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UK’s first Medical Trainer Agreement goes down a storm in Wales

Since its launch in Wales last year, close to 2,000 doctors have signed up to the UK’s first Medical Trainer Agreement, gaining recognition for their additional role as professional medical educators.

The All Wales Medical Trainer Agreement (Secondary Care and Undergraduate Education), developed collaboratively by Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW), Cardiff University School of Medicine and Swansea University Medical School, recognises doctors’ professional responsibilities supervising undergraduate students and postgraduate trainees alongside their daily medical work.

Professor Pushpinder Mangat, Medical Director at HEIW, said: “Last year, along with our partners, we were very proud to be the first UK nation to introduce a Medical Trainer Agreement covering undergraduate and postgradute secondary care training. One year on, it’s fantastic to see so many trainers have signed up to the agreement.

“The 2019 GMC National Trainer Survey revealed that 90% of trainers in Wales enjoy their roles, which highlights their commitment and enthusiasm for providing high quality medical training, and the importance of recognising the critical role trainers play in educating our medical workforce.”

Since launching in November 2018, 1,978 trainers have signed up to the agreement via an online system; the Trainer Agreement Gateway (TAG).

Professor Aidan Byrne, Interim Deputy Executive Medical Director at Swansea Bay University Health Board, said: “The agreement has emphasised that medical education is a professional capability that cannot be assumed to be a part of normal working.

“Having such a clear framework allows us to support and develop the trainers we need to ensure high quality medical education.”

The agreement allows trainers to move seamlessly between the four trainer roles requiring recognition by the General Medical Council (GMC) and is backed up by a host of support and development opportunities for trainers.

It has also strengthened collaboration between individuals and organisations delivering medical education in Wales, allowing for greater consistency and transparency in medical education and training.

Professor Phil Newton, Director of Learning and Teaching at Swansea University Medical School, commented: “The agreement promotes the vital role clinicians have in developing the workforce of the future.

“Swansea University Medical School is proud of having contributed to make this agreement a reality and to actively support educators through our online MSc in Medical Education and other faculty development activities.”

Looking forward, the three educational organisations will continue to professionalise and promote the trainer roles, working to fulfil the commitments outlined in the agreement to support the provision of high quality medical training and therefore patient care.

Professor Stephen Riley, Dean of Medical Education at Cardiff University, said: “Wales is leading the way in bringing together undergraduate and postgraduate education under the auspices of HEIW.

“The engagement from clinicians in Wales with this agreement should continue to enhance the provision of excellent clinical medical education within the NHS.”