New rules on GP trainee learning time

  • Date: 28 March 2014

TRAINEE GPs must be able to attend at least 70 per cent of their annual formal teaching programme, according to new guidance.

Access to training should be given regardless of the environment in which the doctor is working.

The requirement is set out by the RCGP in updated guidance for deaneries on specialty training standards. It is based on the General Medical Council’s The Trainee Doctor standards.

The new guidance states: “Irrespective of the environment in which they are training, trainees must be able to access and be given help to access the learning opportunities that will enable them to meet the requirements of the GP curriculum.

“GP trainees in both primary and secondary care should be released to attend a minimum of 70 per cent of the GP annual, formal teaching programme.”

Learning opportunities, the guidance states, include courses, training days and the provision of other learning material. Off-the-job training must be protected and “bleep free”. Trainees should also “gain experience of a range of GP workplaces in a variety of community settings.”

The document highlights the need to support and report on trainees in difficulty.

It states: “Serious concerns about a trainee’s performance, health or conduct must be investigated immediately. When there are concerns, the trainee’s educational supervisor, training programme director and the deanery must be informed. In line with Good Medical Practice, the GMC must be informed when concerns arise about a trainee’s fitness to practise.”

Other new elements in the guidance include further reference to sharing information on trainees; the importance of the trainee ePortfolio; and the role of regulators in GP specialty training. The maximum period between re-approvals for GP trainers and GP training practices has also been extended from three to five years.

Read the guidance on the RCGP website

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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