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Programme & Site Approval

This purpose of this page is to provide guidance and information to Heads of School [HoS], Training Programme Directors [TPD] and Educational Supervisors [ES] about the Programme & Site approval processes.

One of the jobs of the General Medical Council [GMC] is to approve new training programmes and new training sites. They do this by working with Health Education England local teams and with Local Education Providers [eg NHS Trusts & Hospitals] to ensure that the training programme and the site meets GMC standards.

A full list of approved programmes and sites is published by the GMC on their website.

Within Health Education England - Thames Valley Team [HEE-TVT], the Quality Management Team [QMT] are responsible for overseeing this area of work. 

New programme approval

GMC Form A

All programmes for doctors in training must be GMC approved before they can be delivered within HEE-TVT and it is the responsibility of the HoS and TPD to ensure that all approval has been granted before trainees begin their training in the new programme.

It is important to note that the QMT do not have oversight of post funding and discussions relating to how the new programme will be funded must be had with the HEE-TVT Head of Business & Operations.

Set out below is the process for getting a new programme approved:

  1. HoS/TPD/ES confirms with the QMT that they are seeking approval for a new programme; the QMT will log this request.
  2. HoS/TPD/ES completes a GMC Form A and returns this to the QMT
  3. The QMT will advise if there is additional paperwork to be completed; this is determined by which Royal College/Faculty the programme comes under.
  4. QMT will submit GMC Form A to the relevant Royal College/Faculty requesting their support for the new programme, and confirmation of this in writing.
  5. QMT will submit GMC Form A and College/Faculty letter of support to the GMC
  6. QMT will advise the HoS , TPD and Specialty School Manager when GMC approval has been granted.  

 

New Site Approval

GMC Form B

This applies when a School wishes to add an additional training location to an already-approved training programme.

It is important to note that GMC approval is at site level and not parent level; eg if the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [OUH] was approved, separate approval for the Churchill Hospital would still need to be sought, even though the 'parent' Trust [ OUH ] is approved.

The GMC  has set clear criteria for when approval is needed; these are:

  1. Where the Clinical Supervisor is not with the trainee
  2. where the trainee is at the location for more than two sessions a week
  3. where the training component provided at the location is essential for the delivery of the curriculum, and where the removal of trainees from this location would have a detrimental impact on the delivery of the curriculum.

 

It is a statutory requirement for the award of the CCT that training is undertaken in approved locations, and retrospective approval will not be granted. If any of the above criteria apply, the programme needs to seek approval; time spent in unapproved locations may not count towards a trainee's CCT .

Set out below is the process for getting a new location approved:

  1. HoS/TPD/ES confirms with the QMT that they are seeking approval for an additional location; the QMT will log this request
  2. HoS/TPD/ES completes a GMC Form B and returns this to the QMT .
  3. The QMT will also advise if there is additional paperwork to be completed. This is determined by  which Royal College/Faculty the programme comes under.
  4. QMT will submit the GMC Form B [and any relevant College forms] to the Royal College/Faculty requesting their support for the additional location, and confirmation of this in writing.
  5. QMT will submit the GMC Form B and College/Faculty letter of support to the GMC
  6. QMT will advise the  HoS , TPD and Specialty School Manager when GMC approval has been granted.

 

Site Removal

GMC Form D

Sometimes sites may need to be removed from the list of approved locations. This could be because the site is no longer part of a training rotation, or because the site no longer delivers the service and therefore can't provide training. On these occasions, a GMC Form D should be completed.

It is important to note that a GMC Form D should only be used when requesting removal of a site due to reasons other than performance.

Set out below is the process for getting a location removed from the approved list:

  1. HoS/TPD/ES notifies the  QMT that a site is no longer being used, and there is no intention to use it again for the foreseeable future. The QMT will log this notification
  2. HoS/TPD/ES completes a GMC Form D and returns this to the QMT .
  3. The QMT will submit the GMC Form D along with a letter of confirmation from the Postgraduate Dean, to the GMC
  4. The QMT will advise the HoS , TPD and Specialty School Manager when the GMC has confirmed the site has been removed.

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