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Trainer information

Introduction and background

The role of appraisers is of critical importance to the delivery of the GMC requirements on the Recognition of Trainers (RoT). The Education Organisers (E.Os. – NES and the five medical schools), have adopted a single system approach to RoT which operates in conjunction with the Directors of Medical Education (DMEs) so that a trainer is recognised once in Scotland for all “named” roles requiring recognition by the GMC.

In Scotland we are using the SOAR system to support RoT recognition which requires the trainer to complete a dedicated page on RoT (Form 3) and appraisers are asked to reflect with the trainer during appraisal on whether they continue to meet the GMC RoT requirements and on RoT issues relevant to the trainer’s CPD.

We have now recognised all existing trainers in Scotland and have agreed a process of quality management / quality improvement reviews, where we carry out a detailed review of the evidence presented by trainers to support recognition.

These pages provide a short overview of the information available to appraisers to support this process.

    1.Section A: Educational Governance Requirements. 

    This section requires the trainer to self-declare the following:

    • I have a GMC Licence to Practice.
    • I have completed Equality and Diversity training as required by my employer.
    • I am currently practising within the field(s) relevant to my training role(s).
    • I have appropriate time allocated within my role. In practice this means the trainer should provide details of their E&D training and tick the three boxes.

    While it is good practice to provide evidence of E&D training in line with employer requirements, we are happy to accept self-declaration that the training is up to date. It would be a probity issue if the trainer stated this and it wasn’t the case, and our desire is not to put extra hurdles in the way.

    2.Section B: Role-specific Requirements

    This section requires the trainer to self-declare the following:

    If any of the boxes have not been completed this should be explained in the narrative section of Form 3. Any outstanding issues regarding time for teaching in job plans should be followed up by the trainer with the relevant Clinical Director or Service Lead.

    • I understand the requirements of my role and how that role fits with other educational and clinical roles.
    • I know how to get support if needed.
    • I understand the curriculum and career stage of my students/trainees.

    If any of the boxes have not been completed further explanation should be given in the narrative section. Within the STF we also define the mandatory training requirements to complete this section as including an induction for the role. In practice this will usually be an introductory trainer course which is often also submitted in response to the GMC framework areas (section 3.3 below).

    3.Section C: Generic Trainer Skills

    This section requires trainers to confirm that they meet the GMC Framework areas and have provided the relevant supporting information. The framework areas are:

    1. Ensuring safe and effective patient care through training
    2. Establishing and maintaining an environment for learning
    3. Teaching and facilitating learning
    4. Enhancing learning through assessment
    5. Supporting and monitoring educational process (not required for clinical supervisors)
    6. Guiding personal and professional development (not required for clinical supervisors)
    7. Continuing professional development (CPD) as an educator

    For most trainers, this will involve submitting a portfolio of evidence. However, completion of an accredited course or qualification in medical education such as a Master’s degree, or full Membership/Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Educators (AoME), or Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), are also sufficient to demonstrate full compliance.In practice, we have accepted the following as meeting the minimum requirements:

    If a portfolio of evidence is submitted this should cover all relevant framework areas. Ideally the evidence would be mapped to the framework areas but SOAR now provides flexibility for trainers to submit evidence without specifically mapping it to the areas.

    1. Member or Fellow of AoME or HEA
    2. PG certificate/ Diploma / Masters in education
    3. Faculty Development Alliance Trainer Workshop
    4. South East Faculty of Clinical Educators – Clinical Educators Programme. Level 2 for Educational Supervisors and Undergraduate named roles and Level 1 for Clinical Supervisors.
    5. Other CPD provision approved by a Scottish medical school which is mapped to the framework areas.
    6. Royal Colleges or Faculties’ courses which have been mapped to the framework areas (this is more difficult to assess as they have not been mapped on the STF). However, it is reasonable to assume that recent ‘College’ training courses for educational/clinical supervisors have been mapped to the framework areas although this cannot be guaranteed.

    The GMC requirements are clear that details of teaching undertaken alone is not sufficient to demonstrate eligibility for recognition. However, evidence of a range of teaching activity undertaken, especially if there is any reflection or feedback on the teaching may form part of a portfolio of supporting information.

    It is worth noting, that the Form 3 is the only part of the appraisal paperwork the E.O. will see and therefore, if any evidence is presented at appraisal – but not uploaded – then it is vital that the Appraiser adds appropriate comments to the Form 3, validating such evidence.


    We have not set specific guidelines on how long trainer courses remain valid as this will vary with the type of course. We also want to encourage trainers to view recognition as an ongoing development process rather than a tick box/repeat the same course process. However, any course undertaken more than five years previously is probably now less relevant for recognition purposes and trainers should be encouraged to update their training for future appraisals.

    In Scotland we have developed an approach to recognition which encourages ongoing professional development in the trainer’s education role.

    Appraisers should consider discussing future development and encourage trainers to use the Scottish Trainer Framework for guidance. As well as attending further training courses, trainers may also wish to consider reflective accounts of the teaching/training role and the response to feedback on teaching/training. Other options include course evaluations, feedback received on teaching (from students, trainees and patients), critical analysis of relevant literature or 360° feedback to the trainer in the educational role. It is recognised that some of these options may be challenging to obtain for postgraduate roles.

    If there are any role specific requirements, usually in respect of undergraduate roles, these should have been made clear to the trainer by the relevant EO. This would be in addition to the requirement to meet the minimum GMC requirements.

    If appraisers have any queries of the relevance of evidence to support recognition or want advice on future CPD, the RoT team can be contacted at RoTQM@nes.scot.nhs.uk

    The Scottish Education Organisers (EOs, - NES and the five Medical Schools), have together agreed a review process, whereby trainers will have their uploaded evidence reviewed approximately 12 months prior to their revalidation / re-recognition date.

    For postgraduate trainers, the DME will be notified when the year 4 Form 7 is created, following appraisal.  The DME will then review the supporting information on that and previous Form 7s, to check the relevancy of evidence and to advise trainers on progress towards successful re-recognition, providing support where required.

    • If the trainer’s uploaded evidence meets the requirements, they will be informed that they are on-track for successful re-recognition, but will still undergo a follow‑up review at revalidation, to ensure evidence will remain valid for the next revalidation cycle.
    • If recognition requirements have not been met, the trainer will be advised of evidence “gaps” which need to be closed for success re-recognition.


    After the year 5 Form 7 is created, prior to revalidation, the DME will again review the trainer's supporting information.  If complete, the DME will 're-recommend' the trainer for ongoing recognition. At revalidation, a follow-up review will take place to check whether “gaps” have been closed.

    • If successful, the trainer’s “Recognised” status will be valid for the next revalidation cycle.
    • If gaps in evidence still exist, the trainer will be given another six months to meet the requirements, when a further follow-up review will take place.


    If requirements have still not been met, the trainer’s status on TURAS will be changed, meaning that no new trainees can be allocated to this trainer and an “end” date will be placed on their trainer record – effectively removing them from the system as a trainer when their current trainees rotate.  

    If the trainer then wanted to resume their educational role, the recognition process would need to start over again.

    This process aims to support the trainers, giving them advice and time to meet requirements, well in advance of their revalidation date.


    For undergraduate trainers, a similar process is in place.