Surgical Training Pathway

Those who are undertaking approved surgical training in Ireland are known as Specialist Registrars (SpRs). Guidance on the arrangements for SpR training is set out in A Manual of Higher Surgical Training (also known as the Pink Book) and A Guide to Specialist Registrar Training (also known as the Orange Book).

SpR trainees are expected to use eLogbook to record their operations. At the end of training Irish trainees receive a Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (CCST).

The Irish training system is in the process of changing. For details of the new system, which began in 2013, see here.


Higher Surgical/Specialist Training (HST) Information

Urology is a surgical specialty that deals with the treatment of conditions involving the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs.

Specialists in the field of urology are called urologists or urological surgeons; healthcare professionals who are trained to diagnose, detect and treat disorders and diseases of the genitourinary tract.
Traditionally Urology has had a smaller number of trainees compared to other specialties with training concentrated to 8 hospitals in Ireland. One of the major benefits of urology training in Ireland is that a trainee will rotate through at least 4 of the 8 major academic urology units during the higher surgical training scheme.
As a Urology Trainee on a specialist/higher surgical training scheme one gets the opportunity to not only learn core urology procedures but to also gain experience in the various urology sub-specialties from experienced trainers. With an excellent annual meeting nationally, trainees have the opportunity to present original research.
Research projects from Irish urology departments are also routinely presented at international meetings such as the European Association of Urology as well as the American Association of Urology. Publications from Irish trainees in major impact factor Urology journals are also not uncommon.


Training Pathway:

Step 1Step 2Step 3Step 4
Training LevelMedical SchoolIntern YearCore Training in SurgeryHigher Specialist Training in Urology
Duration4-6 Years1 Years2 Years6 Years
Entry ProcessGraduate or Direct EntryEntry through the HSE intern MatchEntry based on competitive interviewEntry based on on-going assessment (CAPA), successful completion of the MRCS exam and Specialty Interview
Mandatory ExaminationsAs per CurriculumN/AMRCS ExamAs per Curriculum
Application DateCAO Process opens in NovemberApplication Process opens in OctoberApplication Process opens in NovemberCAO Process Opens in November
Programme Operated byAs per CurriculumIntern NetworksRCSIAs per Curriculum

Hospital Accreditation

Urology training is provided through hospitals accredited for urology training. Hospital accreditation is under the jurisdiction of the Urology Special Advisory Committee (SAC) of the Joint Committee on Surgical Training (JCST). At present, the following hospitals are accredited for Higher Surgical Training in Urology:


  • St. James’ Hospital
  • Tallaght Hospital
  • St. Vincent’s University Hospital
  • Mater Misericordiae University Hospital
  • Beaumont Hospital


  • Cork University Hospital
  • Mercy University Hospital


  • Galway University Hospital


  • University Hospital Limerick


  • University Hospital Waterford



The Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) is awarded to trainees who have successfully completed and passed all parts of the Intercollegiate Specialty Examination in Urology.



The Joint Committee on Surgical Training (JCST) is an advisory body to the four surgical Royal Colleges of the UK and Ireland for all matters related to surgical training.

The JCST is the parent body for all ten Specialty Advisory Committees (SACs) responsible for surgical specialties, the Core Surgical Training Committee (CSTC), the Training Interface Groups (TIGs) and the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme (ISCP). The JCST and your SAC form an integral part of your training from start to completion.