Formal GMC recognition for medical trainers

THE role of doctors who train medical students and graduates will be given formal recognition by the General Medical Council in a bid to boost standards and improve patient safety.

From July 2013 the new arrangements will be phased in over a period of three years and will affect medical trainers, mentors and educational supervisors. Under the plans, organisations who deliver training will be given a clearer idea of what is expected of them.

Trainers will be recognised in four designated roles: named education supervisors in postgraduate training; named clinical supervisors in postgraduate training; lead coordinators of undergraduate training at each local education provider; and doctors responsible for overseeing students’ educational progress for each medical school.

Local education providers, such as NHS trusts and boards as well as general practices, have until the end of the year to submit a timeline for implementation of trainer recognition to the GMC. They will need to show that they have put in place local systems to identify, educate, and appraise trainers.

The names of recognised non-GP trainers will be held by postgraduate deaneries and medical schools who will also be expected to show the GMC what arrangements have been made to ensure standards are maintained.

While GP trainers are currently approved by the GMC, the regulator needs new legal powers to approve other trainers.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said medical trainers, supervisors and mentors were often not given the recognition they deserved. He said: “They are shaping the doctors of the future and we need to ensure they have the time, support and training they need to undertake this critical work.”

He added: “We want to make clear what is expected from organisations involved in training to support and recognise these important roles. This should not be about box ticking or more bureaucracy, it should be about supporting key staff undertaking vital work that will contribute to better safer care for patients.”

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