In addition to having responsibility for the quality management of training of General Practice Specialty Trainees (GPSTs) in training posts, the sQMG for GP – Occupational Medicine – Public Health Medicine also has responsibility for the approval and re-approval processes for GP Educational Supervisors (ES), GP Training Practices, GP out of hours (OOH) training locations and GP retainers practices. To support this particular sQMG to deliver on this responsibility, there are 4 regional Quality Management Groups (rQMGs).
The QM process and all decisions taken as part of it are guided by several policy documents including GMC promoting excellence, The Royal College of GPs guidance on standards for training and the Committee of General Practice Education Directors (COGPED) and the Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans (COPMED) guidance. Full details of the guidance followed for ES and practice approvals can be found in the standard operating procedures.
Existing GP ESs and training practices apply for re-approval on a 3-yearly basis to the rQMGs. The practice and ESs submit approval documents which are considered by the rQMG alongside other information including:
Following review of this data, information and intelligence, the rQMG will either recommend approval of the ES and the practice ‘virtually’ (i.e. without a formal visit) for an appropriate period or recommend a site visit (a ‘triggered visit’) to the ES(s) and Training Practice. Subject to a satisfactory outcome from the assessment of the application for re-approval and the associated evidence, the rQMG can recommend ‘virtual approval’ at 3 years but a practice visit is necessary for re-approval every 6 years (as a minimum). When ‘virtual approval’ is granted by an rQMG a summary report with recommendations / requirements for approval is forwarded to the sQMG to satisfy governance requirements.
Every training practice receives a quality approval visit every 6 years. The practice and the ES are required to submit approval documents as described above. Triggered visits to practices and ESs may take place because of a recommendation of an interim approval or if concerns about an individual ES or training practice come to light out-with the specified approval period. All visit reports are forwarded to the sQMG for final recommendations and agreement and a template for these reports can be found in the GP Accreditation section. The maximum approval period for ESs and practices is 3 years. If only ‘conditional approval’ has been agreed by the sQMG, the rQMG has a role in monitoring to ensure that requirements are met.