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Training professionals

A project run in King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Related themes

  • Multi-professional team working
  • Change and empowering employees


Non-clinical teaching of trainee doctors within the NHS is frequently un-focussed, has poorly defined outcomes and is not a productive use of time. Trainees are allocated protected teaching time which could be used more effectively with improved support. The central goal of this project is to take the non-clinical training time that trainee doctors receive and convert it from a didactic, non-specific process into a goal directed activity with specific learning outcomes.

Project objectives

  • Redefine the relationship between educational supervisor and trainee
  • Allow the trainee to behave as an independent professional who develops goals, demonstrates the ability to achieve those goals and takes responsibility for meeting them
  • Encourage the trainees to aim beyond minimum requirements and look to achieve significant progress in their non-clinical careers
  • Support and encourage educational supervisors to demonstrate regular oversight of trainee progress and provide specific insight and knowledge to encourage them as they meet their goals.

How they did it

A small cohort of educational supervisors and trainees from within a single specialty at a single site were recruited. The trainee project managers oversaw and facilitated the pilot project.

There were three aspects to the project:

  • Trainee produced goals:The trainee and trainer agreed specific goals in each of the four perspectives: audit; research; knowledge and education; and corporate and management, with a three tiered level of success in each perspective – basic, better and best. They also agreed a breakdown of how they were going to meet their goals and in what time frame.
  • Resource and time ownership: The trainee was given greater flexibility over how they used their teaching time with the ultimate aim of achieving their goals – equivalent to consultant supporting professional activities (SPA) time.
  • Trainer facilitation: The trainee updated their progress to an existing Internet based document application, allowing continuous oversight of their work and face-to-face support if and when needed.

Who was involved

Project management was taken on by a trainee at the trust who worked alongside a dedicated team. They met regularly and maintained contact to communicate progress.


  • An education programme that enabled professional development and focussed mentoring of trainees. An internet based tool was used to support this, which is simple to use, easy to adopt and readily available for all medical specialities and other disciplines within the NHS
  • Enabled trainers to produce evidence of fulfilment of their role for appraisal and revalidation
  • Increased trainee non-clinical productivity.


Your organisation may have its own materials and templates that you can use or you may find the NHS Improving Quality (NHS IQ) learning handbook useful too.

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