A key component of Scotland Deanery’s Quality Management-Quality Improvement (QM-QI) Framework is the aim to promote improvements in the quality of postgraduate medical education and training.
When our Specialty Quality Management Groups (sQMGs)’ visits to local education providers (LEP) or programmes identify that the General Medical Council’s (GMC's) standards are not being met, the reports of these visits will make requirements that must be addressed to ensure that, in future, the GMC’s standards are met. sQMGs will monitor the implementation of action plans submitted by the Director of Medical Education (DME) at the LEP to ensure all of the improvements have been implemented. The Training Programme Director (TPD) may also have responsibility for the action plan.
Quality Review Panels (QRPs) incorporate a process to identify multiple signals of potential good practice (reflected in multiple ‘green flags’) and issue letters commending the quality of training to the trainers, DMEs and TPDs who are associated with the units providing the training. This is to encourage local awareness and reflection upon the strengths of a training unit and to draw this acknowledgement to the attention of not just the local trainers who are involved but also to the DME of the associated health board and to the TPD for the programme to encourage consideration of where lessons may be learned.
During QM-QI visits, including even some of our more challenging visits, it is not unusual to identify aspects of training that represent good practice. Our visit reports routinely record such practice and we collate examples for sharing as part of our annual report process.
The Taskforce to Improve the Quality of Medical Education (TIQME) has been an effective forum for sharing awareness of good practice around education and training. This quarterly meeting has attendance from health boards’ Medical Directors and DMEs, NHS Education for Scotland Medical Directorate Executive Team (MDET) and Medical School leads and has showcased a range of positive education-related activities. Approaches to Board educational governance, ‘chief residents’ and engagement with trainees through trainee fora are all examples of areas of good practice whose implementation has increased following sharing through TIQME.
In addition to providing access to internal stakeholders (including Associate Postgraduate Deans and TPDs) Scotland Deanery provides access to its Scottish Training Survey (STS) dashboard, that includes the STS survey data and free text comments, to DMEs. This is designed to assist the DMEs through the provision of these additional tools to support their local quality control activities and foster local efforts to improve training environments.