Recognising and approving trainers

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22 / 11 / 2011 3.56pm

Following consultation the General Medical Council (GMC) agreed a phased process for implementing new arrangements to recognise and approve trainers of all undergraduate medical students and postgraduate medical trainees.

The more formal arrangements for the recognition of trainers will be introduced through 2013/2014. New legal powers are needed for the approval of trainers other than GP trainers. The new arrangements will cover:

  • named educational supervisors in postgraduate training
  • named clinical supervisors in postgraduate training
  • lead coordinators of undergraduate training
  • doctors responsible for overseeing students’ educational progress.

Implementation plan

The implementation plan details the new arrangements, including responsibilities for local education providers and education organisers. In most cases, the recognised trainers will be managed by local education providers such as NHS hospitals.

NHS Employers' response to the consultation

The NHS Employers organisation submitted a response on behalf of employers to the GMC in March 2012.

NHS employers were generally supportive of the proposals set out in the consultation.

They said that it is important to develop a better understanding of the role of the named clinical supervisor – employers need clarity and support identifying who should and who should not be 'named' for the purposes of this proposal. There also needs to be clear communication about the purpose of the recognition and approval of named supervisors.

Employers strongly supported the alignment of these proposals with revalidation. They were also in favour of adopting the seven areas in the Academy of Medical Educators' Framework for the professional development of postgraduate medical supervisors as part of appraisal.

The benefits of the proposals include improved clarity around roles and responsibilities together with a consistent application of standards of training and appraisal for trainers. Employers expect the recognition of training responsibilities and a consistent standard for trainers to lead to improved training for doctors and an improved patient experience.

Employers were cautious about the costs of implementation. It is vital that this is a minimal additional burden and should not take any longer to do in the future than it does now. The main cost is likely to be around the need to recognise a ‘time for training’ element within individual job plans, which, employers are clear, should remain individually agreed in accordance with the Job Planning guidance agreed with the BMA.

Further information

See the GMC's website for more information about the approval of trainers project.

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