About the School

Staff Grade and Associate Specialist Doctors

Health Education England – Thames Valley is committed to the personal and professional development of Staff Grade and Associate Specialist Doctors (SAS) in our region.

We recognised that the careers of SAS doctors do not stand still.  Whilst SAS doctors are clinically able, and tend to keep up to date in their discipline, they need real support to be trained to take on additional roles and reach their full potential.

HEE Thames Valley local offices has appointed an Programme Director for SAS Doctors and are proud to continue this supportive tradition.  Since 2008 deaneries (now local offices) have had the responsibility, on behalf of the Department of Health, to allocate SAS development funds to trusts.

The role of HEE Thames Valley is to support SAS Tutors within each trust, monitor the quality of educational experience and provide general guidance.  It is the responsibility of the employing trusts to direct SAS doctors towards appropriate development activities and to make the necessary funds and time available for them to do so.


What value does Health Education England Thames Valley add?

  1. Health Education England Thames Valley pays the salary, administrative and IT support of a dedicated Training Programme Director.
  2. Provides a forum via CoPMED for leaders such as Associate Deans and Training Programme Directors to learn and share ideas.
  3. Supports the appointment, payment and appraisal of the SAS tutors within individual trusts.
  4. Co-ordinates a strong network of tutors, who are able to work together to produce training from local colleagues, trainers and specialists in field, to provide cost efficient, high quality workshops and conferences.
  5. Organise regional events on topical issues of broad interest to SAS doctors.
  6. Provide career support to SAS doctors including CESR applicants.
  7. Provide new career opportunities in the Quality Improvement Fellowship, Mental Health QI Fellowship, Medical Education Fellowship and Specialty Trainer role.
  8. Maintain a database of SAS doctors to assist the fair allocation of funds and for direct emailing of information.
  9. Support the personal and professional development of SAS doctors through access to numerous Courses and Conferences.

Where can I find out more?

Every trust within Thames Valley has a dedicated SAS tutor.  These are all SAS doctors themselves, and they are generally paid on session to carry out this part of their role.

Each has knowledge of the opportunities open to SAS doctors, and can provide you with information of local training events.

  • You will find the SAS tutors and their contact details in the document (pdf).
  • For more information about starting to apply and prepare for CESR, see our guide to CESR application here (add a link) (pdf).

For any HEE Thames Valley SAS doctor finding their professional circumstances particularly challenging, or perhaps an opportunity they would like to explore, our first recommendations is that they talk with their tutor.