Aims and method There is very little research into the challenges of training in intellectual disability psychiatry or into interventions which may address these challenges. Using focus groups, we explored the experiences of intellectual disability psychiatry trainees, and evaluated a leaderless trainee support group developed in Bristol. Results Five distinct themes were identified via framework analysis: that trainees felt unprepared for the difference from previous posts; the need for support; the value of the group; that trainees were concerned about judgement in supervision; that the group structure was valued. Clinical implications Our findings highlight the support needs specific to intellectual disability psychiatry trainees. Leaderless peer support groups may be a valued resource to address such issues, and may be a useful model to be considered by other training schemes. Declaration of interest None.