A number of curricula have been developed to address shortfalls in cancer education. However, no standardised means of assessing medical graduates against such curricula currently exist. This paper describes the use of expert panels to determine the level of cancer-related knowledge required by junior doctors. Participants individually reviewed knowledge items from the Ideal Oncology Curriculum for Medical Students and rated the level of understanding and specificity of each. On completion, panel sessions were convened to reach consensus. Fifty-two (17 %) items were considered irrelevant for junior doctors, whilst 164 items (54 %) and 85 items (28 %) were deemed appropriate at a moderate and high level of understanding, respectively. As a result, 249 (83 %) of the 301 items were deemed appropriate for junior doctors. Expert panels provide an important insight into the requirements of junior doctors, reduce ambiguity and facilitate discussion, resulting in higher quality data than that produced solely through individual reviews.