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Clinical endoscopist training programme

To address the increasing demand for endoscopy services, HEE has worked with the Joint Advisory Committee on Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (JAG) to develop a clinical endoscopist (formerly non-medical endoscopist) training programme. 


This 30-week programme has been designed to teach NMC Adult Nurses and Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered healthcare professionals to perform safe diagnostic procedures in either upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy.  

Colonoscopy training

There will be an HEE Clinical Endoscopist Training Programme Colonoscopy pilot cohort. 

This Progression to Colonoscopy module will follow on from the flexible sigmoidoscopy module and upskill trainees to become fully certified independent colonoscopists. The core of this module will begin in May 2020 and be delivered over 40 weeks, with extensions agreed with Trusts if necessary. 

Employing organisations will be required to provide preceptorships for trainees following completion of the programme. Trainees will be required to attend one day at Liverpool John Moores University during the preceptorship to support the maintenance and review of their practice. 

Applications are now open for HEE's Clinical Endoscopist Training Programme, Lower GI Progression to Colonoscopy Programme Pilot >> online application form

  • The application window for this module closes on Monday 9 March. 
  • Selection day will be held on 24 March 2020 in London.

Changes in eligibility

The selection criteria for the programme has been changed, with the maximum number of procedures completed prior to the programme start increased to 100 procedures.

This is to offer trainees and trusts greater flexibility. This change suits applicants whose training has been paused or those who need more than 30 weeks to do their practical training, but want to maintain a structured course content and support to complete their training. Trusts also benefit from this change as the increase offers further flexibility regards time frames for completing the training.    

From 2019 onwards, we are also welcoming experienced clinical endoscopists to the clinical endoscopist training programme. 

By ‘experienced clinical endoscopist’, we mean an NMC or HCPC-registered healthcare professionals who have completed training in one endoscopy modality (e.g. flexible-sigmoidoscopy, OGD or colonoscopy) and now wishes to train in either flexible-sigmoidoscopy or upper GI endoscopy. See further details on who can apply below. 

Support package

HEE is offering a training support package of up to £15,000 per trainee for the April 2020 cohort.

This support may be reduced for trainees who have already completed a significant number of procedures in the modality in which they wish to train. Applicants will be assessed on a case-by-case basis during the selection process. This package can be used to support creating sufficient capacity to release trainees from their duties or to provide training capacity when completing the 200 practical procedures within the trust.  

Case studies

They fit in with departmental needs” – Ed Seward is a consultant gastroenterologist, responsible for training nurse endoscopists that come through the department at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Read what he has to say about the training programme. 

“There is no cost to the Trust…its really beneficial” - Sue Priestley is the Clinical Director for Gastroenterology at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and also a JAG lead. Read what he has to say about the training programme. 

Pilot cohorts

Two pilot trainee cohorts completed the training in 2016. Following a positive initial evaluation report by the Office for Public Management (OPM), the programme is being rolled out more widely. Successful trainees from the programme have advanced their careers while helping to meet endoscopy service demands in their trust and freeing up medical colleagues to concentrate on more complicated cases.

To date, some 245 trainees are now either in training or have completed training. 

It is such a brilliant program! It is intense, but provides robust quality training”

Jun Wang, Nurse Endoscopist/ Endoscopy Specialist practitioner – University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust.

Feedback shows trainees are helping to meet clinical demand, reduce waiting lists and contributing to a better patient experience. The full follow-up evaluation will be published in the spring and will be available on this page.

I think actually what it’s done has put better practices in place, before it was very ad hoc, the trust has focused on training massively and the planning worked has benefited us and the registrars.”

Developing your career

Trainees who have completed the programme have found it a rewarding way to develop their skills and advance their career in a practical patient focused role. They are taking on new roles such as clinical research, leading clinics and designing pre-assessment services alongside using their new scoping skills to have a positive direct impact on quality of care for patients.

I thoroughly enjoyed the course and I am now running my own list in the endoscopy unit alongside my role as an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) nurse. It has expanded my knowledge, skill base and my role as a IBD nurse”

 Alexandra Westhoff, IBD Nurse Specialist/ Non-medical Endoscopist – St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospital NHS Trust.

Stakeholder engagement on future development

HEE hosted a discussion event on 20 January with stakeholders on further developing endoscopy training. We are expecting an update on this shortly. 

Find everything you need to know about the programme and how to apply below: 

The accelerated training programme takes seven months and comprises of:

- clinical in house practical skills training to achieve JAG certification (suggested minimum of two dedicated endoscopy training sessions per week) requiring at least 200 procedures.

- regular meetings with local mentor and clinical supervisor

- attendance at study days at a university, leading to academic accreditation

- completion of academic assignment (currently 4,000 word case study)

- completion of JAG certification in either diagnostic upper GI (OGD) or flexible sigmoidoscopy

- completion of the competency portfolio signed off by clinical supervisor

- completion of SLATE e-learning package

- attendance at JAG Basic Skills course (2-3 days)

To enable trainees to train within the timeframe, employing organisations are expected to provide local support, including clinical supervision, good access to clinical lists to enable trainees to complete the necessary 200 clinical procedures, and sufficient release from other responsibilities to support trainees to focus on the programme requirements.  


For experienced clinical endoscopists

Applicants who have completed the HEE clinical endoscopist course previously.

- Submission of application form and associated plans from their organisation to show full support of the student

- No requirement to attend the selection day. Confirmation of place by email.

- All parts of the course to be undertaken, but some academic sessions may be optional and time given for personal study to account for prior learning.


Applicants who have not attended the HEE clinical endoscopist course previously

- JAG certification for the modality you have experience in is not necessary but recent JAG clinical KPIs must be supplied with the application form.

- Attendance at selection day

- Completion of all parts of the programme, with recognition of prior learning (RPL) potential for academic work.


Applications are welcome from suitably experienced, NMC or HCPC registered healthcare professionals. This includes but is not limited to;

- Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Nurse Specialists in Cancer,

- Clinical Nurse Specialists  in Endoscopy, GI Radiology, GI Surgery, Gastroenterology

- Dieticians

- Radiographers  - Therapeutic and Diagnostic

- Operating Department Practitioners

- Specialist Screening Practitioners

Note: If your role if not listed you may still be eligible to apply, please get in touch. The programme is not open to medically qualified applicants. 


From 2019 onwards, HEE will welcome experienced clinical endoscopists to the clinical endoscopist training programme.

By ‘experienced clinical endoscopist’, we mean an NMC or HCPC registered healthcare professionals who have completed training in one endoscopy modality (e.g. flexible-sigmoidoscopy, OGD or colonoscopy) and now wishes to train in either flexible-sigmoidoscopy or upper GI endoscopy. There is a requirement that no more than 20 lifetime procedures have been undertaken in the modality you are applying to train in.


To be accepted onto the trainee April 2020 cohort applications should be submitted by 10 February 2020.

Other useful dates:

Induction day: April 2020, Liverpool.

Clinical supervisors are no longer required to attend induction days. They will be sent a full information pack instead. 

Please direct any enquiries to diagnosticsprogramme@hee.nhs.uk.

Take a look at our supporting documents and if you are interested in applying for the training programme, or putting forward a candidate from your trust, please complete this online application form.

All shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview.