GP Trainers and Educators

Training Approval Forms

TA Zero-Pre-Approval form: Trainer and Practice Information (Old TA8 Form) Prospective trainers need to fill out the form and send it to their local PDs for approval, who then will send it to GP admin to prompt the approval

TA1-Training Practice Approval Form For first approval only. Needs to be submitted to at least two weeks before the date of the approval meeting. Please Note that Training Practice approval in the old format/version will no longer be accepted.

TA2-Re Approval Form For Reapproval Only. Needs to be submitted to at least two weeks before the date of the reapproval meeting. Please Note that form will not be accepted if is either in the old format or/and information is missing (please refer to guide below).

Guide to completion of TA2

TA3-TRAINEE FEEDBACK QUESTIONNAIRE Needs to be submitted with TA1/TA2 to at least two weeks before the approval / reapproval meeting.

TA4-PD Question GP admin will ask the PDs to fill out the form ahead of the approval / reapproval meeting

TA5-Feedback Form for completion after the approval / reapproval meeting

TA6: Supported Review Form This form is for use during a triggered review to help offer additional support. (For an educational/ clinical supervisor or training practice)

GP Trainers and Educator Courses 2023

Active Bystander Training: a 75 minute Active Bystander training session – which aims to help us to challenge poor behaviours which may have become normalised over time. The session includes self-coaching techniques to help you keep a cool head when you’re faced with a challenging situation – and assertive language devices which you can use to make sure your voice is heard if you want to raise a concern. Date for 2023 TBC

Bridging the Attainment Gap: A one-day workshop for Educators working to support International Medical Graduates in GP training. Dates TBC

Clinical Supervisor for GP trainees Course: a two day course, for non-training GPs with two or more years of experience post CCT, in a training or non-training practice and for those who would like to work with GP trainees but without taking on longer term mentoring and ST3 development in the Thames Valley Region. Registration Closed.

Coaching skills: Aimed at GP Trainers, new or experienced, these case-based workshops will draw on and demonstrate coaching skills in a highly supportive and safe small group environment. Dates and Registration HERE

Combined Supervisor Course: The Combined Supervisor Course (CSC) combines elements of the old ‘Training for non – Trainers’ course, OOH new / refresher courses and the Foundation Supervisors Course. The core part of the CSC course combines the overlapping elements of supervision in the morning before separating into three afternoon streams: • New Foundation (Clinical) Supervisors. • GP’s working in training practices who wish to develop greater expertise in the supervision of GP and Foundation trainees. • OOH Supervisors. For Dates and Registration Here

Educational supervisors’ course for prospective GP Trainers: Replacing the old academic PGCert course for new Trainers, this course prepares the attendee to be a Trainer and educational supervisor for GP trainees in practice. Is a 5-day course, it runs twice a year, and we only take 16 people. Please read the essential criteria to become a trainer in the FAQs section below – I am interested in becoming a trainer what do I do next?. If you qualify, please contact GP Admin for the course dates and registration. Please do not take attendance at the course as guaranteed unless you have had clear confirmation from the GP Admin office

Nuts and Bolts: A hands-on practical sessions on best practice and simple guides for WPBA and the portfolio. Includes instruction, bench marking exercises, Q&A, small group work and expert feedback. Flexible to the needs of the group and often includes changes proposed, updates etc. as requested by attendees. For Dates and Registration Here

Physician Heal Thyself workshop: This programme is aimed at doctors wishing to develop their skills for recognising and managing their stress. This is a practical course with a coaching approach. We aim to equip you with those skills and strategies to help you identify and address symptoms of stress in your life. For Dates and RegistrationHere

Programme Directors’ Advanced Course: This course is aimed at Programme Directors of GP Training Schemes with at least one year’s experience in the post. It is advertised across the UK and attended by PDs usually from England and Wales. The focus is to share experiences, new ideas and techniques and keep up to date with the latest developments in GP Training, regulation and assessments. 2 days residential ££. 1Dates and Registration HERE

RCA UPDATES FOR TRAINERS: Session for GP Educators on RCA updates and how best to support and prepare your trainees. For Dates and Registration HERE

Supporting your trainees preparing for AKT: A workshop to explore the important role of trainers for trainees studying for their AKT, looking at supporting trainees in how they learn and supporting them in what they learn. For Dates and Registration HERE

