The aim of the training programme in toxicology is to define the knowledge and skills required to achieve success in the College Membership examination. Attainment of this goal will provide evidence that the candidate is competent to provide expert opinions in the chosen subspecialty of toxicology and has developed the appropriate level of professional knowledge that would be required of a consultant toxicologist leading a group or department. College membership is a mark of professional as opposed to academic distinction.
Many candidates will have experience in pharmaceutical, agrochemical or other types of product development, in academic or contract research environments, or in the National Health Service. Other areas that provide a suitable breadth of expertise include those working in analytical or forensic toxicology, the safety assessment of pesticides, agrochemicals, household or personal-care products, or in the more recently emerging areas of biotechnology and genomics.
Candidates must achieve general awareness of all areas of toxicology with an understanding of the underlying scientific principles. This can be achieved through supervised and documented training and personal study, supplemented by attendance at tutorials, seminars and formal academic and professional meetings, and at practical training courses. Training visits to different laboratories may be desirable achieve the necessary breadth of knowledge, particularly for certain techniques. For at least the first year or so of supervised training, candidates should aim to acquire background knowledge in as many areas of the core programme as practicable. Thereafter there should be opportunity to obtain detailed theoretical and practical expertise in the chosen subspecialty.
Candidates will be expected to show a critical attitude to experimental work, and will be encouraged to participate in, and give presentations at, appropriate scientific meetings. Whilst support for training must be forthcoming from senior staff, those who hope for a successful career in any branch of toxicology must exercise their own initiative in obtaining and making full use of training and development material.