European Academy of Robotic Colorectal Surgery

There is growing interest in the adoption of robotic surgery, particularly for rectal resection. With increase popularity, there is real need for a professional training body to provide training structure to meet this demand.

With this in mind, a consensus meeting for the creation of such body took place at the Champalimaud Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal on 20 June 2014. The meeting was co- chaired by Prof. Bill Heald and Prof. Amjad Parvaiz.

The participating delegates for the consensus meeting were the following:

  • Dr. Alain Valverde
Hospitalier Diaconesses Croix Saint-Simon Paris, France
  • Prof. Amjad Parvaiz
Poole Hospital NHS Trust Poole, UK
  • Dr. Benno Mann
Augusta Kranken Anstalt gGmbH Bochum, Germany
  • Prof. Danilo Miskovic
University of Leeds Leeds, UK
  • Prof. Giuseppe Spinoglio
Casa di Cura San Pio X Milan, Italy
  • Dr. Henrik Iversen
Karolinska Sjukhus Stockholm, Sweden
  • Dr. Henrik Loft Jakobsen
Herlev Hospital Herlev, Denmark
  • Prof. Jan Egberts
Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein Kiel, Germany
  • Dr. Jerzy Draus
Lanssjukhuset Halmstad, Sweden
  • Dr. Marcos Gomez Ruiz
Hospital Universitario de Marqués de Valdecilla Santander, Spain
  • Prof. Martin Kreis
Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
  • Dr. Niels Thomassen
Aarhus Universitetshospital Aarhus, Denmark
  • Dr. Nuno Figuereido
Champalimaud Foundation Lisbon, Portugal
  • Dr. Oliver Haase
Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
  • Prof. Philippe Rouanet
ICM Montpellier Montpellier, France
  • Prof. Bill Heald
Champalimaud Foundation Lisbon, Portugal
  • Prof. Sergio Alfieri
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Rome, Italy
  • Dr. Tero Rautio
Oulu University Hospital Oulu, Finland
  • Prof. Thomas Becker
Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein Kiel, Germany

Following useful discussions around the structure of such a body, agreement on the curriculum for training was reached to provide such a resource for European colorectal surgeons.

The European Academy of Robotic Colorectal Surgery (EARCS) was founded on 20 June 2014 with participating faculty becoming the founding members.

Structure of the body:

Honorary chair

Prof. Bill Heald of the Pelican Cancer Foundation in Basingstoke (UK) and the Champalimaud Foundation (Portugal) serves as Honorary Chair.


EARCS is directed by two of the foremost experts of laparoscopic and robotic surgery in the world: Prof. Amjad Parvaiz of Poole Hospital NHS Trust in Poole (UK) and the Champalimuad Foundation in Lisbon (Portugal); and Prof. Giuseppe Spinoglio of the European Institute of Oncology (IEO) in Milan (Italy). 


The Faculty is comprised of 25 leading robotic colorectal surgeons from 20 cities in 10 European countries, as well as the United States and an anatomy expert from Turkey, involved in developing the training programme.

There are 11 leading robotic colorectal surgeons from 10 cities in 9 European countries who deliver the training programme. Selection of Proctors is based on the following criteria:
  • Experience performing robotic single docking TME surgery
  • Access to a robotic surgical system on a regular basis with a credible and competent team and surgical set-up
  • Ability and willingness to apply and teach the EARCS standardised robotic single docking TME surgical technique, provide guidance, troubleshoot problems and answer questions.

Scientific Committee:

The role of the Scientific Committee is to develop and refine evaluation tools which will allow EARCS Proctors to determine whether the resident performing a particular opertion has the requisite skills, anatomical knowledge and procedural knowledge to safely perfom robotic colon and recal surgery. The Committee also oversees research, collects and analyses data for peer review publications.


After completing training, each delegate submits two anonymised videos of self-performed robotic LAR surgeries. These videos are assesed 'blind' by two members of the Surgical Competency Assessment Committee. This is a critical component of an overall view of clinical competence and experience with the robot.