ISA Novice Course

We have set our course up to help steward Imperial novice trainees through their first few months of their anaesthetic career, providing them with the basic knowledge and skills to survive the high stress environment of anaesthetics.


Novice Course


See also

Primary Viva Course
Primary OSCE Course
Final Viva Course
Final Written Course
I3 (ICU) Course

Imperial Novice Course Logo

The Imperial Novice Course was established in 2010 and we have over a decade of experience delivering a high-quality introduction to Anaesthesia. We have consistently tried to improve and keep our content relevant to the developing needs of our novices. Our traditional face-face course format, prior to 2020, consisted of 4 days of lectures and workshop-based small group teaching, and one day of simulation. As the Covid-19 pandemic evolved, we transformed our course into a qualitatively successful online learning package ( for our August 2020 novices.


We fully recognise that novices, starting in February/March 2021, will have drastically reduced training opportunities as elective surgery is likely to continue to run at a reduced level. With this in mind, the online content has been devised to ease you into the specialty well-known for its complicated knowledge, drugs, equipment, and skills. The purpose of the course is to support you to achieve the Initial Assessment of Competency which must be obtained within your first 3-6 months of anaesthesia training.


This course will not only provide you with the very basic knowledge you need to achieve your Initial Assessment of Competency but also a taste of things you should be considering during your everyday practice. We know and understand that to begin with it’s about surviving and getting through the list (both novices and patients alike – we were novices once too and remember how tough some days can be!). Video podcasts have been produced on key areas of anaesthetic practice which are likely to be completely new to you. You will be expected to be familiar with these basics within weeks of starting your training but being able to refer back, reflect and refresh on them as you progress will be of real benefit. You will have access to this online material for the next 12 months.


In recognition of the steep learning curve you are facing, the Imperial School of Anaesthesia, has made our novice course a mandatory requirement for all core anaesthesia trainees, all ACCS trainees and all ICM trainees with a rotation in Anaesthesia – you will have been sent login details.


Learners progress through online material at a self-directed pace. The online material is divided into 71 video podcasts and 46 written topics. The podcasts have been recorded by consultants and trainees from the Imperial School of Anaesthesia hospitals network and we would like to thank all those that have contributed to this material. Each topic is stand-alone and approximately 10 minutes duration. The content has been divided in this way to allow it to be viewed in easily digestible chunks with a low risk of screen fatigue. Our learning platform is designed to allow us to monitor progress of our individual learners so that poor compliance or potential issues can be rapidly identified.


The online material will be accompanied by live interactive sessions which will be held once a week for four weeks. The focus of these sessions will be to apply the learning from the online material in small-group discussions of case-based scenarios. This interactive component of the course has been postponed until the current Covid-19 surge eases. Once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, we hope to re-instate the face-to-face components of our course which include practical skills workshops and simulation.


Please feel free to contact us at anytime at with any issues or concerns and we will do our best to help promptly.


Good luck! We hope to meet many of you in the coming weeks and months.


Imperial School of Anaesthesia Novice Course


Directors 2021

Dr Sadie Syed – Consultant Anaesthetist, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Dr Rakhee Nathwani – Consultant Anaesthetist, West Hertfordshire NHS trust

Dr Rajinder Chaggar – Consultant Anaesthetist, London North West Hospitals NHS Trust

Dr Patrick Ward – Consultant Anaesthetist, Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust

Dr Ivan Dillon – Associate Specialist, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Dr Rajan Saini – Locum Consultant in Anaesthesia and Cardiac Intensive Care, Great Ormond Street Hospital

Dr Sanooj Soni – Clinical Lecturer, Imperial College London

Dr Sneh Shah – Senior Specialty Trainee, Imperial School of Anaesthesia

Dr George Bailey – Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

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