Supporting International Medical Graduate Trainees in GP Post: This workshop will be a practical, interactive session to discuss how you can best support your international medical graduate trainees in post. There will be opportunity to share ideas, ask questions and learn from each other. For Dates and registration HERE

Supporting Trainees with Dyslexia: Trainees with Dyslexia or similar difficulties can face specific challenges in the workplace and in training. This session will look at understanding what dyslexia is, how the Working Memory functions and how this might impact on the type of support that you may offer a trainee diagnosed with dyslexia. For Dates and Registration Here

The Experienced trainers’ course: Designed to provide trainers with an inspiring and revitalizing 3 days, aiming to deepen educational skills. The course is relaxed and mainly experiential, with the opportunity to practise and hone teaching, feedback, and coaching skills; in small groups and pairs, and with role players (real registrars- well trained). There will be maximum 20 attendees. 3 days residential ££. DATES for 2023 TBC

Teaching Consultation Skills Course for Educators: This Programme is aimed at educators who wish to develop their skills for the purpose of teaching consultation skills. This is a practical course and there will be opportunity to work in small groups to develop and practice new skills. 2 days residential course ££. Dates TBC

Tutorial Skills for GP Trainers: Aimed for all levels of experience, this will be a fun day combining some learning theory and practical tutorial planning discussions, with interactive group work and a chance to receive feedback on short videos. For dates and registration Here


Upcoming Faculty Day: 21 March 2023 Registration

Save the Date: 31 October 2023

Foundation Supervisors Guide

To see up to date F2 Guide for Wessex and Thames Valley please click here.

FAQs for Training Quality (Re-)Approval visits. Health Education England. Thames Valley

Commonly used acronyms

TPD: Training programme director

AD: Associate Dean

TL: Team Leader

PM – Practice manager.

ES -Educational Supervisor (trainer)

VTS – Vocational Training Scheme


I am interested in becoming an Educational Supervisor (Trainer), what do I do next?

First please check you meet the essential criteria to become a trainer. These are:

 Been working in your current practice for at least 6 months

 You work a minimum of 4 clinical sessions a week in your practice

 You hold MRCGP or FRCGP

 You have a minimum post CCT experience of 2 years if you have been based in a training practice or 3 years in a non-training practice.

 The practice you work in needs to be CQC approved (may or may not be an existing training practice)

The next step is to seek support from your practice team (to make sure you will receive adequate protected time and that the members are willing to engage with training) and ensure that the practice have capacity to accommodate a learner. You will also need to speak to your local TPDs about your intentions. The contact details can be found here.

You can then apply to complete the ES (educational supervisor) course (Email GP Admin). In the meantime, we recommend that you start to engage with your local trainers’ group (the TPDs can give you the contact details).

If you have completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Medical Education or have done an equivalent ES course recently, in another area please submit your documents to the Quality Team and they will be reviewed to decide on further next steps.

I have done the ES (educational supervisor course), can I start training now?

Once you have completed the ES course you will need to gain approval for both yourself and the practice you work (unless your practice is already approved).

To gain this you will need to:

 Complete a TA0 form (Old TA8 form)and email to GP Admin

 Attend your local trainers group meetings (minimum of 50% of meetings)

 Attend the 2 Nuts and Bolts courses (the CBD/ COTS one as a minimum, the ESR/ learning logs one can be planned)

 Write an Educational PDP – please see appendix 1 and 2 for a template and an example

 Speak to your local TPDs or AD to ensure you and the practice are ready for an approval meeting.

You will then be booked in for your approval.

This process may take 6-12 months.

I have booked my first approval meeting. What do I need to prepare?

• Complete the TA1 form (Part 1 for the Practice assessment if needed, and part 2 for the Trainer assessment)

• Ensure you have TA3 forms completed (Trainee feedback questionnaire forms) for all your trainees in practice

• Inform your Team Leader of the number of sessions you work

• On the day of the the approval you will need a video of a teaching session (with any clinical health professional in a learner role but ideally a trainee) lasting no more than 10 minutes. Ensure that you include the beginning and the end of the session within this, to help demonstrate your ability to use a learner centred teaching style which considers the learners agenda and needs. A COT / CBD assessment is usually not appropriate to demonstrate these skills, but a problem case analysis would be.

