GP practices General practitioner Practice manager England

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Helping you meet your training obligations

GP receptionist at-Screen 16x9

There are so many different and conflicting demands on GP practices in England, from commissioners or practice inspectors, to undertake mandatory training that it can be hard to know what's what.

In some instances, what is described as mandatory or statutory training may not actually be the case.

To help you take control and make informed decisions that are best for your staff and best for your practice, see our new guidance below.


Please note

This list is not exhaustive and will be added to as and when new information is received.

If you receive notification that training in a particular area (or a specific training course) is required, get in touch with BMA staff who will be happy to clarify your training obligations.

Contact us


Course topics

  • Basic life support

    Level required Staff group Delivery Duration Frequency
     N/A  Clinical staff  Face to face  Not defined  Clinical staff should have annual updates but this is not mandatory.


    All staff, including non-clinical, should undergo regular training in adult and child resuscitation appropriate to their position.

    Clinical staff should be able to recognise cardio-respiratory arrest, call for help and start CPR with defibrillation as appropriate, and receive regular training updates at an appropriate frequency to maintain their competency. It is essential to retain documentary evidence of completed and approved CPR training.

    All staff should understand their role as part of the team response to resuscitation.

    CQC does not have explicit guidance around emergency equipment but has produced agreed principles and encourages practices to have defibrillators.



    Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
    Agreed principles for defibrillators, oxygen and oximeters


  • Infection control

    Level required Staff group Delivery Duration Frequency
     Not defined  Clinical staff  Face to face or
     Not defined  Not defined


    The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 requires practices to assess the risk of, and prevent, detect and control the spread of infections. The Department of Health has issued a Code of Practice on the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections.

    The law says that CQC must take the Code into account when making decisions about registration. By following the Code, practices will be able to show how they meet this regulation but they do not have to comply with the Code by law.

    A practice may be able to demonstrate that they meet this regulation in a different way (equivalent or better) from that described in the Code.

    The code advises that all relevant staff, whose normal duties are directly or indirectly concerned with providing care, receive suitable and sufficient information on, and training and supervision in, the measures required to prevent the risks of infection.



    Safe care and treatment
    Prevention and control of healthcare associated infections


  • Safeguarding vulnerable children

    Level required Staff group Delivery Duration Frequency
    Level 2 Minimum level required for non-clinical and clinical staff who, within their role, have contact (however small) with children and young people, parents/carers or adults who may pose a risk to children. Face to face or e-learning Not defined  Not defined 
    Level 3 

    General practitioners and practice nurses (including nurse practitioners within primary care).

    Face to face or e-learning
    Not defined Not defined


    Under the Health and Social Care Act there is a regulatory requirement to safeguard 'service users' from abuse and improper treatment, and that systems and processes must be established and operated effectively to prevent abuse of service users.

    There is also a requirement that persons employed by the service provider in the provision of a regulated activity must receive such appropriate support, training as is necessary to enable them to carry out the duties they are employed to perform.

    However, the Act does not set out the exact level, content or frequency of training in safeguarding children.

    The Intercollegiate Guideline sets out the competences all health staff should have, and the minimum training requirements necessary, to recognise child maltreatment and take effective action as appropriate to their role.

    The guideline, which is referred in the GMC’s publication on protecting children and young people, suggests minimum refresher training times for each safeguarding training level.



    The Intercollegiate guideline
    Children and young people ethics toolkit
    Safeguarding children
    Protecting children and young people: short guide for GPs


  • Safeguarding vulnerable adults

    Level required Staff group Delivery Duration Frequency

    Level 1


    Level 2


    Level 3

    Reception staff


    Practice nurses and healthcare assistants

    General practitioners

    Face to face or e-learning   Not defined  Not defined


    GP practices must ensure that all staff working in the practice have the appropriate level of competencies to ensure they protect adults at risk. During CQC inspections, inspectors will want GPs and all other practice staff to:
    • Demonstrate their understanding of the definition of an adult at risk and the types of abuse they may be subject to.
    • Be aware of the internal arrangements for recording a safeguarding adult concern, and this will be set out in a Safeguarding Adults policy.
    • Be aware of the external process for reporting the concern and that this is in line with local multi-agency policy and procedures.

    CQC advise that formal face-to-face training is one way that practice staff can develop their competency in safeguarding adults at risk. A new intercollegiate guideline (link below) published in August 2018 acknowledges that not all staff will be able to access appropriate training within the first year of the guideline's publication, but expects that staff will be trained to achieve the appropriate competencies set out by 2021. 



    Safeguarding adults at risk
    Adult safeguarding ethics toolkit
    Adult Safeguarding: Roles and Competencies for Health Care Staff outlines

  • Fire safety

    Level required Staff group Delivery Duration Frequency
     Not defined  All staff

    Face to face or e-learning combined with face to face.

    E-learning on its own is not sufficient as it won't take into account individual circumstances.

     Not defined  Not defined


    All staff should be given information and instruction as soon as possible after they are appointed and regularly after that. Make sure you include staff who work outside normal working hours, such as contract cleaners or maintenance staff.

    The information and instructions you give must be in a form that can be used and understood. They should take account of those with disabilities such as hearing or sight impairment, those with learning difficulties and those who do not use English as their first language.
    The information and instruction you give should be based on your emergency plan and must include:

    • the significant findings from your fire risk assessment;
    • the measures that you have put in place to reduce the risk;
    • what staff should do if there is a fire;
    • the identity of people you have nominated with responsibilities for fire safety; and
    • any special arrangements for serious and imminent danger to persons from fire.

