MRCGP & GP Training
What is a Clinical Supervisor?
Clinical Supervisors are qualified specialists who have responsibility for the day-to-day supervision, training and assessment of trainees who are doing a placement in their specialty. In a GP post, your Clinical Supervisor is therefore your GP Trainer. Sometimes, it might be other GPs in the practice. In hospital, your Clinical Supervisor will be the hospital consultant nominated to oversee your day to day clinical work. Make sure you find out who yours is. Your Clinical Supervisor should be a nice warm and friendly person.
The Gold Guide requires that each trainee should have a named Clinical Supervisor for each placement, usually a senior doctor, who is responsible for ensuring that appropriate Clinical Supervision of the trainee’s day-to-day clinical performance occurs at all times, with regular feedback.
The roles of a Clinical Supervisor
All Clinical Supervisors should:
- Understand their responsibilities for patient safety.
- Be fully trained in the specific area of clinical care.
- Offer a level of supervision necessary to the competences and experience of the trainee and tailored for the individual trainee.
- Ensure that no trainee is required to assume responsibility for or perform clinical, operative or other techniques in which they have insufficient experience and expertise.
- Ensure that trainees only perform tasks without direct supervision when the Clinical Supervisor is satisfied that they are competent so to do; both trainee and clinical supervisor should at all times be aware of their direct responsibilities for the safety of patients in their care.
- Consider whether it is appropriate (particularly out of hours) to delegate the role of Clinical Supervisor to another senior member of the healthcare team. In these circumstances the individual must be clearly identified to both parties and understand the role of the clinical supervisor. The named Clinical Supervisor remains responsible and accountable for the care of the patient and the trainee.
- Be appropriately trained to teach, provide feedback and undertake competence assessment of the trainees in the specialty.
- Be trained in equality and diversity and human rights best practice.
How often should I meet with my Clinical Supervisor?
Well, you should be seeing your Clinical Supervisor on most days you and they work – after all, you are working in their department, and they should be around most of the time somewhere at the place of work on the days they work.
In terms of the actual formal CSR meetings…. clinical Supervisors will meet with their trainees roughly three times per post – at the beginning, during the middle, and then towards the end.
- On a day-to-day basis, they will clinically supervise your work.
- Throughout the post they will do various WPBA assessments on you.
- Finally, in the last meeting, they are expected to write a report about you (called the CSR – Clinical Supervisor’s Report; more below) which MUST be done before your Educational Supervision meeting for that post
What the difference between Clinical and Educational Supervisors?
Try not to confuse your Clinical Supervisor with your Educational Supervisor.
- The Clinical Supervisor oversees your day to day work and will change with each change of post.
- Your Educational Supervisor oversees your progress throughout training and will usually remain the same person throughout your 3 year training period. Their aim is to keep you on track for training (primarily) and help you identify and meet your learning needs.
Tell me more about the Clinical Supervisor's Report (CSR)...
The Clinical Supervisor (GP Trainer or hospital consultant) will be asked to do a report on you (called the CSR – Clinical Supervisor’s Report) towards the end of your attachment with them. This CSR is an electronic form embedded within your ePortfolio. The CSR must be filled in BEFORE the official Educational Supervision meeting for that post. You will probably need to remind them! Actually, for hospital posts the CSR form should be done by the consultant who knows the trainee’s work best even if the e portfolio doesn’t have their name as nominated Clinical Supervisor. The CSR covers things like:
- Your relationship with patients and team colleagues
- How good you are at making decisions
- How good you are at managing yourself or others (i.e. organisational skills)
- Something about professionalism – your honesty, integrity, attitudes and the like.
The electronic form provides reminders of the definitions of the competencies to make writing the report easier. See the CSR document in the DOWNLOADS section above for a more detailed look.
A few final questions...
The CS report helps you and your Educational Supervisor:
- Highlight areas where the trainee has shown particular strengths
- Identify any significant developmental needs identified during a placement
If there are serious issues of professional performance or ill-health during a placement these will need to be handled by normal acute trust/primary care trust/deanery mechanisms. In such circumstances always liaise with the Programme Director of the training scheme and with deanery as EARLY as possible.
If a trainee is in an integrated post working concurrently in more than one specialty, then get EACH Clinical Supervisor to complete a CSR. You are allowed more than one CS report in any post.