• If the approval is on Microsoft Teams, book a time to test sharing your video online with GP Admin (this is very important to ensure smooth running on the day of your approval). Please ensure you practice using the same device and set up that you plan to use on the day.

Please ensure all your paperwork is received 2 weeks in advance. It is your responsibility as a trainer that all forms are collated and sent over.

Please note that any ‘copy and pasting‘ from other trainers forms will be not acceptable and highlighted by our plagiarism software

Ensure you have no clinical responsibilities on the day as the approval is expected to be carried out in practice time.

On the TA1 Training Practice approval form what information is mandatory to embed?

• Trainers weekly timetable.

• Trainers Equality and Diversity Certificate

• Trainers PDP (Personal Development Plan)

• Trainee Induction Timetable

• Trainee Timetable

What will happen on the day of my approval?

You will be invited on an online meeting with a Team Leader (Often a GP trainer and may be part of the HEE Educator team) and a visiting trainer may also be present. If your practice is becoming a training practice for the first time, then a Practice Manager will also be part of the approving team.

If this is the first approval for a GP practice, then your local Associate Dean will arrange a short physical visit to assess your premises.

Sample timetable for a Microsoft Teams Trainer assessment visit:

In advance of the day of the approval, the approving practice manager will have arranged to speak to host practice manager and will have fed back to the team leader.

9.00 – Approving team meet to discuss approval.

9.15 – Trainer joins meeting.

We will look at the completed forms and your feedback

We will view your teaching video

We will discuss: Your approach to training / teaching methods and style, use of the e-portfolio, curriculum planning/ coverage, assessment methods and arrangements for GP trainee workload.

We may discuss your SEAs and QIPs

10.30 – Comfort break.

10.45 – Continue meeting as above.

12.00–Trainer leaves meeting for 15 mins for approving team to discuss.

12.15 – Trainer re-joins for feedback

What are the Clinical Supervisor (CS) criteria for approval?

CS course completed

Nuts and Bolts (COTs and CBDs) completed

Engaged with a trainers group and attended at least one meeting before approval request

Nominated a mentor (who is an approved ES eg another ES in the same practice or on in PCN)

Working in a training practice (otherwise if not an existing training practice, will need to apply for practice approval, including site visit from local TPD/AD team)

Working a minimum of 4 sessions a week in practice

What can a CS do and cannot do?


Look after ST1 or ST2 GP trainees for 6-month placements.

We would expect (recommend) that a CS would upgrade to ES approval (with relevant training) 2-3 years after approval as a CS.

WPBA: COTs, CBDs, CEPS, CSR, Educators notes

Also: able to supervise FY2 trainees. (BUT would recommend attending the half day foundation trainers course)


Supervise ST3 trainees

Mark and comment on log entries

Mark QIPs


Receive ES grant for remote supervision of trainees

What will a CS receive and need for ongoing approval?

Minimum of 2 hours protected time a week for a tutorial plus some time allowed for tutorial preparation

Practice to receive trainers grant to support training, supervision and tutorials in the practice

Will not be eligible for £750 CPD grant but can access all free HEE courses

Will need to the nuts and bolts every 5 years

Faculty day attendance and trainers group engagement as per ES’s. (protected time to be granted from practice)

To nominate an approved ES as their mentor


How can I demonstrate, for the purposes of approval/re-approval, that I am maintaining my training knowledge and skills (CPD)?

• Attend Faculty days – We would encourage you to attend all faculty days if possible but as an absolute minimum would be 2 over 3 years.

• Attend Trainers meetings – each area has a minimum number of meetings that you are required to attend. We would recommend you attend as many as possible for peer support and personal development.

• Other development appropriate to your learning needs as a trainer – this may have been highlighted in your ES course by a tutor or in your approval visit. Please ensure that you have a PDP that is SMART and active.

• You will need to maintain your Equality and Diversity training.

• Attend regular training in calibration of WPBAs (this may take place in trainers’ meetings, or NUTs and BOLTs courses)

• NEW REQUIREMENT: Attend the experienced trainer’s course at a minimum of 5 yearly post initial approval.

What does a SMART PDP look like?

The RCGP offers some guidance on writing PDPs which can be found here.

Appendix 1 offers you a sample template.

Appendix 2 shows an example of an educational PDP.

I am approved as a GP trainer. Can I also supervise Foundation trainees (FY2)?

