As there is no a formalised training for cosmetic surgery in the UK, nor is there a GMC recognised cosmetic surgery specialty, the BABS has undertaken the responsibility of ensuring adequate training, continuous professional development, appraisal and revalidation of cosmetic surgeons. The BABS works to ensure that these activities are aligned with GMC guidance, and works with the regulator towards a formal process of credentialing for cosmetic surgery.
As part of its commitment towards this goal, the BABS Charter includes the following activities:
- Establishment and support for a continuous professional development program and regular educational activities for body sculpting and cosmetic surgeons.
- Sponsors and runs a formal education program, a Clinical Fellowship in body sculpting and cosmetic surgery, including exit competency testing and criteria.
- Facilitates and supports a formal assessment and testing program, with the aim of independent verification of the maintenance of competency for specific cosmetic procedures (Procedure Proficiency Program, P3).
- Maintains its status as a Designated Body (DB) for the purpose of overseeing appraisal and revalidation of doctors performing body sculpting and cosmetic surgery.
A formal competency assessment to perform body sculpting and cosmetic surgery
BABS administers and oversees competency assessments of body sculpting procedures and cosmetic surgery in two ways:
- Clinical Fellows (doctors being trained in the specialty) undergo assessments according to the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) template, and using the same documentation process. The Post-graduate Dean of the North East England Deanery (Professor N. Kumar of Health Education England (HEE)) and the GMC Education Directorate to help streamline the BABS’s educational curriculum and assessment framework.
- The Procedure Proficiency Program (P3) is implemented in cooperation with the Clinical Director of the Board Certification Course of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS).
- The BABS chose the ABCS model because it is the longest running and most experienced organisation offering proficiency and skills assessment in cosmetic surgery. The choice supports impartiality, and the GMC supports the approach.
P3 is a tool to verify that a doctor continues to be competent in performing body sculpting procedures to the required standard. It consists of a written exam, three live surgeries, a log book of 50 procedures for 1st P3 and 25 for subsequent ones (verified by a peer), and a mentor report (every BABS member has a mentor or a clinical buddy for preventing practicing in isolation).
If all components are satisfactory then the P3 examination board approves that the BABS issue a P3 certificate. An external university assessor (DNP, Seattle University) performs quality control of P3 assessments and a report is issued to the Education Committee of BABS.
The P3 can be taken by a doctor at the end of their fellowship training, or can be followed by a doctor who wants to get revalidated (GMC guidance specifies revalidation every 5 years).