Running a Masterclass


Set the date for the masterclass 6 months before the event, and book the lecture/auditorium facilities.

Project your anticipated numbers, a full house of 100 delegates is a good number to aim for, and your target audience (assume Consultants, SpRs, Junior Doctors and Theatre Staff). From experience, with a strong programme we project that 75% of delegates will be local/regionally based, with the remainder being national delegates who will travel some distance to attend the event. You therefore need to instigate local, regional and national promotion which is identified below.

Prepare a programme with confirmed faculty, it should be a full 1 day event from 9.00am to 4.30pm, incorporating at least one live theatre case. Give consideration to asking your Chief Executive to open the welcome to the meeting, and provide an opportunity to showcase the Trust

Prepare a budget for costs (lunch, venue hire, faculty travel/accommodation expenses). We normally recommend a budget of £2,500-£3,000.00, this typically covers lunch at £10.00 per person (£1,000.00), venue hire (£1,000.00), and faculty travel/accommodation (£500-£1,000.00).
Liaise with industry as required to secure sponsorship, ensure that all costs are covered or make a decision if a delegate fee is going to be required. Agree how many companies are required to support the meeting, complete the necessary forms as required to submit an application to industry, a draft programme will be required for the application to be given consideration. It is appropriate to include industry logos on the programme once they are confirmed.

Industry companies who are supporting meetings will wish to display their banners and equipment in an exhibition area for the meeting, eg around registration or suitable other area. Ensure that this is clearly identified and communicated with industry so they are aware of where they will be located, and ensure suitable access to power.

If there is no charge being made for the day and the costs are being covered by industry, then you must build in a 25% “no show” on the day from registered delegates, which is unfortunately the ratio due to cancellations, last minute rota changes etc.

We strongly recommend that consideration is given to ensuring that the Masterclass is credited for CPD Points or CME Points. Applications need to be made at the very outset once the draft programme is confirmed, and there is a registration fee required to accompany the application. It will help to ensure as full attendance as possible. If the Masterclass is accredited the logo should appear in the programme material, and the attendance certificates. Click to view example WITH CME POINTS


It is never too early to promote a Masterclass, but we recommend that the first notifications should be sent out 4-5 months before the event. This can now be done predominantly electronically along with some local visual presentation, and as per the instructions below:

Liaise with the Head of School of Surgery for your Deanery, request that the Masterclass is made a local SpR Study day, provide the programme for consideration. This should be done as soon as the date has been set for the Masterclass and the programme is confirmed. Ensure that this is circulated to Deanery members, and keep in contact make sure that this is done, and repeated 2 months before the event as a  reminder.

Ensure that A4 or A3 copies of the programme are on this display on suitable notice boards in the host trust (eg Doctors Mess, Theatre Notice Board, Directorate Corridor Notice boards etc) Send colour copies of the programme to all faculty involved with the Masterclass and ask them to instruct colleagues display in their hospitals as well, and if possible to circulate the programme PDF by email to colleagues.

Contact the Communications/Press Office for all the trusts in the region, and ask them to send a paragraph out below to their staff news bulletin, most trusts have a weekly document with latest news including courses. Request if possible that this run for a few weeks at the point of announcement, and you will need to request that this is also done in the run up to the course with the same contacts.  eg South West Masterclass held in Plymouth Communications teams at 5 separate trusts were contacted (Derriford Hospital, North Devon, Royal Devon and Exeter, Torbay and Truro), and they all circulated the paragraph provided internally in their staff publications.

Example Paragraph:
 A 1 day colorectal education masterclass will be taking place at the Minimally Invasive Colorectal Unit (MICRU) at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth on Thursday 28th February from 8.45am to 4.30pm. It is an event which is being run by the National Training Programme in Colorectal Laparoscopic Surgery (LAPCO), which is being led by Professor Amjad Parvaiz, Colorectal Surgeon, Portsmouth with local, regional, national and international faculty. The day is structured around 5 sessions including a Q&A video session, 2 live theatre cases, and presentations from laparoscopic colorectal experts.  It is suitable for Consultants, SpRs, Junior Doctors and Theatre Staff, it is uniquely funded by industry and there is no charge for delegates to attend with a capacity for up to 150 delegates. If you are interested in attending please register with your contact details to LAPCO National Programme Manager at

Make contact with all the national professional organisations that are appropriate to the Masterclass, and request that the Masterclass appears on the course/education centre of their web  site. Such organisations include: 

Organisation                Abbrev Contact     Email Web
Lapco LAPCO Laura
Colorectal Trainees
DUKES Secretary
Association of
ACP Anne
O Mara
Association of
Laparoscopic Surgeons
Association of Laparoscopic
Theatre Staff
Association of
General Surgeons

It is important that you send the programme to Laura Langsford at Lapco, who will be able to circulate it to the established contact network groups by email to the following:

  • All NTP Trainees  and Trainers, and Lapco Contacts

  • All Fellows and SpRs registered on the Lapco web site
  • All previous delegates who have attended Lapco masterclasses

  • All Lapco TT Delegates

Email reminders should be sent out to all delegates every 2 weeks, for up to 6 weeks before the event, so that they receive 3 reminders about the course. The email should now include details about joining instructions, hospital map (if available), venue tel number, parking etc bearing in mind delegates maybe travelling some distance eg:

Rectal Cancer: Where are we going?
Date Friday 9th November 2012
Time 9.00am Registration/Coffee, 4.30pm Course Close
Venue/Location The Radiology Academy, Plymouth International Medical and Business Park, Off William Prance Road, Derriford, Plymouth, PL6 5WR. Centre Contact Telephone: 01752 437437 For further location details go to
Parking/Location Important - Please see note below, and location map attached
By Train Plymouth train station is located within a 10 minute taxi drive. 
Suitable for Consultants, Fellows, SpRs, Junior Doctors, & Theatre Staff
Programme Attached
Cost No Course Cost, NB delegates are responsible for travel and accommodation.
Lunch Buffet Lunch will be provided
Certificates Attendance certificates will be provided
Further Information For details on other travel logistics, accommodation, travel to Plymouth please go to
Contact If you require any further information contact 01752 439845 Email:    

You will be able to gauge the response with registration numbers, and subject to progress you may need to repeat the above in the run up to the Masterclass to ensure that it has full coverage and widespread awareness in local, regional and national networks.


If live theatre is part of the Masterclass programme, then a half day test should be run at least 2 weeks before the Masterclass, including all audio two way speakers from both theatre, and the lecture theatre/auditorium.

Name badges should be prepared for all delegates and faculty for collection at registration, all delegates should sign a pre-prepared registration list on arrival for good housekeeping.

Attendance certificates should be prepared for all delegates, you can either prepare named, or generic attendance certificates, it should include the CME/CPD points if applicable.

Expense claim forms should be issued to all faculty members before or after the course.

All faculty should receive a thank you letter for participating the Masterclass from the host surgeon.