Resources and Support for Specialty Trainers

Resources and support for trainers

The Gold Guide (‘A Reference Guide for Postgraduate Specialty Training in the UK’) sets out the arrangements for core and/or specialty training programmes, as agreed by the four UK Health Departments. 

Delivering postgraduate training in CSRH – Who manages training?

Postgraduate medical education has a clear training structure, which Postgraduate deans deliver locally.

The lead dean for CSRH is Professor Selena Grey.

At a local level, the training programme is managed by the Training Programme Director (TPD), with support from the local Deanery. Although a separate specialty, the CSRH Training Programme sits within the School of Obstetricians & Gynecology; the TPD will usually attend O&G School Board Meetings and receive support from the O&G Head of School. In some CSRH training programmes, the TPD will also be an Educational Supervisor.

Each trainee within the CSRH specialty training programme is allocated an Educational Supervisor. Although the Educational Supervisor takes the leading role in the trainee’s development, the process is a team effort.

Trainees have prime responsibility for your learning; this reflects how important it is that they develop lifelong learning skills, and how these skills underpin their continuing fitness to practice.

The explicit learning outcomes of the CSRH curriculum and logbook competencies enhance trainees' accountability and also support them as learners capable of assessing their own progress. By including learning resources in the curriculum and on this website, we are supporting self-managed learning, not only by giving trainees responsibility for their own learning, but also the means to do so.

Role of the FSRH

The Faculty supports all education, training and assessment that the CSRH specialty training requires. A Specialty Advisory Committee (SAC) deals with all CSRH specialty training issues.  The small numbers of CSRH trainees means that FSRH performs some roles that LETB/Deaneries usually manage for larger specialties

Training Programme Directors (TPDs) – roles and responsibilities

TPDs are responsible for designing educational experiences for trainees and ensuring that they remain suitable over time. These experiences include a range of CSRH community and hospital posts, linked with seminars and courses which match the needs of both learners and the curriculum. TPDs manage a team of trainers who are in tunr accountable to the TPD.

TPDs are appointed through open competition by local Deaneries/LETBs. Each LETB will have a person specification and it should recommend the minimum number of Programmed Activities in the individual’s job plan that are required to undertake the TPD role.

Because the CSRH training programme sits within the School of O&G, TPDs should maintain good links with their local Head of School for O&G.

Educational Supervisors and Clinical Supervisors – Roles and responsibilities

Educational Supervisors and Named Clinical Supervisors (‘trainers’) who are medically qualified must be recognised and/or approved in line with GMC guidance on the ‘Role of the Trainer’ and its implementation plan. Deaneries/LETBs and the Faculty also provide useful training and guidance for trainers.

*Each trainee has a specific individual who acts as the Educational Supervisor for their entire training programme, which the Faculty records. The Educational Supervisor must be a consultant or senior SAS doctor within Sexual & Reproductive Health.

Within many placements and for many specialty training modules, the Educational Supervisor may choose to delegate day-to-day supervision to named Clinical Supervisors (e.g. colleagues in O&G, GUM or Public Health) without requiring any formal approval from the Faculty. Trainers may also include non-medical professionals.

However, FSRH must be informed of any changes to the Training Programme e.g. change of Educational Supervisor or TPD. This can be done via the FSRH Specialty Training Programme Approval form.

*The Educational Supervisor has overall responsibility for a trainee’s educational management plan and for monitoring a trainee’s progress. They must therefore stay in regular contact and should meet for a structured review at least every four months. The Educational Supervisor should also complete trainees’ Induction/Appraisal forms and ES reports ahead of ARCP panel meetings.

*Although the Educational Supervisor may delegate assessments of competence to Named Clinical Supervisors and other trainers, good practice requires him/her to review and counter-sign these assessments. The Educational Supervisor must also counter-sign:

  • every obligatory assessment (such as those that confirm competence or confirm continuing competence afterwards)
  • any completion of an entire module within the trainee's e-Portfolio.

