History of the FICM

Professor Julian Bion
Founding Dean, Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine


The foundation of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine by seven parent colleges is an important milestone in our development of a multidisciplinary professional identity.

It has taken many individuals and organisations nearly twenty years to achieve this.  In 1992 the Royal Colleges formed the Joint Advisory Committee for Intensive Therapy [JACIT]; this became the Intercollegiate Board for Training in ICM [IBTICM] in 1996, with the Royal College of Anaesthetists as the lead college. In 1999 the Minister of Health modified the Specialist Medical Order to include ICM as a joint CCT with a base speciality, and in 2001 the competency-based training programme was launched.

In June 2010, in their role as trustees, the parent Colleges approved the creation of the Faculty of ICM which will henceforth represent the device for setting standards through education and training. Thus, by January 2011 the GMC requires us to have developed a primary speciality training programme for ICM, which will run in parallel with dual certification (ICM and another base speciality).

This quiet revolution has been achieved through the sustained work of the IBTICM (now the FICM Training & Assessment Committee), the Deaneries, our Regional Advisors, and our local Educational Supervisors (Faculty Tutors) who are the bedrock on which we will continue to build high quality training and better care of critically ill patients and their families. Developments in training have been strongly supported over the years by the Intensive Care Societies of the UK and the devolved nations, with whom the Faculty will continue to work closely.

Other partners include the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre [ICNARC], the regional clinical networks, clinical research groups and the UK-CRN speciality group for critical care, the critical care nursing organisations, and the Defence Medical Services. We will also work closely with educators and quality improvement experts, medical managers, and our patient representatives, evolving these relationships and synergies over the coming year.

The new Faculty is not a destination. It is a starting point. This unique opportunity will only bear fruit with the full support and active participation of the profession, both trainees and specialists. We now welcome applications for several categories of Fellowship and Membership. We encourage all consultants practising intensive care to join the Faculty while continuing to support our partner organisations. We will achieve so much more together.