Training options during the COVID-19 pandemic

Updated 10:00 20th May 2020

This page is updated regularly to answer questions you may have about our services during the current pandemic.

We know that the UK’s response to the current coronavirus pandemic has included disruption to training activities with some doctors being directed to alternative tasks and locations. Some royal colleges have already taken the decision to cancel or postpone their exams but the GMC and AoMRC have said they are determined to ensure the longer term needs of doctors in training are not compromised. At the same time, many interviews, meetings and reviews are being conducted via online video conferencing. New or demanding situations mean proactive skills development is as important now as ever.

How is Oxford Medical responding?

At Oxford Medical we remain committed to supporting your professional development while at the same time protecting the safety of our delegates, tutors and partners. At a headline level:

  • We have cancelled all courses which were scheduled to run between Monday 16th March and Friday 29th May 2020.
  • Courses scheduled from Saturday 30th May 2020 through to end of June will all now take place in our Virtual Training Room.
    • These courses are run using Zoom or similar online meeting software and proved an identical CPD certificate as the courses which are run in physical locations.
    • All delegates who booked courses for these dates have been advised of the change from physical location to Virtual Training Room by email.
  • Courses at locations across the UK are scheduled to run from 4th July onwards. We describe our plans and precautions being taken regarding these events further down this page.
  • We continue to offer a full range of online courses as effectively and efficiently as we normal.

What online courses do you run?

Almost all our in-person courses have an interactive CPD accredited online alternative. These provide the current ideal format for skills development, especially if you have a deadline such as an imminent interview, CESR or CCT requirement.

You can see a full list of online courses here. You can also choose from our range of online bundles which collect these various courses together to provide you with a broader development experience at a reduced price.

All online courses are available 24 hours a day. You get instant access when you order and you can spend as long as you want, revisiting the material as often as you wish during the subscription period. We have doubled the subscription period of most online courses from 60 to 120 days to give you plenty of time to complete them.

Can I still book to attend a course?

In addition to instant access to our online courses and digital books, we are also taking bookings for courses which will run in our Virtual Training Room with a range of dates available. We have courses scheduled to run from 4th July 2020 onwards at cities across the UK which are available to book.

Availability is updated in real time on our website and bookings can be made (subject to availability) at any time, 24 hours a day via the relevant course page. Maximum numbers on courses have been reduced so best book early to avoid disappointment.

You can book future course dates with confidence, knowing that if you are unable to attend a course due to illness, or changing rotas, or if we have to cancel your course for any reason we will continue to offer a range of alternative options, including a free transfer or a full refund.

What safeguards have Oxford Medical put in place?

Courses where delegates attend together in a physical location will only take place in a format which is considered both safe and acceptable at that point and within the guidelines published by the UK Government. No-one is able to predict what the exact guidelines and rules will be on any specific date. So we have taken the following steps based on what we do know.

  • The only courses scheduled to take place before the end of June 2020 will run over the internet in our Virtual Training Room.
  • We have reduced the number of delegate spaces available on courses until the end of July 2020.
    • This increases likelihood that the course can proceed while still respecting any physical distancing rules between delegates which are applicable at that point.
    • We will only revert to normal numbers if guidance makes it clear that this would be acceptable.
  • We will endeavour to give as much advance notice of changes in plans for running any courses as we can.
  • As a contingency plan, we have prepared virtual versions of the events which will run in the Virtual Training Room on the same date if we are unable to effectively, safely and ethically deliver the course at the intended location.

What if my course has been cancelled?

As mentioned above, our intention is to replace any course which would be inappropriate to take place at a physical venue with an equivalent run in our Virtual Training Room. These interactive virtual courses are facilitated via Zoom or other online conference software. They cover the same subject matter and have the same CPD accreditation. Delegates therefore receive a CPD certificate of attendance which is identical to the one awarded for a course taking place in London, Birmingham, Manchester or any other city. We believe this will be acceptable to the majority of delegates.

If you believe this is not a viable substitution for you then you will be advised of your options which will range from transfer to a date later in the year, partial refund with access to a relevant online course through to full refund.

We are unable to offer refunds for travel, accommodation or other expenses. So, as always, we recommend that you book fully refundable travel & accommodation for your course. You can read more about our cancellation policy here.

When will you update your advice?

We will continue to update the information on this statement page as and when there is any change in the advice issued by the UK Government.

Stephen McGuire – Managing Director