    In simple premises, where no significant risks have been identified and there are limited numbers of staff, information and instruction may simply involve an explanation of the fire procedures and how they are to be applied.

    This should include showing staff the fire-protection arrangements, including the designated escape routes, the location and operation of the fire-warning system and any other fire-safety equipment provided, such as fire extinguishers, and how to care for and evacuate patients.

    Fire action notices can complement this information and, where used, should be posted in prominent locations.

    In most healthcare premises, written instructions should be provided to your staff who have been nominated to carry out a designated safety task, such as calling the fire and rescue service or checking that exit doors are available for use at the start of each shift.



    Regulatory Reform (Fire safety) Order 2005
    Fire safety risk assessment: healthcare premises
    HSE - Fire safety

  • Mental capacity act and deprivation of liberty safeguards

    Level required Staff group Delivery Duration Frequency
     Not defined  Clinical staff  Not defined  Not defined  Not defined


    CQC need to be assured that staff are up to date and have the knowledge, skills and competences required to carry out the roles that they undertake.

    In the case of mental capacity, inspectors will need evidence that staff have been trained, but more importantly that they understand the how the Mental Capacity Act and deprivation of liberty safeguards impacts on general practice



    GPs and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty safeguards
    Mental capacity guidance

  • Staff induction

    Level required Staff group Delivery Duration Frequency
     Not defined  All new staff Face to face or e-learning combined with face to face.

    E-learning alone will not cover local arrangements.
     Not defined  Not defined


    The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 requires that persons employed by the service provider in the provision of a regulated activity must receive such appropriate support, training, professional development, supervision and appraisal as is necessary to enable them to carry out the duties they are employed to perform.

    Providers must ensure that they have an induction programme that prepares staff for their role. Training, learning and development needs of individual staff members must be carried out at the start of employment and reviewed at appropriate intervals during the course of employment.



  • Health and safety

    Level required Staff group Delivery Duration Frequency
     Dependent on tasks undertaken  All staff  Face to face or e-learning combined with face to face.

    E-learning alone will not cover local arrangements.
     Not defined, dependent on tasks undertaken.  Not defined, dependent on tasks undertaken.


    The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 requires you to provide whatever information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of your employees.

    This is expanded by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which identify situations where health and safety training is particularly important, e.g. when people start work, on exposure to new or increased risks and where existing skills may have become rusty or need updating.

    Decide what training is needed:

    • Identify the skills and knowledge needed for people to do their job in a safe and healthy way. Compare these against people’s current skills and knowledge and identify the gaps
    • Review your experience of injuries, near misses or cases of ill health
    • Look at your risk assessments to see where information and/or training have been identified as factors in controlling risks
    • Consider awareness training needs, including:

      - how you manage health and safety
      - who is responsible for what
      - the cost to the business if things go wrong
      - how to identify hazards and evaluate risks
      - the hazards encountered and measures for controlling them.



    HSE - Health and safety training - a brief guide
  • Manual handling

    Level required Staff group Delivery Duration Frequency
     Not defined  Dependent on tasks undertaken  Face to face or e-learning  Not defined  Not defined


    Employers have a legal obligation under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk to employees from manual handling.

    The Regulations set out a hierarchy of measures that should be followed to reduce the risks from manual handling:

    • avoid manual handling so far as is reasonably practicable,
    • assess the risk in any manual handling that cannot be avoided and
    • reduce the risk of injury so far as reasonably practicable

    The practice risk assessment should identify any training needs associated with manual handling.



    Manual handling at work

  • First aid

    Level required Staff group Delivery Duration Frequency
     N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A


    Provided they can demonstrate current knowledge and skills in first aid, the training and experience of a GMC registered and licensed doctor, or a NMC registered nurse, qualifies them to administer first aid in the workplace without the need to hold a First Aid at Work / Emergency First Aid at Work, or equivalent qualification.



    Health and safety executive - First aid at work

  • Guidance for clinical staff

    GP practices may also be asked by inspectors or commissioners to demonstrate the training for clinical staff linked to their specific clinical responsibilities.

    See our separate guidance for clinical staff 

  • The CQC and GMC viewpoints

    Care Quality Commission

    The CQC does not have a list of mandatory training for members of the GP practice team.

    Instead, it advises that the exact training requirements will depend on the role and specific responsibilities of each practice and the needs of the people using the service. It advises that ultimately the practice is responsible for determining what training staff need to meet the needs of their patients.

    Practices must have sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, competent, skilled and experienced staff to meet the needs of the people using the service at all times.

    During an inspection CQC will look at whether staff have the right qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience to do the job. It will look at how the practice identifies the learning needs of staff; and whether they have appropriate training to meet their learning needs and to cover the scope of their work.


    General Medical Council

    The GMC’s core guidance for doctors, Good Medical Practice, sets out the principles and values on which good practice is founded and which it believes make a good doctor.

    It places a duty on doctors to keep their knowledge and skills up to date throughout their working life by regularly taking part in activities that maintain and further develop their competence and performance.

    The GMC does not tell doctors what continuing professional development (CPD), or how much CPD, is right for them.

    All doctors will need to judge how best to apply the principles of the GMC’s guidance to their own practice and professional development.

    Doctors must consider their CPD needs across the whole of their professional practice. This includes both the clinical and the non-clinical aspects of practice, and any management, research, and teaching or training responsibilities they have.



    Good Medical Practice