How to become a GP Trainer

Do you want to be involved in general practice education as a GP trainer?

If so, this section is designed to help you understand the way in which you can achieve this goal.

View Educator Competencies here

Educator Competencies

  • Overview
  • Aims for the GP Educator programme
  • Learning outcomes for a GP Educator in HEE KSS


The role of a Clinical Supervisor in a general practice setting incorporates overseeing the clinical activity of the trainee doctor, ensuring that they only perform tasks they are competent to do.

The Clinical Supervisor needs to ensure patient and trainee safety. This requires the ability to recognise at what level the trainee doctors is performing and to arrange structured experiences which help further develop his or her skills.

The role of a GP trainer also incorporates this essential aspect of supervision but GP trainers support their GP trainee through the three years of the training envelope, undertaking formative reviews, planning educational programmes to meet educational needs and facilitating learning in a tutorial setting. GP trainers also undertake assessments that form an essential component of a doctor’s certificate of completion of training.

Aims for the GP Educator Programme

  • To introduce GP educators to the principles that underpin hosting a learner in a primary care setting
  • To assist GP educators in developing their own self directed learning through reflective practice
  • To introduce GP educators to key adult educational principles which facilitate learning
  • To help GP educators plan, organise and manage educational processes to support the learner in meeting their individual learning outcomes
  • To assist GP educators in developing skills in giving constructive criticism using observational feedback techniques
  • To assist GP educators in developing a flexible approach to teaching utilising a range of appropriate teaching interventions
  • To introduce GP educators to the principles of assessment and use of the nationally developed assessment tools used by doctors in the Foundation Programme and in general practice training

Learning outcomes for a GP Educator in KSS GP School

  • Maintain the safety of patients and the trainee doctor
  • Demonstrate an ability to draw up and undertake learning through use of a PDP
  • Demonstrate a learner-centred approach to teaching FY2 doctors
  • Use “descriptive” feedback effectively to assist the trainee doctor in developing their skills within the prescribed competency areas
  • Create a learning environment within the practice. This incorporates developing and supporting multi-disciplinary teaching and learning as well as assisting in the development of teaching skills amongst team members
  • Demonstrate effective communications skills within the consultation adopting a patient-centred style
  • Demonstrate high standards of Clinical Governance within their practice and reflect critically on Significant Events
  • Demonstrate proficiency at undertaking national assessment tool

In KSS we have designed a flexible modular GP educational pathway which leads to accreditation as a GP Trainer

  • Clinical Supervisor
  • GP Trainer

We also provide information on the following:

  • Equality & Diversity On-Line Training through e-LfH here
  • Learning Log Guide
  • Postgraduate teaching qualifications
  • Prolonged study leave (PSL)
  • Trainers and training criteria

View GP Trainer Training Information here


Being a trainer is an enormous privilege and challenge. It means accepting personal responsibility for the development of a doctor aspiring to be a good general practitioner and trainers in HEE KSS will be expected to have the skills, attitudes and competencies to be able to deliver adequately, for this demanding role.

In summary the pathway to becoming a trainer is:

  • Have active registration of the RCGP   
  • Undertake both modules of the GP educator pathway
  • Act as a Foundation Clinical Supervisor (FY2CS) for a minimum of one 4/12 FY2 placement
  • Participated in supporting the FY2 Community Educational Supervisor (FY2CES) role locally   

Where neither of the above criteria has been met you must be able to demonstrate you have undertaken sufficient practical teaching, under the supervision of an established educator, to put into practice the learning on the modules. You must also produce some reflections on your educational activity.

  • Have developed a portfolio of evidence to support your educational activities – for guidance on what this might contain please see the Guidance to a first visit form and the trainer application form
  • GP educators who would like to become GP trainers will need to undertake a Postgraduate Certificate in Strategic Leadership and Medical Education in Healthcare, which HEE KSS has developed in Partnership with the University of Kent

Standards for Training

You will be expected to meet the standards set out by:

The General Medical Council Education and Training as shown on the GMC website.
Guide to Postgraduate Medical Education in the UK (The Gold Guide) at GMC principles contained in Good Medical Practice.

As a trainer we would expect you have good communication skills, use adult educational theory to inform your teaching practice and be learner-centered in your teaching.

You should also be actively engaged in developing yourself professionally. You and your practice should be delivering health care to a good standard.

Trainers need to work in practices that are supportive, well organized and have good protocols for clinical governance. The practice needs to be a supportive environment in which staff and attached GP Speciality Registrars (GPStR) can learn.

GP Speciality training has undergone recent changes as part of Modernising Medical Careers. Doctors currently undertake a 3 year training programme with a series of shorter 4 month rotations in hospital posts and currently from 12-16 months in general practice.

All doctors wishing to become GPs now have to undertake MRCGP in order to qualify for independent practice. The MRCGP has also undergone change and more details can be found in our GPStR section of the website and on the Royal College of General Practitioners website.

During the time a GPStR is in hospital they have Clinical Supervisors who oversee their work in each department. However, each GP trainee also has an Educational Supervisor who is a GP Trainer and who oversees their progress throughout the three years. As a trainer you will be expected to undertake this role.

Module 2

This 6 day module builds on the previous modules and allows you to reflect on your practical experience as a Foundation Clinical Supervisor and how you have applied the educational principles introduced in earlier modules.

Through the module you will gain a fuller understanding of educational principles and develop a range of interventions to facilitate teaching and learning. You will be encouraged to develop your skills through reflective practice.

Each Trust has three Programme Directors (formerly Course Organisers) who support GP training locally. Their contact details can be found in the GP recruitment section linked to the KSS map.

Locally trainers come together in groups to support each other and develop teaching skills. The leader of the group (a Programme Director) will also appoint you a more experienced trainer as a buddy.

The next steps

Once you have completed Module 2 you will need to apply to become a trainer.

In brief the process comprises of:

  • Completing and returning a summary of experience form
  • Completing the 1st trainer application form
  • Completing an educational appraisal form
  • Have developed a portfolio of educational activity to support your application
  • Have a visit to your practice by your patch Associate Dean either alone or accompanied by a Practice manager
  • Have undertaken an observed teaching episode eg a tutorial which you have reflected on using the KSS Video guide and received feedback from a peer

A report will be compiled by your Patch Associate Dean which is then second read and approved by the Head of GP School for HEE KSS.

Initial appointments are for 2 years with a follow up visit at 1 year

Apply for GP Trainer Training here

If you are interested in becoming a GP trainer please contact the GP Educator Pathway ManagerTel: (020) 7125 7198

Trainers are also supported by a local Patch Associate Dean – please see the contacts page for details.