Application criteria

Individuals can apply to be screening colonoscopists once they have met the following criteria:

  • Applicants must be fully registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) or appropriate professional body and must be in  good standing. It is not necessary for an endoscopist in the programme to be a nurse or doctor, but they must be registered as a health care professional. This means that they must be able to work unsupervised and take upon themselves responsibility for their own professional actions and practice.
  • Candidates must be attached to a screening centre with a substantive 12 month contract at the minimum. The screening centre director/programme manager should complete a request form for a new screening colonoscopist to seek approval for the proposed candidate from the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes (NHS CSP) national office.
  • Applicants must have a minimum lifetime experience of 1000 examinations.
  • A minimum of 120 examinations is required in the 12 months prior to the submission of an application, although a proportion of these examinations are expected to be undertaken by specialist registrars (SpRs) or others under the supervision of the candidate, or in private practice.
  • Applicants should have a documented unadjusted completion rate on an intention-to-treat basis of 90% or greater over the preceding year. This may include patients with bowel resection; however patients with incomplete examinations owing to, for example, obstructing lesions or faecal obstruction will count as failures.
  • Applicants should have polyp detection rates of 20% or more, and meet the current criteria with respect to sedation. Evidence will be required of the complication rate of this series, including vasovagal attacks, bleeding problems, unplanned admissions and the use of reversal agents. The audit should be verified and signed off by the Endoscopy Unit Sister or Manager and by a consultant colleague/clinical director/medical director. Both should have been invited to inspect the raw data.
  • All applicants must have a named BCSA mentor who is a current BCSA screener and has attended either the BCSA mentor/DOPyS training day, or a TCT course along with an in house mentorship training day.
  • Applicants must submit four completed DOPyS forms. A BCSA mentor or local BCSA assessor may complete the DOPyS by observing four polypectomies. These do not have to be video recorded. All four must be snare polypectomies; at least one >10mm and at least one using EMR technique. All 4 DOPyS forms must be scoring as ‘competent for independent practice’ overall.
  • Submitting an application for the accreditation process is part of the ongoing quality assurance of BCSA and all data from applications and assessments may be used for evaluation and audit purposes.

Areas which can cause delay to submission 

To ensure your application is dealt with swiftly, please be mindful of the following:

  • Submission of DOPyS - forms must be completed within 1 year of application
  • Accuracy of data provided - often procedure information submitted is clearly incorrect. This results in the BCSA team needing to clarify information with the screening centre and candidate.