CSRH trainers have several responsibilities:

  • overseeing the trainee’s daily work when posted in the community or in a hospital
  • holding regular feedback meetings with the trainee
  • being the trainee’s initial point of contact for training opportunities, progress and resources 
  • ensuring that their learning environment meets national standards, as defined by the local Deanery/LETB and quality assured by the GMC
  • continually assessing the trainee via WPBAs – this also allows the Educational Supervisor to monitor curriculum coverage and identify gaps.

Useful resources for trainers

Assessment and appraisal – information for trainers


Educational Supervisors must meet their trainees regularly – at least every four months – and should complete the Induction / Appraisal forms or Educational Meeting forms to record the outcomes of these meetings.

The Meeting or Supervision Forms on the e-Portfolio have three options.
• Induction and Appraisal
• Educational Meeting
• Team Observation Summary (TO2)

Trainers should encourage trainees to record reflections and review these to support continuous review of the trainee’s Personal Development Plan (PDP).

Annual review of training – information for trainers

Embed or LINK the Educational Supervisor’s Report
Educational Supervisors should use this form for their annual reports to ARCP panels. Please do not use the Annual Assessment Review form on the e-Portfolio.

Although Educational Supervisors learn about the ARCP process as part of their professional development and accreditation (to GMC standards), we have found that trainers find it useful to participate as a member of an ARCP Panel. We therefore recommend taking up any opportunity to do this – ideally for a CSRH trainee. Although invitations will be issued, early volunteers are always welcome. Alternatively, educaitonal supervisors can offer to sit as an external representative on a local panel for another specialty.

Approval for a Training Programme or the addition of a new Training Programme or site

The GMC is responsible for approving all Postgraduate training sites. If a centre or NHS Trust wishes to start a training programme or use a new site, it must follow the GMC’s instructions.

To apply for approval, the TPD or Educational Supervisor should work with their local Deanery/LETB to apply for approval on the GMC’s new form B. You can find this on the GMC website or at GMC Connect. Please note that trainees cannot apply for GMC approval. 

The Faculty is also involved in ensuring the quality of new training sites. This is in line with the GMC’s Quality Improvement Framework (page 8).

We need to be sure that any proposed training centre is of a sufficiently high quality and can give trainees suitable access to training. Therefore, we need to know:

  • who is delivering the training
  • whether the trainers are appropriately trained and qualified
  • how they will provide the training 
  • whether the clinical material is diverse enough to provide adequate training.

If you wish to develop a new training position, you must complete the Faculty Approval form. The Specialty Advisory Committee (SAC) will review your application and, if satisfied, provide the required letter of approval.

Equally, if a Deanery / LETB intends to develop a new training centre, it must complete the relevant parts of the Faculty Approval form. If it is a brand new site that will cover the whole CSRH curriculum, the entire form must be completed. The Deanery/LETB must also complete the relevant parts of the form if there is any significant change to the training programme, such as a change of Educational or Clinical Supervisor.

Once you have the SAC’s letter of approval, the Deanery can upload GMC Form A (approval of a whole new training programme) or B (approval of a new training site) to GMC Connect.

If you want to add an extra training site for specific training (e.g. a BPAS centre for managing unplanned pregnancies), simply complete the appropriate box on the Faculty Approval form, rather than the whole form. In this instance, you need to provide the name of the principal trainer, the relevant clinics and how many patients they see each year. The GMC gives its approval to Local Education Providers (LEPs) for specific sites, rather than to NHS Trusts. For CSRH training, the GMC gives Programme/Deanery approval for a particular site. This means that a Trust can fill in a single GMC form B, but must include all the LEP sites, along with the ODS codes. The GMC will approve these sites, rather than the Trust itself.

ODS codes

Please make sure that you use the correct ONS (site) code for each site. You can find the relevant ODS codes on the ONS website:

Maximum Training Capacity (MTC)

This is the maximum number of whole time equivalent (WTE) people that a training programme can sustain effectively.
You no longer need to give the MTC in your application.

We cannot currently remove the MTC section from GMC Connect, so will list it as 0 for new programmes. For previously-approved programmes, the MTC will stay at the last reported number. This means that Deaneries/LETBs are responsible for deciding the capacity of their programmes. Postgraduate deans must ensure that their trainees receive enough work and supervision to gain the necessary competencies and complete the required assessments.

View our Specialty-related FAQs here