Trainer Pathway

What does a GP trainer do?

The role of a GP trainer in general practice incorporates overseeing the clinical practice of a GP trainee while supporting their learning experience. The trainer helps the trainee plan their learning so that they acquire all the skills and knowledge necessary to be a safe competent GP. The learning process is now based around the new MRCGP which involves demonstrating that the GP curriculum has been appropriately covered and the 12 GP competencies achieved.

The trainer needs to ensure patient and trainee safety. This requires the ability to recognise at what level the trainee doctors is performing and to arrange structured experiences which help further develop his or her skills.

The whole practice needs to be committed to GP training. The requirements of WBPA require the involvement of the whole team, from admin staff inputting patient satisfaction data into the trainee’s e-Portfolio to GP colleagues observing the trainee’s practical skills and taking tutorials as appropriate.

What are the benefits of becoming involved in training?

For the trainer:

  • the stimulation of learning new skills
  • the satisfaction of helping young doctors develop
  • excellent peer support from the trainers’ group
  • the opportunity to develop as an educator

For the practice:

  • the prestige of training status, usually seen as associated with high standards of record keeping, organisation and patient care
  • contact with young doctors keeping everyone in touch with new developments
  • a good balance of practice activities – educational and clinical
  • extra clinical sessions – in most practices the trainer devotes 1-2 clinical sessions per week to training, but the trainee is expected to do seven
  • the trainer’s educational skills valuable for practice events
  • recruitment of former trainees, or of candidates attracted by the practice’s training status
  • financial support available from the Deanery for practices who don’t have adequate space or facilities

Most practices in York are now training practices, and many have a number of trainers who work as a team to deliver GP training.

How do I become a trainer?

In the Yorkshire and Humber Deanery there are a number of pathways to becoming a trainer. All are detailed in full on the Deanery website.

PATHWAY 1: Leeds Post Graduate Certificate in Education for Primary Care

PATHWAY 2: Hull and York Medical School - Certificate in Medical Education

PATHWAY 3: Sheffield University - Certificate in Medical Education

PATHWAY 4: Introductory Seminars (ISCS, IS1 & IS2)

If you would like to explore becoming a trainer in York please visit the Intending Trainer section of the Deanery website for additional information and an application form (click here)

You will need to follow the steps outlined below.

Step 1: Make an appointment through Beverly Johnson at the PGME at York Hospital to meet with one of the TPDs.

This is an informal meeting for advice about personal and practice preparation (if not already a training practice) for becoming a trainer. Note that a GP needs to have MRCGP, iMap or nMap, and Practice Nurses need a degree or equivalent.

Step 2: Contact Deanery Office.

To express an interest in training. At present contact Leanne Sorby. In future contact will be made via an administrator in each of the three locality offices.

Step 3: Educational preparations for becoming a trainer.

Start attending trainer workshops and help at half-day release sessions. Choose one of the four pathways detailed above. Submit videotape of consultations – need to pass COT standard. Assessed by dedicated team for consistency of assessment (“CAT” – consultation assessment team).

Contact programme director to arrange mentorship from experienced trainer. NB A trainer can mentor more than one prospective trainer and some meetings can be in the form of group learning.

Arrange training in Workplace Based Assessments, the eportfolio, educational supervision and diversity training.

Step 4: Contact Deanery for Formal Visit.

Need to have completed certificate or IS course by this stage, also have agreement with the TPD that the practice is ready for a formal visit.

Deanery office will ask for TPD report, a trainee questionnaire if there is a trainee in practice, and information on the practice health profile.

The visit will be led by an APD or a TPD from another program assisted by two others - a local TPD or experienced trainer and a Practice Manager or Practice nurse. A trainee representative can attend the visit as an observer. If there is a trainee in the practice they are interviewed by APD or TPD before the trainer is interviewed.

Step 5: Formal trainer interview.

Held at Deanery office in each locality in turn three times a year. Prospective trainers can choose to be interviewed in any locality but we would expect that if there is no urgency they will aim to be interviewed in their own locality. (Composition of the panel – Deputy Director/APD/PD/Trainee/RCGP faculty board member.)

Step 6: Trainer approved – notified to Speciality Training Committee and then to PMETB.

Step 7: Start training.




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