Health Education England (HEE), NHS Education for Scotland (NES), Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) and the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA) are responsible for implementing specialty training in accordance with GMC approved specialty curricula.
These organisations have smaller, local units that administer postgraduate training – these units, known as deaneries (or HEE local offices in England), undertake this administration and can set local policies. Each is overseen by a postgraduate dean, who holds ultimate responsibility for the education and training of all junior doctors in that region. They are also the responsible officer for all junior doctors in that region.
There are 13 postgraduate deans in England, four in Scotland, one in Northern Ireland and one in Wales. Each will have an associated area where they are responsible for all trainees, but due to the number of trainees in Wales and Northern Ireland, there is only one postgraduate dean for the entire nation.
In England, HEE local offices were once known as Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs), however LETBs are now no longer directly involved in the training of junior doctors. Since reforms in 2015, there are now four regional LETBs that engage with employers across the region, are responsible for a wider remit of clinical and non-clinical staff recruitment and have some control of budgets in that region.
The reference guide for postgraduate specialty training in the UK – the Gold Guide – sets out a framework with clear principles for the operational management of postgraduate specialty training to support consistent decision making by postgraduate deans and their support structures and is applicable to all trainees in General Medical Council (GMC) approved programmes. Find out more.
For practical information to assist you with your training and working within foundation, core or higher specialty training, you should always contact your educational supervisor, training programme director or deanery.
If you need further support or advice on how to approach an issue with your postgraduate training, contact a BMA Adviser on 0300 123 123 3 or use our enquiry form.
Find your Deanery or HEE local office
Deaneries and HEE local offices
Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency