Objective: To validate the delivery and efficacy of the national laparoscopic colorectal surgery "training the trainer" (Lapco TT) curriculum.
Background: The National Training Programme in Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery designed the Lapco TT curriculum to improve, standardize, and benchmark the quality of training. Evidence for such courses rarely extends beyond subjective feedback.
Methods: The Lapco TT curriculum tailors key teaching skills for laparoscopic colorectal surgery: training structure, skills deconstruction, trainer intervention, and performance enhancing feedback. Ten Lapco TT courses were delivered to 65 national Lapco trainers since 2010. The course was validated at Kirkpatrick's 4 levels of evaluation: (i) pre- and post-course interviews reflecting initial reaction; (ii) training quality assessment on simulated scenarios using the Structured Training Trainer Assessment Report (STTAR) tool; (iii) follow-up interviews at 4 to 6 months; and (iv) delegate performance ratings, by their trainees, using the mini-STTAR and the delegates' trainees learning curves before and after the course.
Results: There were significant improvements in training in the post-course simulated scenario, especially in the "set" (P < 0.001). Delegates described improved framework and structure in their native training environment, which aided difficult training situations. Findings mirrored in performance ratings by their trainees: overall (4.37 vs 4.46, P = 0.040), agreed learning points (3.65 vs 4.00, P = 0.042), encouraged self-reflection (3.67 vs 3.94, P = 0.046), and encouraged team awareness (3.53 vs 4.05, P = 0.045). The learning curve of delegates' trainees improved after the course.
Conclusions: The Lapco TT curriculum improved training performance in the short- and long-term, provided a structured training framework, and enhanced the learning curve of delegates' trainees.