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General practice educator, assessor, coach or mentor

Medical education is great for GPs who want a flexible career. It helps to keep things interesting and maintains curiosity as well as a chance to apply your knowledge and use your skills, in a different way. All medical students, doctors and the wider multi professional team will have benefited from the input of GP supervisors and educators – are you ready to train, inspire and motivate others too?

Listen to Dr Tariq Hussain (Patch Associate GP Dean for North and West Kent) talk to Dr Cathy O'Leary about the GP Educator Pathway for ideas.

Do I need extra qualifications?

Not necessarily but there are medical fellowships as well as diplomas and master’s degrees in medical education and related subjects. These can be done alongside or as part of your day job. There are specific training courses to help develop the skills required to teach, assess, coach and mentor.

The benefits of being a primary care supervisor

Contact your local office using the details below.

Who do I contact?

Health Education England (HEE)

Local teams may be referred to as Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education (PGMDE) or Healthcare education Teams (HET). They provide information about what schemes are available in your area. Or get in touch with HEEs local office Training Hubs leads.

Email any general enquires to primarycare@hee.nhs.uk


NHS England and NHS Improvement

Primary Care Networks (PCNs) work on quality improvement and pathway development.  More information can be found on the NHS England and Improvement Primary Care Networks page. 


NHS Leadership Academy

More information about the programmes at a glance can be found on the NHS Leadership Academy Programme page


Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP)

Faculty contact details can be found on the RCGP Faculties page


General Medical Council (GMC) 

The GMC set the standards for providers of medical education and training. You can find guidance and curricula along with supporting materials on the GMC's Education page. GMC have a register of approved and recognised trainers


You’ll find a brief description of some GP educational roles in the drop-down sections below. They’re broadly split into 5 areas.

  1. Specialty trainees – Find out about local peer teaching and HEI linked opportunities
  2. Clinical Supervisor
  3. Educational Supervisor
  4. Training Programme Director (TPD)
  5. Senior Educational Leadership – Primary Care Dean, Head of GP School, Associate Dean (AD)  

Please note: There may be some variation in the experience required outlined in some of the following roles. 


Clinical and Academic GP Teaching Fellowships

Get in touch with your HEE Local Office or Training Hub to ask about current opportunities.

Medical schools, Hospital Trusts, Royal Colleges/Faculties/Societies sometimes offer education fellowships.


GP Medical Student Tutor

If you’re interested in undergraduate medical education, this is a good option. Typically, the role involves supervision and facilitation for medical student placements in your GP Practice. Depending on medical school, GPs and GP registrars can become Medical Student Tutors. You’ll need to attend clinical supervision training with your local medical school. (Requirements are set locally and may differ from school to school.)

Supervision is required at all stages of University training and many GP Tutors supervise a number of different year groups.

As a GP Clinical Tutor, you can become a Medical School Examinations Assessor.

Postgraduate GP schools are responsible for the delivery of GP training and assessment across the 3 years of GP training.

This involves local small group teaching facilitated by TPDs. ADs work across a larger region, facilitating training and professional development for the educators and overseeing generic GP trainee support and progression.

Apply for more specialised roles such as GP recruitment, through your Health Education England local office.

Coach (ILM, ICF, EMCC)

Faculty of Medical Coaches is a not-for-profit group of NHS Professionals, Consultants and GPs offering mentoring and coaching. Training courses in association with OSCA

Contact info@medcoaches.uk



NHS England runs a supporting mentors scheme. Designed to provide a portfolio working opportunity for experienced GPs to support their own more junior doctors.

GPs on the scheme will be provided with funded training, leading to a recognised mentoring qualification. After training, GP mentors may be reimbursed to conduct one session of mentoring every week. 

Contact the RCGP for details about their mentoring scheme. Medical students to retired GPs can apply.

GP Trainer

GP trainers might be a clinical supervisor (usually for an ST1 or ST2) or educational supervisor (see below). They provide one to one supervision, deliver tutorials, conduct WPBA and progress reviews and offer pastoral support for GP trainees in general practice to:

·       be a minimum of 3 years post CCT

·       be permanently based at a Health Education England (HEE) approved training site and work a minimum of 4 clinical sessions a week

·       hold the MRCGP qualification

You’ll need to complete a HEE GP trainers course and be approved by your area GP education committee before you can be accredited. It may be useful to speak to other GP trainers, Associate Dean (AD) or your local Training Programme Director (TPD) to find out what’s involved.


Educational Supervisor (ES)

GPSTs usually have the same educational supervisor throughout their 3 years of training. They are responsible for guiding progress through the programme and the trainee is usually placed with them for their final ST3 year.


Practices with a trainee in post receive a trainer grant. Trainers are paid for some educational supervision duties when the trainee is not in the practice with them and may be eligible for professional development payments


Foundation Supervisor

Offer one to one supervision for Foundation Doctors during training in GP practices

You will need to:

·       be a minimum of 1 year post CCT

·       undergo a locally approved supervisors training course with Health Education England (HEE) and/or be an approved trainer for GPSTs


Practices receive a training grant for each Foundation Doctor.

Assessment of the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) and Recorded Consultation Assessment (RCA).


AKT examiner writes questions and works with the RCGP to deliver the AKT across the UK

RCA examiner assesses the submitted consultations for the RCA from all ST3s

You will need to:

·       sit and pass the AKT within 10 years of your application to the RCGP

·       ideally have additional GP teaching experience

·       apply to the RCGP where full training is provided if your application is successful

Supporting other healthcare professionals in practice

Offering clinical supervision to general practice nurses and physician associates as well as other AHPs such as clinical pharmacists and paramedics undertaking a prescriber qualification.


Workplace supervision for advanced clinical practice  

Advanced practitioners undertake a combination of practice-based (workplace) learning and training with academic learning at level 7 (masters).

You will be required to:

·       establish the requirements of multi-professional advanced practitioner supervision

·       establish the training and development of supervisors

·       improve consistency and limit supervision practice variation across the health and care sector working with a coordinating Education Supervisor and Associate Supervisor, matched to specialty knowledge and skills development

·       supervise with a focus on professional and public safety in advanced clinical practice

Get in touch with your HEE Local Office or Training Hub to ask about current opportunities.

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