Becoming a Trainer

Becoming a GP trainer is a challenging and rewarding career move. The process of preparing the practice to train often acts as a stimulus for development. Registrars usually bring a great deal of enthusiasm to a practice and often act as a catalyst for the trainers' own Professional Development. Go to the GMC website for information on being a trainer or clinical supervisor.

Protocol for Established Educational Supervisors

We expect established active Educational Supervisors (ES) who move Practice or region to reapply for Trainer status through the usual route.

We would not accept applications until the potential ES had been working in the new Practice for a minimum of twelve months. This is to allow the ES time to become part of the new team and ensure a robust understanding of the Practices systems and procedures.

Applicants are expected to have Membership of the RCGP.

Applicants who have previously Trained but not been active as an ES for 3 years will be required to complete the whole of the 5 day Prospective Educational Supervisors Course (PESC) unless they have a formal Educational qualification in which case they must attend the last 3 days of the PESC.

Applicants who have a higher Educational qualification, but who have not been an ES previously will attend the last 3 days of the PESC. We would suggest that attendance at the whole of the course might be advantageous, particularly if the applicant has come from outside the Health Education England, South West foot print.

Approval/Re-approval for GP Trainers

GPs wishing to develop their educational career as a GP trainer must have MRCGP (or equivalent) and complete the New Trainers Course (or equivalent). Please see below for more information.

Information about the general trainer approval process

Process flow chart and further information about the visit.

New applicants and experienced trainers seeking approval and re-approval as a trainer must:

  • Fufill the relevant criteria outlined in on which the GP trainer application form is based.

    Approval / re-approval of a GP Trainer then needs to be sought through completing the Teaching Practice Approval Form and sending it to the relevant VTS administrator prior to the training practice visit. The completed Teaching Practice Approval form is then sent to the Primary Care team to be processed, following which you will be sent your approval / re-approval confirmation.

  • Host a practice visit

    From the beginning of August 2017 GP Trainers in the South West Peninsula undergoing re-approval visits can expect to receive an approved training period of up to 6 years duration and NEW trainers undergoing their initial approval visit can be approved for up to 2 years duration.

Trainer Courses:

  • The Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Education from Plymouth University and Exeter University. (PgCert)
  • The South West Peninsula course for new trainers.

The Certificate programme is the entry level for the University of Plymouth MSc programme and those doctors who are considering a career in academic General Practice or who wish to teach learners other than GP registrars should consider this option.

The Head of School will also consider applications from GPs who have completed courses elsewhere and GPs who have satisfied the approval criteria for training in other locations. Please contact Sarah Anderson.

The South West Peninsula course for new trainers is an introduction to training and takes a pragmatic approach to preparing to train. This does not prevent a GP subsequently studying for the PgCert.

If you are unsure which course is most suitable for you it is advisable to seek the advice of one of the Associate Deans for your area.

PgCert from Plymouth University 

Entry requirement: First Degree and two years postgraduate experience
Assessment:  Written assignments, Teaching observation in real time and on video
Cost:  Course fees are the responsibility of the participant


If you have any queries regarding this course, please speak to a member of the Admissions team:

Phone: +44 (0) 1752 437333 or

Prospective Educational Supervisors Course (PESC)

Entry requirement: MRCGP or equivalent
Course outline: This is a five day course consisting of two sets of two days and a single day spread over a three month period.
Assessment: Attending the course and completed all necessary work and 'homework'
Cost:  Course fees are met by South West Peninsula. Backfill, locum fees and accommodation costs are the responsibility of the participant.

Please note, on completion of the second part of the PESC, you will need to arrange a Trainer/Practice Approval visit within a two year period of that date OR your training accreditation will expire.


If you have any queries or are interested in attending the PESC please contact:

Sarah Anderson on 01752 676168 or email.