GP Trainer: Becoming a GP Educator

Many of those who have been a GP for a few years consider the possibility of extending their role and becoming a GP teacher; either at Undergraduate or Foundation level or as a Trainer of GP Speciality Registrars. There is an expectation that all doctors should be involved with teaching, (‘Good medical practice GMC 2006’). For some, teaching becomes more than an expectation and develops into an important part of everyday practice and a lifelong skill.

To become an effective teacher however, one must develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes of a competent teacher. Health Education East of England can guide you in this respect. Although to be a GP Trainer you must be a GP, successful educators in primary care can become Associate Trainers.

There are two parts to the process. The first is learning about education, done through experience and some academic study; for example we ask Trainers to undertake a Postgraduate Certificate of Education. The second part is to gain approval from Health Education East of England for yourself as an educator and the environment in which you work as being suitable for professional learners. This page deals with the educational requirements for LETB roles.

Becoming an Associate Trainer

For many GPs, deciding to be an Associate Trainer is the first logical step. Essentially, the Associate Trainer (AT) acts as an assistant to the Trainer, usually within the same practice, assisting with GP registrar tutorials and clinical supervision. However ATs are also approved for medical student teaching, Foundation training (F2) supervision and teaching during ‘Out of hours’ sessions. Information about the process of becoming a clinical supervisor who solely teaches trainees in Out of Hours providers is contained on the Out of Hours page of this website. 

To be approved as an Associate Trainer, you must:

  • Be a member of the RCGP or equivalent
  • Have completed a foundation teachers course or equivalent. For example, you should have completed a module demonstrating your learning and teaching abilities, either through accreditation of prior experience or a taught course. Health Education East of England also runs Associate Trainer courses from time to time.
  • Have been approved by Health Education East of England.

Becoming a GP Trainer

Whether you have been an associate trainer or not, you can become a full GP trainer and an educational supervisor for GP specialty training once you have been a GP in practice for 3 years FTE (full time equivalent).

To be approved as a Trainer you must:

  • Be a member of the RCGP
  • Complete an approved training course; postgraduate certificate, ( HSHS or MACE module 1 and 2) diploma or degree in Medical Education
  • Work with your practice to ensure that the standards for a training practice are achievable and met

You can then apply to Health Education East of England to be approved as a trainer. Health Education East of England will then determine if you and your practice meet the required criteria.

Teaching Courses

Please visit https://heeoe.hee.nhs.uk/node/1469 for information on courses run by HEEoE

Local Recommended University Courses

Original article by Health Education East of England, available at https://heeoe.hee.nhs.uk/cpd_primary_care

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