Becoming a GP Educational Supervisor

Being a GP Educational Supervisor (ES; also known as GP 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.

Outline of the GP Educator Pathway

Our hyperlinked flowchart of the GP Educator Pathway shows the overall process for becoming a GP Supervisor. An overview of the steps to becoming an Educational Supervisor are listed on our overview webpage. You can also listen to episode 2 of our KSS Pod in Action, about the GP Educator Pathway.

Eligibility for enrolment on the Educational Supervisor course

GP Educational Supervisors across Kent, Surrey and Sussex (KSS) will be expected to have the skills, attitudes, and competencies to be able to deliver adequately for this demanding role. After accrediting as a Clinical Supervisor, doctors can consider becoming a GP Educational Supervisor (ES). Training for this role takes place on a seven-day module. Prospective ES’ will have ideally had direct responsibility for a learner and have experience of supervising a learner in their practice. GP Educational Supervisors need to demonstrate competencies as an educator through the development of a portfolio.

To be eligible to enrol on the Educational Supervisor course, doctors must:

  • work a minimum of four clinical sessions per week;
  • Be a salaried Doctor or partner or in a substantive post, but not a locum or a member of the GP Retention Scheme;
  • Be an accredited KSS GP Clinical Supervisor before their ES course registration;
  • Have been a qualified GP for at least twenty four months at the time of ES accreditation;
  • Work in an approved Clinical Learning Environment (CLE);
  • Have worked in this CLE for a minimum of six months;
  • Be in good standing with the General Medical Council and NHS England;
  • Follow the abeyance process if required. There is usually a six month abeyance period after transferring to a new CLE. After abeyance, there is a mandatory accreditation process to be completed;
  • Be able to evidence reflection about the experiences they have had to date of supervising learners.

Educational Supervisor course

The Educational Supervisor course allows individuals to reflect on their practical experience as a Clinical Supervisor, and how they have applied the educational principles introduced on the Clinical Supervisor course. Individuals will gain understanding of educational principles and develop a range of interventions to facilitate teaching and learning. They will be encouraged to develop their skills through reflective practice.

Upcoming intake for the Educational Supervisor course

Courses run twice a year (typically enrolments by July and Dec each year), please complete this expressions of interest form to log your interest and we will contact you when enrolment opens.

Requirements of becoming an Educational Supervisor

In summary, the pathway to becoming a GP Educational Supervisor requires a doctor to:

  1. have an active registration of the RCGP;
  2. complete of both modules of the GP Educator Pathway, a one day Clinical Supervisor course and six day Educational Supervisor course;
  3. experience of clinical supervision

When the above requirements have been met, the doctor must be able to demonstrate they have undertaken sufficient practical teaching, under the supervision of an established educator, to put into practice what they have learned on the modules. The doctors must:

  1. produce reflections about their educational activity
  2. have developed a portfolio of evidence to support their educational activities

Standards for GP Training

Doctors in postgraduate GP speciality training (GPST) complete up to 24 months in general practice (GP) in their 36 month GP training programme. Integrated Training Posts may be undertaken in the first two years of GP specialty training.

All doctors wishing to become General Practitioners have to undertake the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP) to qualify for independent practice. The MRCGP has changed and more details can be found in the GP Trainee resources section of this website, and on the Royal College of General Practitioners website.

During the time a GP trainee is in hospital-based placement, 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 of GP Speciality Training.

Prospective GP Educational Supervisors are expected to meet the standards set out by the General Medical Council and the Guide to Postgraduate Medical Education in the UK (The Gold Guide). Educational Supervisors are expected to have good communication skills, use adult educational theory to inform teaching practice and be learner-centred in their teaching. They should be actively engaged in personal development.

Educational Supervisors also 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. The employing practice and Educational Supervisor should both be performing to a high standard.


To become a GP Educational Supervisor, doctors who are attending the ES course complete the mandatory Educational Supervisor accreditation process. This process is laid out on the GP Supervisor accreditation page.