Eating Disorders Credential Pilot: an update

In September the learning days for the Eating Disorder Credential Pilot were completed.

As the participants await the marking of their portfolios, the Dean’s Quarterly Update reports on what has been achieved over the last 12 months.

A project funded by NHSE Workforce, Training and Education, the College established a working group consisting of:

  • Specialist Advisor for Credentialing Dr Helen Bruce
  • Vice Chair of the Faculty of Eating Disorders Dr Agnes Ayton
  • National Mental Health Clinical Advisor for NHSE and former RCPsych President, Professor Wendy Burn.

The challenge was to produce a pilot that could meet the requirements of the incoming GMC Credentials, as well as produce a course that could support multi-professionals in the field.

Interest for the pilot was high with 211 applications received; this was eventually whittled down to 30:

  • 6 x Child and Adolescent Consultants
  • 7 x General Adult Consultants
  • 3 x Child and Adolescent Trainees
  • 3 x General Adult Trainees
  • 4 x SAS Doctors
  • 2 x Dietitians
  • 2 x GPs
  • 1 x Psychologist
  • 1 x Paediatrician
  • 1 x Nurse.

Despite a false start, with the Induction needing to be re-scheduled due to the death of the Queen, the pilot finally got underway on Friday 7 October 2022.

There were six learning days in total covering topics such as 'Communication styles in eating disorders', 'Legal frameworks', and 'Understanding of avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID)'.

Some of the learning came via Eating Disorder Faculty conferences where there were presentations given on 'Complex cases and co-morbidities in eating disorders', 'Type 1 diabetes and disordered eating', and the controversy on terminal anorexia nervosa.

The most popular learning day of the pilot was the Scenario day with four patient scenarios based on real-life lived experience, played out by actors and facilitated by Eating Disorder Consultants. The scenarios covered:

  • the mother of an anorexic daughter
  • a woman in her 70s who is no longer eating
  • bulimia complex comorbidities and suicide attempt
  • a woman in her 40s with type 1 diabetes and binge eating disorder.

In between the learning days, the participants were provided with mentorship which came in the form of one-on-one support and group sessions.

Throughout the year, participants were also required to complete an online portfolio which consisted of:

  • ten case histories
  • evidence of reflective practice
  • 20 mentor notes and reflections
  • mentor feedback report, to be produced at the end of the credential with a recommendation for final outcome
  • five Case Based Discussions
  • supporting evidence outlining leadership, team working, clinical governance and teaching capabilities, as per the key capabilities outlined under the HLO (Higher Level Outcome) domains.

Findings from the pilot

  • The pilot has provided important lessons for the training of future cohorts including appropriate allowances to be made for multi-professional participants.
  • The GMC continues to work on granting formal approval for the credential. However, given the clinical need of patients with Eating Disorders, RCPsych has continued to train the workforce in this critical area and the cohort of 2023 received 92 applications, filling 34 places with participants from England, Wales and Jersey. Interest was also received from Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Those who complete the Credential will receive a College certificate.

Cohort 2 recruitment begins in Spring 2024. If you are interested in hearing more, please contact

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry