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Shape of training

Shape of training work looks at potential reforms to the structure of postgraduate medical education and training across the UK. It helps us to consider how best to deliver a workforce that meets the needs of future patient and models of service, particularly in the context of the 5 Year Forward View.

The final report of independent Shape of Training Review, led by Professor Sir David Greenaway, Securing the future of excellent patient care, contained 19 wide ranging recommendations. 

The four UK health departments are broadly supportive of the direction set out by the review, but have been clear that further work is required to fully assess the costs and benefits before a decision to proceed can be made.  A UK Steering Group was established to oversee this further work (including HEE membership) and in February 2015 published a statement endorsing the principles to underpin this and outlining the areas upon which the UK work would focus.

Further information on the progress of this work can be found below:

UK workstreams

There are three current UK workstreams:

  • the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges is undertaking a mapping exercise to look at the extent to which Colleges have or can develop the generic components of their curricula. HEE is represented on the UK Steering Group’s Mapping Exercise Panel that is overseeing the Academy’s work and will provide the initial scrutiny of the outputs
  • the GMC has launched a consultation on credentialing. Once completed, it is designed to allow credentialing to be considered within the Shape of Training review and models of training
  • work is being taken forward to consider how Shape of Training could enhance opportunities for staff and associate specialist doctors. This will build upon the Charter for Staff and Associate specialist and Specialty doctors launched in December 2014 and co-signed by HEE, along with the British Medical Association (BMA), the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and NHS Employers


In its Mandate from Government, HEE has also been asked to lead the work on Shape of Training in England, and work with key stakeholders to provide a more detailed feasibility assessment of the elements of the Shape of Training. An expert advisory group and a stakeholder engagement group have been established to help take this work forward. HEE is currently exploring how to best deliver training to meet future service needs:

  • to meet the needs of the frail and elderly, which cut across many specialties
  • for children and young people, considering the overlap between primary care and paediatrics
  • to enhance academic medicine.
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