Becoming a Trainer

Becoming a Training Practice FAQ

1. What is a training practice?

A training practice is one that provides training for GP speciality registrars (GPSTRs) and has one or more approved trainers. Only approved training practices can train GPSTRs. Practices can also be approved for other types of training (medical students, GP retainers, returners and foundation doctors) but we would encourage all practices to be approved to the standards of a training practice in the West Midlands

2. How do I become a trainer?

Normally, you need to have been on the National Performers’ List for three years, be permanently based at the training practice and hold the MRCGP qualification. The WM criteria for trainers and their practices are attached to this information. We recommend you speak to other local trainers and course organisers and attend the local trainers’ workshop. They will explain what is involved. Make contact with your Area Associate Dean (AD). You will need his or her support to get on a West Midlands Training the Trainers course.

When you have completed a trainers’ course, you will need to show how you have begun to develop your skills and competencies as a GP educator through the development of a portfolio. You will meet with your local AD to discuss your achievements and to agree a personal development plan with respect to your role as a GP trainer. If all goes well, your AD will recommend initial approval as a trainer and your name will be submitted to the next Area GP Education Committee for approval. Once approved, your local vocational training scheme will arrange the attachment of a GP-STR.

If your practice is not yet accredited as a training practice, it will require the completion of a questionnaire and a visit by a team led by your local AD to ensure that the facilities and learning environment provided by the practice meet the necessary standards.

3. What are the financial implications of training?

There is no charge for HEE trainers’ courses for GPs in the West Midlands though you will be asked for a returnable deposit when booking. Practices with a trainee in post receive a trainer’s grant, currently about £7600. Trainers are paid for some educational supervision duties and may be eligible for professional development payments.

4. Do I need any further qualifications?

Our trainers’ courses are linked to Postgraduate Certificates in Medical Education and the content of the courses have been validated against these academic awards by either Keele or Warwick Universities. We encourage you to consider studying for a PG Cert as part of your professional development as a GP educator but, at present, it is optional.

5. What is educational supervision?

The completion of the RCGP ePortfolio is central to the workplace based assessment of GP-STRs. The trainer to whom they will be attached in the final (ST3) year of their training becomes the educational supervisor from the start of their training. This involves meetings every six months to review the ePortfolio entries, make judgments about their achievement of the required competencies and complete an Educational Supervisor's Report (ESR).

6. What about continuing professional development?

Regular attendance at your local trainers’ workshop is helpful as you can share ideas and gain support from other new trainers and those with more experience. There are also regular trainers' study days organised by your local Associate Dean.

7. What if I need more information?

Please contact GPProgadmin@wm.hee.nhs.uk