Trainer Approval

Trainer Approval - Time for an Update

The GMC has responsibility for GP trainer approval but devolves the process to deaneries. At the West Midlands Deanery, we have been reviewing methods for approval but have been waiting for the GMC to give a definitive ruling on what we should do.

Based on the GMC principle of being light on physical visits and heavy on collated evidence of relevant activity, we propose a system based on Local Education Provider visits and a standard return relating to activity as a trainer/ supervisor to be submitted as part of the documentation for annual appraisal.

Local Education Provider Visits

Routine LEP visits to vocational training schemes should enable most training practices to be re-approved for three years. If a practice is not represented at the LEP visit or if an issue or concern is identified with a particular practice, that practice will need a targeted LEP visit.

The Deanery has a system of four levels of visit, depending on the perceived seriousness of concern, ranging from a paper-based exercise to GMC involvement but most of our visits will be for new training practices or those who are not represented at routine LEP visits. The majority of visits that respond to concerns will be dealt with appropriately within Programmes reserving wider Deanery involvement to those giving serious concern.

Annual Returns

The Academy of Medical Educators produced a useful seven point framework for the professional development of postgraduate medical supervisors and the GMC has adopted this to provide a structure. The full document is available for download but the seven framework areas are

  • Ensuring safe and effective patient care through training
  • Establishing and maintaining an environment for learning
  • Teaching and facilitating learning
  • Enhancing learning through assessment
  • Supporting and monitoring educational progress
  • Guiding personal and professional development
  • Continuing professional development as an educator

It proposed that LEPs such as hospitals and general practices would use the seven areas to show how they identify, train and appraise trainers. In response, we developed a simple questionnaire that asked how the trainer had contributed to each of the seven areas. The aim is to use this in the annual NHS appraisal.

We discussed, with appraisal leads and others, whether the trainer role should be part of the NHS appraisal or a separate appraisal by a senior educator. The consensus was that, as with other activities that were not core general practice, it was reasonable to be included in the annual NHS appraisal. With slight modification, this questionnaire is also suitable for the initial approval of trainers.

You can download the form from here.

Developing people for health and healthcare