The Imperial Cardiovascular Simulation Training Programme (iCAST) provides an integrated and structured approach to simulation-based learning.

iCAST allows specialty trainees, consultants and catheter-laboratory personnel to develop, maintain and improve their skill sets in advancing medical specialties (cardiology, neurovascular, anaesthesia).  Frontline healthcare professionals operate in increasingly challenging and stressful clinical settings. In the interests of upholding patient safety, the iCAST programme has been designed to provide staff with effective education and training that can translate into real clinical practice.

Hosted by Imperial College London in partnership with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, the essence of iCAST and its application to practitioners from trainee level to consultant levels and MDT personnel is underpinned by its robust design and development.

The iCAST concept was conceived by Professor Roger Kneebone, Dr Fernando Bello (Imperial College Centre for Engagement & Simulation Science, Imperial College London) and Dr Iqbal Malik (Consultant Cardiologist, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust). Pioneers in their respective fields, their vision was to design and deliver highly complex and specialised procedure-based training in safe, immersive simulated environments.

The iCAST course provides an advanced approach to simulation-based training, by combining procedural skills within team settings, tailored to the individual skills sets and experience level of candidates. An ever expanding portfolio of scenarios is used for assessment and high quality structured feedback, with an extensive panel of consultant experts.

The course was designed with over £200,000 of research funding and has been robustly developed and tested on over 60 trainees with outstanding feedback. It was developed in conjunction with Professor Roger Kneebone, Dr Fernando Bello, Dr Tanika Kelay and Dr Iqbal Malik, with assistance from clinical staff at ICHNT and Barts and The London NHS Trust.

iCAST was launched in November 2014, led by Dr Iqbal Malik. It aims to fill gaps in current training provision, especially in uncommon clinical emergencies, where practice is known to improve performance. Already essential in military and aeronautical industries, iCAST is recognized as a brand leader in Medical Simulation.