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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

The Psychiatric Trainees' Committee

Welcome message from Dr Matt Tovey, PTC Chair (2015-2016) 

Hello and welcome to the Psychiatric Trainees' Committee (PTC) webpages. I'm Matt Tovey, the Chair of your committee for 2015-16.

I really hope you have heard of us, and are aware of your local representatives. If you're not, you can find their details here.

Who are we? We're a group elected by you to represent your views to the wider College. We're fortunate to have a College that takes trainee views very seriously and allows a trainee representative to sit on almost every committee. Within our ranks we have representatives from all regions of the UK, as well as patient and carer representatives and a representative from the military.

With that being said, it's very important that we keep you up-to-date with what we're up to and we aim to do this via our pages here, twitter (@RCPsychtrainees), Facebook, our magazine 'The Registrar' and via your local representatives.

However, to maximise our impact, and to be as effective as possible, we really need you to keep us informed of your thoughts, views and concerns so we know how best to direct our energy. You can always contact your local representative or contact me via to let us know.

It might be helpful to let you know what sort of work we have done previously, and what we are currently working on.

Previously, members of the PTC have been involved in numerous projects including considering the impact of an 'exit exam' which has fortunately been shelved, developing national and international initiatives such as MedFest and DocBate in order to improve and widen the profile of psychiatry, developing an occasional paper that reflected the concerns of trainees about emergency psychiatry experience during their core training and offering advice as to how to improve this and supporting ways of using the historical exam surplus money that maximises benefit for trainees which is currently being used to further develop Trainees ONline (TrON)

Presently, we are focussing on (but certainly not limited to) three areas -

Engagement - considering how to improve engagement with you, the trainees, to maximise our value.

Recruitment & Retention - considering how to encourage high quality psychiatrists of the future into our specialty and to ensure the training experience is good enough to retain them right up until consultant level; including issues such as less than full time training and how to support trainees who have had the saddening experience of encountering a patient who commits suicide.

Training - considering all aspects of training including the Shape of Training review and its effect on psychiatry, looking at how to improve work-place based assessments and the ARCP process

I hope you can see the breadth of work we undertake, as well as the positive impact we believe we have on your training experience. To keep this up, though, we need a constant flow of enthusiastic and talented trainees such as yourselves, and would strongly encourage you all to stand for election to the PTC during your training. I guarantee you will enjoy it, you will make a difference to training in psychiatry, and you will meet a group of inspirational individuals who will enable you develop yourself into the best you can be!

I hope to hear from you all soon

PTC Chair 2015-2016

The Psychiatric Trainees' Committee is both worried and saddened by the latest chapter in the
junior doctors' contract dispute.

We are acutely aware of the distress this situation causes for both our patients and our colleagues, and would encourage trainees to support each other, and utilise the Psychiatrists' Support Service for confidential help during these very difficult times.

Whilst terms and conditions of the contract are beyond our control, we recognise that there are many issues extending far beyond this that have contributed to the situation we face. We are committed to improving training, recruitment and retention within psychiatry so that we may safeguard morale within and positivity towards our specialty.

Our national morale review ‘Supported and Valued’ aims to improve the training and working lives of all junior psychiatrists and we would encourage all trainees to contact their local representatives and engage with their local events to ensure we shape the future into the one you would like to see.

Echoing the words of our president, Professor Sir Simon Wessely, “unhappy, demotivated doctors, who no longer feel in control of their careers or lives, deliver poorer care to patients” and we are unified in our efforts to remain professional and overcome this.

Information about the PTC

Membership of the PTC

The Psychiatric Trainees’ Committee (PTC) consists of 37 elected members, three from each Division (the regional sub-groups that represent each area of England), three from Wales, three from Northern Ireland, two from each of the three Scottish regions and one from the armed forces. At least one member per division must be a pre-membership psychiatric trainee. There are also an additional 7 co-opted members, three for the London Division, one Medical Student SA, one Foundation Doctor SA, one Carer observer, and one Service User observer. The immediate past PTC Chair and the Dean are ex-officio members.

Elections are held in half of the Divisions every year, with members serving a two-year term with the possibility of being re-elected for a further two years. The committee meets at the College four times a year, including once which is an annual meeting and induction meeting to welcome the new committee members. The PTC often forms working groups of four or five members in order to formulate ideas about particular training issues. A Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary are elected annually from within the PTC membership. Elections for Student Associate Members occur every year, as these members serve a one year term.

The Role of the PTC

The PTC sends a representative to almost every committee in the College and the trainee representatives do far more than observe the workings of these committees, and take an active role in influencing College policy. PTC representatives on other committees are elected annually from within the PTC membership.

The PTC is represented at the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges via the Academy Trainee Doctors’ Group, and at the BMA Junior Doctors’ Committee meetings. Representatives of the PTC attend meetings of the European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees and are involved in various working groups looking at training issues across Europe.


The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges' has developed a Charter for Postgraduate Training,  which highlights the value of the Doctor in Training.  The PTC have representation on the Academy’s Trainee Doctor Group (ATDG) and have been instrumental in the creation of this document.  Please take the time to read this and share the Charter with your colleagues.

Click here to read 'A Charter for Postgraduate Medical Training: Value of the Doctor in Training'.

The AoMRC has been working with the College and the GMC to develop more generic training to better suit the needs of patients. The Shape of Training steering group has prepared the following paper. Please take the time to read this and share it with your colleagues.   

Click here to read the AoMRC's Shape of Training paper

Click here to read the PTC Shape of Training update

PTC Elections

Each year elections will be held for half of the Divisions.  Elections shall be held for the North West, Scottish, South East, Trent, Welsh, Ireland (North) and West Midland Divisions in one year followed by elections for Eastern, Northern and Yorkshire, London,  and South West Divisions in the following year.

2017 elections will be held for the following divisions:

  • Eastern
  • Northern and Yorkshire
  • London
  • South West

Individuals elected will assume their role as PTC representative at the Annual Meeting and Induction.

PTC Job Descriptions

Future PTC meeting dates

  • 9-10 September 2016 (Cardiff) 
  • 16 December (London)

All PTC Members are asked to note that it was agreed at the 2003 PTC's annual meeting and induction that members who fail to attend two consecutive PTC meetings, and do not forward apologies to the PTC Support, or find an alternative attendee, should be voted off the PTC.

Annual Meeting and Induction dates:

The PTC have an annual meeting and induction which are held on a rotating basis in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

The locations of the most recent annual meeting and induction were:

2008: Birmingham, England

2009: Belfast, Northern Ireland

2010: Edinburgh, Scotland

2011: London, England

2012: Cardiff, Wales

2013: Belfast, Northern Ireland

2014: Newcastle, England
2015: Glasgow, Scotland
2016: Cardiff, Wales




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Last updated 26/04/16



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