VASIMULATION is a new pilot study looking at the impact of home-based practice on technical skill acquisition among ST3 vascular trainees in the UK and Ireland.

  • Simulation is widely recognised as an effective way for surgical trainees to improve their technical skills
  • Simulation allow trainees to repeatedly practice a task in a safe “no pressure” environment, without risk to patients
  • Simulation has been shown to accelerate the learning curve for a range of operative tasks
  • Simulated practice can help trainees make the most of their time in theatre

Why take part?

  • Improve your operative skills with a range of tasks and individualised feedback
  • Unlimited access to tutorial videos with step-by-step instructions for each task
  • Practice whenever you want, wherever you want
  • Free to take part – and all the materials you need will be provided
  • Peer-to-peer support via the discussion board and dedicated feedback from faculty
  • Certificate and option for simulated PBA for those who complete the programme

What do I need to do?

  • Attend ASPIRE 3 course – the pre-test will take place during the scheduled anastomosis workshops.  Those who enrol will be provided with their VASIM kit to take home
  • Tasks will be allocated every 10-14 days
  • A tutorial video is provided for each task, detailing the recommended steps – this can be accessed at any time throughout the programme
  • Practice the task multiple times on your model
  • The final attempt at the task should be recorded (using your own mobile phone or laptop camera) and uploaded to Dropbox
  • The next task, with a new model and sutures, will then be sent to you in the mail
  • You will receive individualised feedback via email for each video submission
  • After Task 5, you will be asked to return the VASIM kit with all your models in the envelope provided

The VASIM kit

This will be given out to those trainees who sign up at the ASPIRE3 course


  • surgical instruments (forceps, scissors, rubber shod clamp, Castroviejo needle holder)
  • sutures
  • disposable sharps pad
  • 1 x arterial model and either vein patch or conduit depending on task
  • gloves
  • “subcutaneous tissue” platform
  • portable box


The VASIMULATION programme is part of an MD research degree at the University of Aberdeen.

The study team includes:

  • Rachel Falconer – MD student, Vascular trainee (Scotland)
  • Professor Angus Watson – Supervisor, NHS Highland
  • Professor Kenneth Walker – Supervisor, NHS Highland
  • Professor Jen Cleland – Supervisor, University of Aberdeen
  • Ms Catriona Semple – Supervisor, NHS Tayside
  • Professor Will Shu – Collaborator, University of Strathclyde

Funding is provided by NHS Highland.