Workforce, training and education
East Midlands

Named Educational Supervisors

The GMC definition of an Educational Supervisor is

'A trainer who is selected and appropriately trained to be responsible for the overall supervision and management of a specified student or trainee’s trajectory of learning and educational progress during a clinical training period and/or series of periods. Every student and trainee must have a named educational supervisor'.

Each trainee should have a named Educational supervisor who is responsible for overseeing that trainee’s educational progress over a period of time [Gold Guide 4.22]. These individuals will require a higher level of educational development for their role which will usually be significantly more demanding.

In many instances the same person may undertake both Clinical Supervisor and Educational Supervisor roles for a given trainee. Some doctors may act as Educational Supervisor for more than one trainee and receive feedback on trainee performance from multiple Clinical Supervisors. Some doctors may act as Clinical Supervisor only.

The role and responsibilities of an educational supervisor are:

This role spans the areas of clinical supervision as well as educational management, educational supervision and feedback, an understanding of the role of assessment in learning, the use of portfolios as a learning and assessment tool, an understanding of how to identify, support and manage a trainee in difficulty, and of supporting trainee career decision making.

The National Association of Clinical Tutors have described the role of the Educational Supervisor in 'A Guide to the organisation of Postgraduate Medical Education' compiled by Dr Liz Spencer with input from the Council and members of NACT UK, GMC, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, COPMeD, NAMEM and the Medical Workforce Forum of NHS Employers.

The following descriptions are taken directly from this guide and are included here for guidance: 

1. All trainees must have a named education supervisor and the trainee should be informed in writing of this. The exact model, i.e. by placement, year of training etc., will be determined locally and all parties informed in writing of model and expectations.

2. The Educational Supervisor must be given adequate time to perform their role and approximately 0.25 PA per trainee should be identified in their job plan.

3. Support of Trainee

  • Oversee the education of the trainee, act as their mentor and ensure that trainees are making the necessary clinical and educational progress
  • Meet the trainee in the first week of the programme (or delegate to colleague if absent/on leave), ensure the structure of the programme, the curriculum, portfolio and system of assessment are understood and establish a supportive relationship. At this first meeting the educational agreement should be discussed with the trainee and the necessary paperwork signed and a copy kept by both parties.
  • Ensure that the trainee receives appropriate career guidance and planning
  • Provide the trainee with opportunities to comment on their training and on the support provided and to discuss any problems they have identified
  • Review meetings should be held regularly. The trainee arranges these meetings. These occur in protected time, in a private environment and consist of reviewing the learning objectives to ensure they have been met, giving feedback, monitor the delivery of the Educational Agreement, reviewing the assessments and portfolio evidence of learning.  Before this session the educational supervisor will usually have obtained information from colleagues, those involved in clinical supervision and other key professionals with whom the trainee has worked during the placement.
  • At the end of the year the final appraisal session consists of reviewing all the assessments, the portfolio of evidence of learning and ensuring that all the learning objectives of the programme have been satisfied. All the necessary documentation needs to be completed and returned to the Programme Director to enable satisfactory completion of the end-of-year paperwork.

4. If the trainee’s performance is not reaching the required standard

  • This should be discussed with the trainee as soon as identified
  • Written record of the meeting kept
  • Remedial measures should be put in place as soon as possible with clearly defined written objectives
  • Trainees must have an opportunity to correct any deficiencies identified
  • The appropriate Programme Director must be informed of any significant problem

5. All Educational Supervisors

  • Must be approachable, keen to develop the trainee and understand the importance of the role
  • Must be familiar with the Programme Curriculum, the Learning Portfolio and the Programme design
  • Are responsible for ensuring that relevant information about progress and performance is made available to the appropriate Programme Director and informing them should the performance of any individual trainee give rise for concern.
  • Should contribute in relevant areas to the formal education programme
  • Will act as a resource for trainees seeking specialty information and guidance
  • Liaise with the Specialty / Programme tutor and the rest of the department to ensure that all are aware of the learning needs of the Trainee.

Guidance for Job Planning

Education role

 Role Description

Typical Allocation

Educational Supervisor

Responsible for one or more named trainees for all aspects of educational supervision.

0.25 PAs per week per trainee.

Training resources

For current/aspiring trainers looking for CPD suggestions relevant to their training role, please see our Training Resources page:

Related Links

National Association of Clinical Tutors (NACT)
Academy of Medical Educators (AoME) 
General Medical Council(GMC)
Gold Guide to Specialty Training Medical Careers Advice