We are currently working with Directors of Medical Education across the region to ensure all clinical and educational supervisors are trained, prepared and supported in their educational roles.
The GMC have published standards for Trainers.
All Local Education and Training Boards are required to demonstrate full compliance with these standards.
This section gives information on the roles and responsibilities of the educational and clinical supervisor, courses available for training in aspects of educational supervision and additional on-line learning and links to other websites that you may find useful.
The term trainer will encompass a variety of consultants, and other experienced practitioners, who train on ward rounds, OP clinics, operative lists etc.
Each trainee should have a named clinical supervisor for each placement who is responsible for ensuring that appropriate supervision of the trainee’s day to day clinical performance occurs at all times, with regular assessment and feedback to both trainee and educational supervisor.
The GMC definition of a Clinical Supervisor is 'A trainer who is selected and appropriately trained to be responsible for overseeing a specified trainee’s clinical work and providing constructive feedback during a training placement. Some training schemes appoint an Educational Supervisor for each placement. The roles of Clinical and Educational Supervisor may then be merged'
The GMC definition of an Educational Supervisor is 'A trainer who is selected and appropriately trained to be responsible for the overall supervision and management of a specified trainee’s educational progress during a training placement or series of placements. The Educational Supervisor is responsible for the trainee’s Educational Agreement.'
Each trainee should have a named Educational supervisor who is responsible for overseeing that trainee’s educational progress over a period of time. These individuals will require a higher level of educational development for their role which will usually be significantly more demanding.
In many instances the same person may undertake both Clinical Supervisor and Educational Supervisor roles for a given trainee. However, in specialty training (including GP trainees in secondary care attachments) some doctors may act as Educational Supervisor for more than one trainee and receive feedback on trainee performance from multiple Clinical Supervisors. Some doctors may act as Clinical Supervisor only.
This is a complex role which spans the areas of clinical supervision as well as educational management, educational supervision and feedback, an understanding of the role of assessment in learning, the use of portfolios as a learning and assessment tool, an understanding of how to identify, support and manage a trainee in difficulty, and of supporting trainee career decision making.
The national Association of Clinical Tutors have described the role of the Educational Supervisor in 'A Guide to the organisation of Postgraduate Medical Education' compiled by Dr Liz Spencer with input from the Council and members of NACT UK, GMC, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, COPMeD, NAMEM and the Medical Workforce Forum of NHS Employers.
The following descriptions are taken directly from this guide and are included here for your guidance:
1. All trainees must have a named education supervisor and the trainee should be informed in writing of this. The exact model, i.e. by placement, year of training etc, will be determined locally and all parties informed in writing of model and expectations.
2. The Educational Supervisor must be given adequate time to perform their role and approximately 0.25 PA per trainee should be identified in their job plan.
3. Support of Trainee
• Oversee the education of the trainee, act as their mentor and ensure that trainees are making the necessary clinical and educational progress
• Meet the trainee in the first week of the programme (or delegate to colleague if absent/on leave), ensure the structure of the programme, the curriculum, portfolio and system of assessment are understood and establish a supportive relationship. At this first meeting the educational agreement should be discussed with the trainee and the necessary paperwork signed and a copy kept by both parties.
• Ensure that the trainee receives appropriate career guidance and planning
• Provide the trainee with opportunities to comment on their training and on the support provided and to discuss any problems they have identified
• Review meetings should be held regularly. The trainee arranges these meetings. These occur in protected time, in a private environment and consist of reviewing the learning objectives to ensure they have been met, giving feedback, monitor the delivery of the Educational Agreement, reviewing the assessments and portfolio evidence of learning. Before this session the educational supervisor will usually have obtained information from colleagues, those involved in clinical supervision and other key professionals with whom the trainee has worked during the placement.
• At the end of the year the final appraisal session consists of reviewing all the assessments, the portfolio of evidence of learning and ensuring that all the learning objectives of the programme have been satisfied. All the necessary documentation needs to be completed and returned to the Programme Director to enable satisfactory completion of the end-of-year paperwork.
