Bradford VTS Online Resources:

Teaching & Learning

The New & Intending Trainer (and new training practice)


There is a lot to learn -- both knowledge and skills -- in a relatively short space of time.  We hope these pages will provide a sense of direction and organisational stability to your learning journey.    This one-stop page hosts resources that we don’t expect you to learn straight away.   Instead, see it as a dashboard that you can come back to again and again to revisit things, learn new things and decide where to go next.  We will also provide some tips and a selection of videos that we feel will help you as a new educator and develop your educator skills.    This is an exciting journey…

By the way, if you have files you would like me to host on here and share with others, please email them to me.  [email protected]

How do I become a Trainer & What's the process?

The process of apply to become a trainer is roughly the same throughout the UK.    If you’re in the pre-contemplation phase of wanting to become a GP Trainer, contact a neighbouring established GP Trainer.   Meet for coffee and ask them what they think of training, explore the pros and cons and get the contact details for your local GP Training Scheme.

  • Then, when you’re enthused, contact your local GP Training Programme Administrator.   Express that you are interested in becoming a GP trainer and whether one of the Training Programme Directors could meet with you.   The local TPD will meet and guide you further on the process.  
  • Remember, the whole process of becoming a GP trainer takes on average 2 years.  So, don’t think you can become one just 6 months after applying.  Apply early is the key.
  • In that 2 year process, how you actually become a GP trainer varies a little up and down the country.   Some regions like you to do a qualification course like a PGCE or PGCME -- Post Graduate Certificate in (Medical) Education.  These are enlightening courses but require quite a significant input and commitment from you.   Other places put on a set of New Trainer courses -- each of which you have to attend.  The idea being each course revisits what was taught previously, how you found it in practise, and how to then build on that.
  • And finally, you will probably have to attend a GP Trainer’s Interview.  These are usually held at your local GP school.  There will be someone from the HEE Deanery, a TPD, an experienced GP Trainer,  and a member of the Human Resources team.    There may also be a lay person on the team of assessors.   Most of these interviews have a relaxed approach.  They are not there to grill you to the nth degree.  They just want to make sure that:
      • you are a committed GP trainer
      • you are doing it for the right reasons
      • you have put in the right amount of prep work
      • you have the required basic knowledge for the different components of GP training (including educational theory)
      • you have developed the skills required for the different components of GP training
      • and that your practice is ready for GP training too, and that you have engaged the support of everyone.

All in all, we have never come across a GP trainer that did not find these courses enlightening.  Some have said the University PGCE courses are hard work, but still found the content stimulating.   We hope you will too. 

1. Get yourself an Educational Mentor

When you have embarked on a new pathway for something, research has proven the value of mentoring for improving your rapid and effective development.  If you have a mentor, one of the biggest benefits is being able to achieve your goals more quickly and effectively than working alone.  You will also build a network of expertise to draw on can benefit both yourself and others.  Mentors can act as an impartial sounding board.  They can create valuable space and time for you to ‘stand back’ and review where you are now, where you want to get to, and how best to get there.   Mentors will help you see other perspectives that you may not have seen before.  They will contribute viewpoints, advice, and information from their own knowledge, experience and expertise.  And finally mentors can assist you to achieve changes and goals to enhance your professional and personal life.

  • So, go get yourself an Educational Mentor Today.
  • Educational Mentors are usually GP trainers that are recognised as well-established, experienced and skillful. 
  • Ask your local Training Programme Director to assign an Educational Mentor to you.  They have a pool of them and their time is usually funded by your local HEE.

2. Explore why you want to become a GP trainer & commit

3. Get your practice "GP-training ready"

4. Understand the GP trainee's training journey

We’ve created something called “The GP Training Map”.  This outlines what the GP trainee has to achieve by the end of the 3 years of GP training in the UK.  It tells you what is expected to be achieved and by when.    This training map helps you to understand what is expected of you in this journey as a GP Trainer.   Please come back to it often.   Double check your trainee is “on track”.    It is also accessible through the main horizontal menu at the top under “GP Training & MRCGP”.

5. Understand the fundamentals of Educational Theory

A lot of people think that Educational Theory is boring.  In fact, we thought the same when we first did it.    The reason why it is boring is because the material is often written by academics in a style of language that is designed to impress than get the deep and meaningful message across.   Some authors simply do not know how to write in simple terms. 

And that’s where we come in.    We have re-written a lot of the literature on the fundamental educational theory in a way that you will be able to grasp it on the first read.    And we’ve presented it in a way that will truly help you understand what is being said -- so much so, that it will transform the way you think and practice.      This is the very reason why we are so keen on new trainers understanding the fundamentals of Educational Theory.   This stuff really matters!  This stuff makes a massive difference to how people learn!   This stuff is transformative in nature.   

So, don’t let your previous exposure to boring educational theory put you off.  Time to revisit it.  Time for new light bulb moments in your head.  Click the pink button above to access the resources that will teach you the fundamentals of Educational Theory.     Remember not to read everything in one go.  Little-by-little and often is the key.  And try and have a go at applying it when you next see the opportunity at work.  Just have a go and keep at it.   You’ll become an expert in no time.


Key things we think are important for intending and new GP trainers to learn…

There are other things worth learning too.   See the “Weblinks” section at the top of this page.   Remember, try not to learn all of these things in one swoop -- it’s too much.   Small and often is the way.   And of course, anything you read is made super powerful if you implement and practise it. 


6. Start understanding the subcomponents of MRCGP

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7. Practice, practice and practice

8. Prepare for the Interview

Training the Trainer Videos


1: how adults learn

2: effective group discussions

3: handling challenging learners

4: using comparisons in learning

5: using role play


6. more than words

7. managing fear to increase learning

8. recipe for engaging learners

9. effective demonstrations


10: the power of active listening

11. giving feedback

12. crafting your story

13. questions that drive learning

14. telling great stories

Please leave a comment if you have a tip, spot an error, spot something missing or have a suggestion for a web resource.
And of course, if you have developed a resource of your own, please email it to me to share with others.

'Make GP Training Better Together'

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