The programme for the menopause special skills module offers two levels of certification:

Basic certificate

This is aimed at doctors and nurses who are already experienced in women’s health issues, who wish to gain the skills to work within a dedicated community or GP menopause clinic.

Advanced certificate

Trainees may then choose to train for the ‘Advanced Certificate in Menopause Care’, which will enable them to lead a menopause service and receive external referrals.  Those holding the Advanced Certificate are also eligible to apply for recognition as a BMS Menopause Specialist.

Training Programme Components

The following are essential steps in the training programme and all must be completed.

Theory course

The training programme requires attendance at an approved menopause theory course.  The two day theory course is case based, practical and interactive. It can be taken alone but, on its own, does not signify competence to practice. This might be suitable for any interested GP or sexual health doctor, specialist or practice nurses working regularly to provide women’s health advice and management, and holders of the DFSRH wishing to update their knowledge of post reproductive healthcare.

Management of the Menopause 6th edition, the hand book of the British Menopause Society, is the required core text.  Trainees should also be familiar with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline, Menopause: Diagnosis and Management (2015).

A theory course must be attended within the first year of practical training and practical training must be completed within 3 years of the date of attendance at the theory course.

Logbook

Training is supervised by a principal trainer who will conduct a learning needs assessment and plan a suitable, individualised programme to ensure that trainees meet all the required clinical competencies of the curriculum.

All training activity, objective assessments, any self-directed learning, tutorials undertaken and clinical competencies achieved are recorded in a Logbook. Maintenance and regular review of the logbook during interim assessments will allow the principal trainer and the trainee to monitor progress and identify deficiencies over the course of training. Trainers must sign the appropriate sections of the logbook documenting attendance, skill and competence.

Sessions

It is envisaged that a trainee will need to attend a  maximum of 8–10 half-day sessions to fulfil the competency based practical component for the Certificate in Menopause Care and a nominal 30 sessions for the Advanced Certificate. Previous experience will be taken into consideration and the number of sessions may be reduced accordingly after discussion with the principal trainer.

For the Advanced Certificate, trainees must submit a 3000 word project, which may be a clinical audit, research or a literature review on a relevant topic.

Certification

At the end of the training programme, the principal trainer must certify that the skills attained by the trainee are to their satisfaction.

When the required clinical competencies are achieved a Certificate in Menopause Care is awarded. This indicates the ability to practice to the standard required to work within an established clinic or in primary care.  Completion of further training, the programme project and achievement of higher levels of competency awards an Advanced Certificate in Menopause Care, recognising the ability to lead a Menopause Service.  It is not necessary to complete the basic certificate first.

Professional support is required, with membership of the British Menopause Society recommended; an international society such as the European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS) or the International Menopause Society (IMS) would be an acceptable alternative.

Principal Trainers

Principal Trainers are approved by the FSRH. They have both extensive experience of working in the field of menopause care and a training qualification.

Please log on to the FSRH website www.fsrh.org/find-a-trainer  to find a list of approved trainers.

Or to become a menopause principal trainer please go to www.fsrh.org/forms/application-to-become-a-menopause-principal-trainer/.

Further information and next steps

For information about the two day theory courses, please go to www.thebms.org.uk/education.

All queries about the theory courses can be directed to the BMS Education Programme Manager at kate.ellis@bms-whc.org.uk or on 01628 890199.

To access the curriculum or to register for the practical training programme, please go to www.fsrh.org/education-and-training/special-skills-modules/#ssm-menopause-module

All queries about practical training and the logbook can be directed to the FSRH Education Development Officer at edofficer2@fsrh.org or on 020 7724 5675.