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Role of the trainer

Health Education England’s Better Training Better Care programme and the General Medical Council have been working in partnership to deliver a number of projects around the value of the trainer in the NHS. We know that high quality training is essential for safe, high quality patient care. Even during times of resource constraint, service reconfiguration and organisational change, working together, we must ensure that education and training is valued, protected and improved.


The GMC has provided a regulatory structure for safe, effective medical education, which includes standards for medical trainers, Recognising and Approving Trainers: The Implementation Plan’. Postgraduate deans and medical schools are setting up arrangements to develop and validate their trainers.

Health Education England has commissioned guidance on how best to recognise and develop trainers and training environments. With the support of the GMC, HEE has implemented the following initiatives which have a UK wide focus.

  • The Academy of Medical Educators has developed The Essential User Guide to Recognition of Training in Secondary Care, which is ultimately the ‘how-to’ guide for implementing the GMC’s ‘Recognising and Approving Trainers: The Implementation Plan’ framework.
  • NACT UK has developed their Faculty Guide, which looks at the impact of the workplace environment and the role of the faculty on the success of training and education, and therefore patient care, within the NHS.
  • The Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management has emphasised the need for cultural commitment so that training is properly valued throughout the organisations providing healthcare and training, starting with the Boards and Chief Executives. FMLM also believes that leadership and management development is integral to the training of good doctors and thereby the delivery of high quality healthcare.

FMLM, through its strong regional networks and on-line resources e.g. webinars will support HEE in the delivery of this important initiative.

Healthcare organisations, as employers, play a key role in providing safe, clinical training environments. As education providers, they are responsible for providing effective and safe educational environments. In valuing the training they provide, they should:

a)      Ensure patient safety through the appropriate clinical supervision of students and trainees at all times;

b)      Agree effective job plans for trainers that reflect their educational responsibilities;

c)       Ensure educational responsibilities are appropriately reviewed in appraisals;

d)      Account for the resources they (the healthcare organisations) receive to support training

e)      Fund and enable trainers’ educational development through appropriate CPPD;

f)       Hold trainers to account for the resources they receive in support of training;

g)      Demonstrate that trainers are fit for purpose to discharge their educational roles and responsibilities, and;

h)      Work with postgraduate deans and medical schools in recognising, valuing and rewarding trainers.

Commissioning organisations need to ensure, through their contracting or quality management frameworks, that training environments are safe, deliver high quality clinical care and are conducive to learning  and that individual trainers are fit for purpose.

HEE and the GMC are committed to ensuring patient safety through effective education by supporting trainees, trainers, healthcare organisations, postgraduate deans and medical schools as they work in partnership to embed the value of training throughout the service.

We hope these initiatives help raise the importance of the role of the trainer in your organisation, and indeed the impact that properly organised learning and training has on patient care. All these documents can be found on either the GMC website or below, or for more information, please contact hee.btbc@nhs.net.

Other key documents can be found on the NACT UK website.

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