Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For further information about JCST and its activities, please visit the about us page or read our Terms of Reference.

When was the fee introduced and why?

The fee was introduced by the four surgical Royal Colleges of the UK and Ireland in August 2008 to support the running costs of the Joint Committee on Surgical Training (JCST). The surgical Royal Colleges had stopped receiving government funding to support the costs of the JCST and the fee was introduced. These costs include those associated with trainee enrolment and certification; the work of the Specialty Advisory Committees (SACs) and other committees/groups; curriculum educational review, evaluation and development; helpdesk support; and continuous improvements to our internal systems and processes as well as the running costs of the ISCP (curriculum development and website development). Further information about JCST's activities can be found on the 'about us' page here.

The Joint Committee for Postgraduate Training in Dentistry (JCTPD) adopted the ISCP for dental surgical training from August 2011. The fee has been set at 50% of the surgical fee because dental surgical trainees do not make use of the full range of JCST services. You can find more information about JCST finances here.

Who does the fee apply to?

The fee applies to all surgical trainees who started training on or after 1 August 2007 and everyone else who wishes to use the interactive areas of the training management system held in the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme (ISCP) website.

Dental trainees

A number of dental surgical specialties have adopted the ISCP. Please refer to your dental SAC if you are not sure whether it has been implemented in your specialty.

How much is the fee?

The fee is currently set at £260. It will remain at £260 in the 2022/23 academic year.

How do you pay?

The fee is payable by logging into your ISCP account and following the ‘JCST fee’ link under the ‘Dashboard’ heading. Some Royal Colleges may have arrangements in place to allow trainees to combine fee payments with College membership fee payments - please contact your respective Royal College for further information.

The fee is payable between August and October of each academic year. For those not in training programmes, the fee is payable at any time but will be calculated according to the academic year.

What sort of payment method is accepted?

You can pay the fee using your credit/debit card. American Express is not accepted.

The JCST annual fee should be paid up-front i.e. at the point of access/start of the academic year; payment should be made in full, with the fee amount calculated according to training status. Please note, monthly payment options are not compatible with the ISCP system.

Please pay by debit card and help us minimise the administrative cost of processing your fee. The surgical Royal Colleges are charity organisations and payments by debit card will have a significant positive impact on costs. Thank you.

Can I get tax relief?

Yes. The fee is now tax deductible.

You can claim back tax by filling in a P87 form - further details here. The JCST training fee is listed here under "Surgical Training, Joint Committee on". Further  details about this piece of legislation can be found here.

What happens if I do not pay the fee?

The fee covers all of JCST's activities. If you do not pay the fee, you will be unable to access/update the interactive areas of the training management system in ISCP (for example create/update learning agreements or add workplace-based assessments), and the JCST will not be able to progress requests for out of programme support and/or not be able to recommend you for certification.

I am a surgical trainee working less than full time; do I have to pay the full fee?

You can apply for a proportional payment (e.g. if you work 70% of a week, you could apply to pay 70% of the current fee). The JCST will ask the Training Programme Director (TPD)/Deanery/local office to confirm your circumstances before proceeding.

I am a surgical trainee going on an out of programme post (or prolonged / statutory leave). Do I have to pay the fee?

If your out of programme post (normally an OOPT or an OOPR) has been prospectively approved by the GMC and is to count towards certification, you will need to pay the fee. If your circumstances change, please contact the helpdesk.

If your out of programme activity is not going to count towards certification (OOPE, OOPC or other), or you are taking a period of statutory leave, you would not be expected to pay. However, if you plan to add new evidence to your portfolio while undertaking this activity, you will be required to pay a third of the full fee on a proportional basis.

You should always inform the JCST that you will be out of programme.

Please note that the above does not apply to academic trainees i.e. Academic Clinical Fellows (ACFs) and Academic Clinical Lecturers (ACLs). Academic trainees are considered to be in full time training.

In exceptional circumstances, the JCST may agree to waive the fee for trainees working on an unpaid basis in low income economies as defined by the World Bank, whether with an aid or disaster relief agency or via an independent arrangement. This will apply to prospectively approved periods of out of programme training (OOPT) of at least 6 months in duration and will be on a pro rata basis to cover the time spent working in the country in question. We will consider each case individually and the ultimate decision will rest with the JCST Chair.

Is there a discount if I (surgical trainee) only have 6 months left in my training or if my start date is deferred beyond October?

Trainees are expected to pay the fee for the totality of their training, regardless of when they start or finish their training programme. You should contact the JCST office if you believe you are eligible for a reduced fee.

Please note that the JCST will seek Deanery or Local Office clarification of your circumstances before proceeding.

Can I get a refund?

If you are entitled to a refund and it is within a year of the payment for which you wish to receive a refund, we will process it. Otherwise, if more than a year has passed, we will endeavour to credit your account instead.

What people or organisations have access to my payment information?

JCST staff including the helpdesk team. The finance department will also have access to this information for internal processing.

Who can I contact for further information?

Please contact the helpdesk ( or the JCST Trainee Services Team.