Yes you can. If you have not had a FY2 before we recommend you read the guide for training FY2 doctors which we can email to you on request if you have not already received this from your TPD team.

We also recommend to attend the half day Combined Supervisor Course-Foundation Stream

I have been requested to be a visiting trainer on a practice approval, how will my contribution be helpful and how often do I need to do this?

We require you to support an approval meeting out of your VTS area but within Thames Valley, a minimum of once every 5 years.

Your contribution is very much valued, sharing ideas from different organisations and areas provides richness. The team leader will contact you in advance of the meeting to discuss your role in the approval process. Most visiting trainers also find it a very useful learning experience.


How often will I need to be re-approved?

The approval schedule is detailed as below:

Year 0: 1st approval for 2 years – Microsoft teams (TA1). Practice and Trainer approval (unless existing training practice)

Year 2: 1st re-approval for 5 years – TA2 with online interview (45-60mins) Trainer approval only

Year 7: 2nd re-approval for 5 years – TA2 with online interview (45-60mins) Trainer approval only

Then an ongoing 5 yearly cycle.

All approvals need TA3 questionnaires completed.

Please note that any ‘ Copy and Pasting ‘ from other trainers forms will be not acceptable and highlighted by our plagiarism software.

Practices do not need to be re-approved after the initial approval. Any concerns raised about the quality of learning environment in training practices will be addressed by the TPD team and Patch AD, and information submitted to the Quality team for review (TA6 will be used).

I really enjoyed being a visiting trainer and I would be interested in becoming a team leader? Or my practice manager is interested in doing approvals? How can I enquire about this?

We are frequently looking to enhance our fantastic approvals team so would welcome your interest. Please email us on

I am an existing trainer moving to Thames Valley from another area, what do I need to do to start training in my new practice?

Once you have support from your new practice to train (checked for space etc), please contact your local VTS team (TPDs and ADs) in the first instance. If everyone is in support, then your local AD will contact the Quality team.

We will need to see your approval paperwork from your last trainer approval. The approval system varies enormously from area to area so your paperwork will be reviewed by the Quality team and an ongoing re-approval plan will be made.

If you are moving to an existing training practice once your paperwork has been approved, you will be able to start training. If you are moving to a non-training practice you will need to apply for a practice approval via the TA0 form.

Our practice is merging with a non -training practice. Do I need to anything?

As the new practice is not an approved practice, GP trainees should not work in that site until the whole organisation is approved. Please inform the quality team.

I am still working in practice 4 sessions or more but these are no longer all clinical. Can I still train?

This may occasionally be possible depending on your experience as an educator and practice factors. Please inform the quality team of what work you are doing in those sessions and how you will support your trainee and they will make a decision. 

I am planning a sabbatical or maternity leave, what do I need to do?

Please give VTS team as much notice as possible, ideally 6 months.

I am on sick leave, what do I need to do?

Please inform your TPDs if you think you will be off from work for more than 3 weeks. Ensure your trainee is receiving supervision and support in practice (a plan should have been made in advance for this). With long term trainer sickness, if there is no other trainer in the practice to support the trainee, we occasionally may need to move the trainee to another training practice temporarily.

What is the process to support practices and trainers in the event of a serious trainee complaint or CQC inadequate rating?

We will aim to support practices via the local TPD team and Patch AD. A TA6 will be completed, shared and stored with the Quality team confidentially.

I am thinking of retiring from training, what do I need to do?

We would be very sorry to lose you. We require 6 months notice. Please give notice to the quality team and your local TPD team.

Where can I find contact details for the VTS schemes and Quality team:


I am a GP and would like to become a foundation trainer. What do I need to do?

 You will need to attend a Combined supervisor course (1day). Please register your interest for this with GP Admin as soon as possible.

  You will need to apply for a practice and trainer approval via email to GP Admin.

  You will need to complete the TA1 form and submit this 2 weeks before your approval date.

  TA3 forms will need to be completed for re-approvals

  The schedule for re-approval will be a follows

o   Year 0 – 1st approval for 2 yrs. (TA2)

o   Year 1 – 1st re-approval for 5 yrs (TA2)

o   The cycle will then continue every 5 years.

   You will be emailed the guide for foundation training

The approval paperwork you will need to complete can all be found here: GP Trainers and Educators – Working across Thames Valley (



Example of an Educational PDP