, have any ideas or suggestions or would like to do a member story – please get in touch [email protected]

British Academy of Childhood Disability is registered in England and Wales under charity number 1177868
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