Keith Gardiner, a Postgraduate Dean in Northern Ireland, talks about why it is important that trainers share their views in the national training survey.

As a Postgraduate Dean, responsible for overseeing postgraduate medical education throughout Northern Ireland, I know that trainers play a vital role in ensuring that training and supervision of doctors in training is of the highest quality.

The new GMC standards for medical education and training Promoting Excellence set down requirements that trainers are given the support, resources and time to deliver their education and training responsibilities.

However what is required and what happens on the ground can be very different. That is why responding to the GMC’s national trainer survey is so important.

Between 22 March and 4 May, you as medical educators and trainers will be asked to complete this survey and provide valuable feedback on your role to the GMC, medical schools, postgraduate deaneries and LETBs.

What difference will it make?

Your answers to the survey questions will provide the information that the GMC, and we in Deaneries/LETBs need to identify, prioritise and address any weaknesses in current arrangements.
Your views matter- National Trainers Survey

In addition, your responses will highlight where further research and development is needed and help shape the future direction of travel for medical education and training.

What will you be asked?

In the survey, you will be asked about the value placed on medical education and training where you work and whether you feel that any concerns that you have about training are listened and responded to.

You will also be asked about how well you are supported in your role as a trainer. Have you been given opportunities to develop the skills you need? Are you provided with enough time in your job plan to carry out your responsibilities safely and effectively?

What will you get out of it?

The GMC’s initiative Recognition and Approval of Trainers has provided a very important opportunity to emphasise the value of training, raise the status of trainers and educators and improve the quality of training.
Trainers now need to be selected, inducted, trained, supported and appraised for their roles.

Participating in the survey will enable you to receive a survey completion code which you can use as evidence of your commitment to training and to your role as a trainer in your educational appraisal.

You haven’t been sent an invitation!

Do not despair!

If you are a named Educational or Clinical Supervisor for Foundation, Core or Specialty/GP trainees and you have not received an invitation to be included in the survey, do please contact the postgraduate teams at your local Deanery or LETB and they will be happy to help you.

And finally

I really want to encourage you to seize this opportunity to complete the GMC National Trainer Survey and to help provide the most comprehensive picture possible of medical education and training in 2016.

keith gardiner


Professor Keith Gardiner is a Postgraduate Medical Dean and Responsible Officer for all junior doctors in training within the Northern Ireland Deanery