Medical training quality assurance review

Evaluating how we quality assure medical education and training

We’re responsible for assuring the quality of medical education and training across the UK and identifying where our standards are not being met. It’s important that we regularly check how our quality assurance processes are working on the ground, as well as learn how other sectors do this. 

Since the start of 2018, we have been reviewing the effectiveness of our current processes. To inform our work, we commissioned two pieces of research. 

What was this research?

The two pieces of research involve:

  • Desk-based research into how our quality assurance processes compare with those in similar fields, in the UK and overseas. This was an update to a piece of research carried out by Colin Wright Associates in we in 2012.
  • Field-based research, carried out by the University College London (UCL), which involved  interviews with organisations we work with to deliver our quality assurance activities, as well as  organisations outside of healthcare. 

What were the main findings?

Both pieces of research found that we remain at the cutting edge of quality assurance work. UCL highlighted that our approach was ‘largely considered proportionate to the risks involved. Ongoing relationships and communication were strengths of the quality assurance framework, which enabled the GMC to work closely with providers...The GMC’s engagement with quality assurance partners was an effective mechanism for change'.

The desk-based research identified that the size and scale of the national training survey was larger than any other trainee/trainer survey in healthcare. 

What happens next?

The findings from both research papers will inform our review of our current processes. We’re currently discussing options for change with stakeholders across the UK, ahead of piloting any new arrangements in 2019.

Download both pieces of research 

Quality assurance programme review - Internal report

Understanding stakeholder perspectives on the GMC's quality assurance of medical education and training