Becoming a GP Clinical Supervisor

The first step of the GP Educator Pathway is becoming a GP Clinical Supervisor (CS). GP Clinical Supervisors host post-graduate doctors in their second year of Foundation Training (FY2; the first year after GMC registration) for a four-month period. GP Clinical Supervisors oversee the clinical activity of FY2 doctors, ensuring that they only perform tasks they are competent to do. To become GP Clinical Supervisors, doctors complete a one day online course and the mandatory accreditation process.

GPs that work in an Out of Hours (OOH) setting may also take part in the course. However, there is currently not an accreditation process for supervision in an OOH setting, therefore a certificate of attendance will be sent to Out of Hours supervisors.

Please see our 5 steps to Becoming a GP Clinical Supervisor, and the flow chart of the GP Educator Pathway.

Clinical Learning Environment

Clinical Supervisors need to work in approved clinical learning environments that are supportive, well organised and have good protocols for clinical governance. Learning environments need to enable all their colleagues to learn. If a prospective GP Clinical Supervisor’s employing practice is not within an approved clinical learning environment, this will need to be completed before the doctor can be accredited as a CS.

Criteria for becoming a CS

Before applying to attend the CS Course, doctors must:

  • work a minimum of four clinical sessions
  • have been a qualified GP for 12 months at time of CS accreditation
  • have been in a substantive post in the current practice for a minimum of 6 months at point of CS accreditation
  • be a salaried Doctor or partner – but not be a Locum or be on the GP Retention Scheme

Before attending the one day interactive CS course, doctors must complete essential pre-reading in the form these e-Learning modules, which are accessed free of charge through the eLearning for Health platform. It is estimated you will need to set aside 90 to 120 minutes for this pre-reading. You will receive further pre-reading in the week proceeding your course.

Upcoming dates for virtual Clinical Supervisor courses:

  • CS55 – Thursday 6 October 2022
  • Out of Hours specific Course – Thursday 3 November 2022 (E Learning module Pre-reading not required)
  • CS56 – Wednesday 9 November 2022
  • CS58 – Wednesday 7 December 2022

Register your interest to become a Clinical Supervisor via this online form and you will be invited to book on to one of the above dates.

The Clinical Supervisor Course

The one-day online module in clinical supervision introduces you to the generic knowledge and skills needed in order to work as a Clinical Supervisor. The module introduces key concepts relating to ensuring safety for both learners and patients.

Prospective supervisors will begin to appreciate how to recognise the level at which learners are working, how to begin educational planning through discussion and how to organise educational activities to meet the learning needs of the individual. Through practical workshops individuals will be able to rehearse in a safe environment the skills needed to give constructive criticism based on observation.

The course will introduce individuals to the key principles of assessment and practice utilising the Foundation Programme national assessment tools. There will be an introduction to core principles of adult educational theory and how to apply these in a practical setting. This theory will be further developed in later modules within the educator pathway, if CS’ wish to progress to become a GP Educational Supervisor.

There is a frequently asked questions document relating to this course on the all forms and guidance page.

Accreditation process

Following course attendance, intending GP Clinical Supervisors must complete the GP Supervisor accreditation process before they can host Foundation Year 2 (FY2) doctors in postgraduate GP training.

Hosting an FY2 Doctor

The FY2 Doctor is an employee of the local trust when they are working in general practice. However, it is advised that supervisors complete an honorary contract with the Doctor. The contract is available on the all forms and guidance page.

Support for CS’

The Foundation Programme is administered by local trusts in association with Foundation Schools (linked to the regional medical schools). Each trust has a Foundation Director who has overall responsibility for the programme. Local medical education managers often assist in the practical organisation of the scheme.

GP Training Programme Directors (TPDs) arrange GP placements for FY2 doctors and are a source of help and advice. CS’ also receive some financial support in the form of a GP Trainer Grant.

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