GMC plan for flexible training for doctors

The GMC has released plans which aim to improve training paths for doctors. 

Doctor with patient and x-ray

The plan identifies five key barriers to improving training flexibility:

  1. transferring between specialties is difficult without doctors going back to the start – often referred to as the ‘snakes and ladders’ effect. This is caused by the complex legal framework controlling UK postgraduate training
  2. training in other ways is not recognised – work overseas and experience gained in non-training grade posts are not counted
  3. more career support is needed to help doctors who want to refocus their training without starting from square one
  4. postgraduate training is slow to adapt to changes in patient demand
  5. rigid training structures can make rota gaps worse

In adapting for the future, the GMC proposes a seven-point plan geared to delivering more flexible training:

  1. training will be organised by outcomes rather than time spent in training
  2. related specialties curricula, will share common outcomes and elements
  3. the GMC will reduce the burden of its approval system so that medical colleges and faculties can make changes to postgraduate curricula more quickly
  4. the GMC will work with others to promote mechanisms which already exist to help trainees change training programmes – such as the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges’ Accreditation of Transferable Competences Framework
  5. the GMC will ask the UK government to make the law less restrictive so that we can be more agile in approving training
  6. the GMC will support doctors with specific capabilities or needs
  7. the GMC will encourage national education bodies to continue to improve the work-life balance of trainees


Further information:

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