4. If the trainee’s performance is not reaching the required standard
• This should be discussed with the trainee as soon as identified
• Written record of the meeting kept
• Remedial measures should be put in place as soon as possible with clearly defined written objectives
• Trainees must have an opportunity to correct any deficiencies identified
• The appropriate Programme Director must be informed of any significant problem
5. All Educational Supervisors
• Must be approachable, keen to develop the trainee and understand the importance of the role
• Must be familiar with the Programme Curriculum, the Learning Portfolio and the Programme design
• Are responsible for ensuring that relevant information about progress and performance is made available to the appropriate Programme Director and informing them should the performance of any individual trainee give rise for concern.
• Should contribute in relevant areas to the formal education programme
• Will act as a resource for trainees seeking specialty information and guidance
• Liaise with the Specialty / Programme tutor and the rest of the department to ensure that all are aware of the learning needs of the Trainee.
Guidance for Job Planning
|Education role||Role Description||Typical Allocation|
|Educational Supervisor||Responsible for one or more named trainees for all aspects of educational supervision.||0.25 PAs per week per trainee.|
For every placement the trainee must have a named clinical supervisor and the trainee should be informed in writing of this.
All Clinical Supervisors
• Must offer a level of supervision of clinical activity appropriate to the competence and experience of the individual trainee; no trainee should be required to assume responsibility for or perform clinical, operative or other techniques in which they have insufficient experience and expertise; trainees should only perform tasks without direct supervision when the supervisor is satisfied regarding their competence so to do; both trainee and supervisor should at all times be aware of their direct responsibilities for the safety of patients in their care.
• Should be involved with teaching and training the trainee in the workplace and should help with both professional and personal development.
• Support the trainee in various ways
direct supervision, in the operating theatre, the ward or the consulting room
close but not direct supervision, eg. in the theatre suite, in the next door room, reviewing cases and process during and/or after a session
regular discussions, review§ of cases and feedback
• He/she may delegate some clinical supervision to other members of clinical team as long as the team member clearly understands the role and the trainee is informed. The trainee must know who is providing clinical supervision at all times.
• Ensure specialty induction occurs & includes
Introduction to the clinical department - duties of the post, any§ particular responsibilities, departmental meetings and senior cover.
Role of the multidisciplinary team that covers out of hours to ensure safe and effective clinical care at night and weekends, cross-specialty induction when cross-cover required, bleep policies, managed hand-over, clear team understanding of individual competencies and safe supervision etc.
• Must meet the trainee before or within a week of starting the placement, establish a supportive relationship and agree a learning plan, agreeing specific and realistic specialty learning objectives appropriate to the level of the individual trainee
• Provide regular review during the placement both formally and informally to ensure that the trainee is obtaining the necessary experience, including supervised experience in practical procedures and to give regular constructive feedback on performance.
• Perform and oversee the work-based assessments
• Ensure the trainee’s attendance at formal education sessions, completion of audit project and other requirements of Programme.
All Clinical Supervisors
- Must have prepared themselves adequately for the role, be familiar with the relevant Programme Curriculum and the specialty specific learning objectives.
- • Are responsible for ensuring that relevant information about progress and performance is made available to the educational supervisor, particularly if the performance of any individual trainee gives rise to concern.
- Must ensure that the appropriate members of the multi-professional team are aware of the learning and assessment needs of the Trainee and are familiar with the relevant paperwork surrounding the workplace assessments
- Are responsible for creating a learning environment in the workplace to enable positive and constructive feedback to the trainee from the multi-professional team
- Should have time allocated in their job plan, in SPA time, for this activity.
Guidance for Job Planning
|Education role||Role Description||Typical Allocation|
|Clinical Supervisor||Ensuring safe clinical oversight of the trainee’s day to day performance.||0.25 PAs per week|