Staff and Associate Specialist (SAS) doctors

We are currently recruiting to an SAS Tutor role in Swansea Bay UHB. Please click on the link below for further information and application form:


Staff and Associate Specialist (SAS) doctors previously known as NCCG (Non consultant career grade doctors) are a group of doctors who have chosen to stay within this grade or for several reasons have been unable to progress to a consultant grade.

In Wales, there are over 1,000 SAS doctors and they form a significant hospital workforce in the NHS of approximately 20%. Many of these doctors have postgraduate qualifications and are fellows and members of the Royal Colleges. A significant number of these doctors are working at a very senior level independently with increasing responsibility and autonomy.

The professional needs and development of SAS doctors have not been adequately met in the past and we recognises the need for them to have access to better training opportunities in order to achieve revalidation. They require access to CPD that meets their needs and relates to their career stage and ambitions and delivers a better trained doctor. This will provide them with the knowledge and skills to help them qualify for entry onto GMC Specialist Register and to work as a consultant.

There are three key aims of the strategy for SAS Doctors:

  1. to develop the local infrastructure to support SAS doctors within each Health Board.

  2. to provide access to additional training opportunities that support their personal development.

  3. to explore and pilot opportunities to introduce a quality assurance framework that will assist them in seeking revalidation.

Mr Raj Nirula, the Associate Dean (SAS Doctors) provides leadership for and facilitates the education, training and career progression for all SAS doctors in Wales. He is supported by a network of SAS Tutors based in each of the Health Boards across Wales who help facilitate training and career progression for SAS doctors. They are:

Health Board


Email Address

Hospital Base


Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board & Swansea Bay Health Board

Dr Raghu Acharya

Princess of Wales Hospital


Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

Mr Suresh Pandalai

Royal Gwent Hospital


Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

Dr Julie Jones

Glan Clwyd Hospital


Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Dr Frauke Pelz

University Hospital of Wales

Medical Genetics

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board

Mr Urmil Chalishazar

Royal Glamorgan Hospital


Hywel Dda Health Board

Dr Nicola Allen

Bronglais General Hospital

General Surgery

Training and recognition

The SAS Tutors have access to funding to put on local training opportunities within their local health board. They have also developed the following editions of the How to series:

We administer two funding rounds for bursaries to further support SAS doctors’ professional development. We also organise a programme of regular generic training courses for SAS doctors in both north and south Wales. Since 2009 we have organised SAS conferences which have provided an opportunity for SAS doctors to network and to learn more about changes taking place within the NHS. We also recognise SAS doctors for their outstanding teaching or innovation as part of the BEST Awards. We continue to look for alternative quality assurance frameworks to enable SAS doctors to evidence and record their competence and experience.

SAS doctors are invited to submit an evaluation form to HEIW following completion of their training. This tells us if their CPD needs are being addressed and their feedback is presented to the Associate Dean and SAS Tutors for review and future planning purposes.

SAS Charter

A new Charter which ensures Staff and Associate Specialist (SAS) doctors and dentists in Wales are properly supported in the workplace, and receive the recognition they deserve, has been launched.

Charter for Wales

Support Strategy

Professor Alison Bullock, Professor of Medical and Dental Education Research, Cardiff Unit for Research and Evaluation in Medical and Dental Education (CUREMeDE), at Cardiff University, undertook a review of the implementation of the support strategy for SAS doctors in Wales. Read Professor Bullock's report.

If you have any queries, please contact Carolyn Evans, SAS Support Officer.

Generic Courses - 2020/21

HEIW organise a suite of human factors courses for SAS Doctors and Dentists every year. The training courses are held in north, mid and south Wales, and are free to attend. Please check back here in the coming months for further information.

Applications for funding

We have allocated funding from its budget for professional development for SAS Doctors/Dentists. If an SAS Doctor/Dentist is applying for any course or top-up training which they think will help them in their service development, they can apply for funding from us.

This funding is over and above the study leave budget. The funding is to cover course fees only i.e. not for travel and/or subsistence. The amount of funding awarded will be determined against the number of eligible applications received and the funding available. After an SAS Doctor has undertaken the professional development, they will need to complete an evaluation form, detailing how the course has benefitted their Health Board and themselves.

If you are an SAS Doctor or Dentist in Wales, and are not on our email distribution list, please email with your name, specialty, grade and Health Board, and Carolyn will include you on the distribution list and send you relevant information regarding the current funding round.

SAS Doctors' and Dentists Conference

Each year, two SAS Doctors and Dentists conferences have been held (typically one in North Wales and one in South Wales) which have provided an opportunity for SAS doctors to network with each other, to understand the work that HEIW is doing to support SAS doctors in Wales and to receive vital information on any changes taking place within the NHS. The next conference has been organised for 8 March 2021 and details will be available shortly.  Please check back for further information.

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