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All doctors have a professional obligation to contribute to the education and training of other doctors, medical students and non-medical healthcare professionals. From January 2010, the Postgraduate Medical and Education Training Board (PMETB) has stated that all medical clinicians involved in the training of Junior Doctors should attend an appropriate ’Training the Trainers’ course every three years.

It is essential that all doctors acquire the appropriate knowledge, skills and behaviours required to teach, train and provide CPD. Those who accept responsibilities for teaching should take steps in order to ensure that they continually develop and maintain these skills. See Good medical practice (GMC, 2006), Principles of good medical education and training (PMETB, 2005) and The doctor as teacher (GMC, 1999) for further information.

There are a variety of teaching qualifications and specialised teaching courses available to healthcare professionals. These range from masters programmes to two or three-day teaching improvement courses. Many of these courses are accredited or certified. The range of courses available include:

  • masters degrees
  • postgraduate diplomas
  • postgraduate certificates
  • short courses
  • distance learning courses
  • GP trainer courses and workshops


Courses and events

BMJ Learning
A wide range of modules and events focusing on non-clinical skills to assist doctors in their continuing professional development (CPD). Current teaching and education skills modules include:

BMJ Careers
There are a number of relevant BMJ Careers resources:

  • BMJ Career Fair takes place each year in October in London. Part of the seminar programme addresses non-clinical skills for doctors.
  • Careers Centre allows you to search medical career articles by topic including personal experiences, working in different specialties, reviews of popular courses and tips on acquisition of generic and non-clinical skills.
  • Classifieds and Notices include a section dedicated to course, seminar and conference advertisements, many of which offer training in the skills highlighted in this resource.

Royal Colleges
A number of Royal Colleges offer 'training the trainer' courses for individuals involved in the teaching and training of students and trainee doctors. Examples include the:

  • Train the trainer course offered by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth). This is a three day course for Ophthalmologists involved in postgraduate teaching in the UK. The course consists of six half-day modules to be run over 3 days.
  • Physicians as Educators programme offered by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), which is a programme of small-group workshops delivered in venues throughout the UK and includes titles such as 'On-the-job teaching', 'Effective teaching skills'’ and 'Supervisory skills in the workplace'.

Postgraduate deaneries
Some of the postgraduate deaneries offer management courses for doctors. For more information please contact your Postgraduate Deanery.

NHS Education for Scotland
Information on a wide range of courses and resources available to all relevant NHS staff.


Useful organisations

Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE)
A worldwide organisation which organises an annual conference and delivers courses on teaching, assessment and research skills for teachers in medicine and the healthcare professions. AMEE produces the journal Medical Teacher, a series of education guides, occasional papers and Best Evidence Medical Education guides and the online information resource MedEdCentral.

Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME)
A UK membership organisation for doctors and medical educators that aims to improve the quality of medical education. ASME provides opportunities for developing medical educators and provides a range of courses and conferences. The ASME website also provides links to UK universities which offer courses ranging from workshops to diplomas and master degree programmes.

Further reading

General Medical Council
Promoting excellence: standards for medical education and training
sets out the requirements for the management and delivery of undergraduate and postgraduate medical education and training.

Medical Education Journal
The Medical Education Journal which is published on behalf of ASME provides information on matters of interest for undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing medical education, including teaching methods, curriculum reform and the training of medical teachers.

Clinical Teacher Journal
The Clinical Teacher aims to provide information on current research, practice and thinking on medical education. The journal includes sections on specific teaching approaches and on initiatives and advances in thinking and practical teaching from around the world.