GMC Survey

GMC Trainee Survey

The GMC National Training survey was initially established during 2005 and since then has been conducted annually usually during March and April. The survey is managed by the GMC and facilitated by education organisers and provides all postgraduate medical trainees with an opportunity to give feedback on their perception of the quality of their training. This UK-wide survey enables education organisers to obtain benchmarked data on potential areas of good practice as well as areas of concern within their locality compared to the rest of the UK, and survey results are a helpful evidence source for quality management purposes both in terms of identifying potential areas of concern and areas of good practice.

GMC Trainer survey

Following a break of 4 years, and a pilot survey in 2015, the GMC has hosted a National Trainer Survey since 2016. The survey provides trainers with an opportunity to improve the quality of postgraduate and foundation training. The survey results enable the GMC, NHSE offices and Local Education Providers to obtain benchmarked data across several areas, including how supported trainers feel, areas of good practice, and whether there are concerns about the quality of education and protection of training resources. In addition, the survey results help the GMC understand how well the Recognition & Approval of Trainers Implementation Plan is being delivered.

Survey reporting  

The trainee survey comprises a series of generic questions which are relevant to all trainees as well as a series of specialty specific questions which are usually agreed with the relevant Royal College.  Trainee responses to the generic questions are grouped into 18 categories known as indicator scores some of which have an educational focus and others have a more direct link with patient safety.   

The survey results are reported using an online reporting tool making the results accessible for all those involved in the management of postgraduate medical education and training.  The results can be cut into different groups to suit both training programme needs and Local Education Provider (LEP – organisations who provide the placement within a hospital Trust or in the community such as a GP practice). 

Additionally, respondents are given the opportunity to raise concerns relating to patient safety and/or bullying and undermining.  These ‘free text’ comments are passed on to HEE local offices as soon as they have been raised and are reviewed and investigated accordingly. 

Analysis and interpretation of results: process 

The results of the GMC NTS have been analysed by initially cutting the data by Programme Specialty (trainees on a specific programme) and generates most of the data presented in this report. Additionally, the data has also been analysed by Post Specialty (all grades and specialties within that post). 

Outliers from these ‘cuts’ were individually reviewed by looking at the responses given to each question. As outliers are presented by comparison (usually with the national average), it is possible to have a negative outlier without any negative responses. The Quality Team also reviewed areas with multiple ‘pink flags’ for a similar reason. The data is also considered by Specialty School, Local Education Provider and Programme specialty to identify ‘hot spots’.   

Following this analysis, outliers requiring investigation were identified, and LEP and Schools were asked to review and respond to these. The Quality Team review these responses and select any that require wider scrutiny from the Quality Committee to agree whether any further action from the NHSE’s Quality Framework is necessary. 

The quality processes and GMC NTS results 

NHSE processes are defined by the NHSE Quality Framework, and the Intensive Support Framework. The GMC NTS is an important source of data informing these processes. This involves a risk-based approach; data and intelligence inform the risk assessment which determines investigation and interventions under the Framework. A live risk register is maintained; hence data from the GMC NTS can signal where areas of concern are and/or provide evidence of improving or deteriorating situations. 

The NHSE Quality Framework was updated in October 2021. The new iteration has a greater focus on learning from good practice.