Recognition and approval of trainers

Approving GP trainers

Under the medical act, we can approve and publish a list of GP trainers. However, we don’t currently approve specialty, Foundation and undergraduate trainers, but we have a process for the recognition of these trainers. This is a local process that involves deaneries, local offices and medical schools making sure trainers meet the required criteria.

Information we publish

We publish the information we have about trainers on the medical register. This includes doctors who have been recognised as a:

  • named postgraduate clinical supervisor
  • named postgraduate educational supervisor
  • lead coordinator of undergraduate training at each placement location; or
  • doctor responsible for overseeing students’ educational progress at each medical school.

Doctors who hold one or more of these roles have a note on their medical register entry to say ‘This doctor is a trainer recognised by the GMC’.

Doctors whose practice contributes to the teaching, training or supervision of students or doctors in training don’t need recognition. Local recognition may be available to trainers not currently in the four specific roles, including non-medical trainers. 

Criteria for trainer recognition

We use the Academy of Medical Educators' Professional standards for medical, dental and veterinary educators (2014) as the criteria against which all trainers in recognised roles must provide evidence of their ongoing professional development. Although these standards have since been updated, we still use the 2014 edition for approval and recognition of trainers.

The criteria comprise seven areas:

  1. Ensuring safe and effective patient care through training
  2. Establishing and maintaining an environment for learning
  3. Teaching and facilitating learning
  4. Enhancing learning through assessment
  5. Supporting and monitoring educational progress
  6. Guiding personal and professional development
  7. Continuing professional development as an educator.

Local education providers, such as hospitals and general practices, provide evidence against the seven areas to show how they identify, train and appraise trainers in each of the four medical trainer roles. Education organisers use that information to show us what local arrangements are in place to meet our standards. We use this information to recognise trainers.

How we update the register

It is the responsibility of the medical school (undergraduate trainers)/ deanery (postgraduate trainers) to update and maintain their list of approved and recognised trainers with us through our secure portal, GMC Connect. Once the details have been submitted, the individual’s record on the register will update to reflect their trainer status on the next working day.

If you are a registered practitioner, and your record on the register does not show your trainer role, please contact your medical school/deanery to ask that they submit your details on GMC Connect.

Implementation plan

We evaluate the plan by speaking to medical schools, postgraduate bodies and trainers about their experiences. If you would like any further information, please contact

If opportunities for regulatory reform become available we will seek legislation that gives us greater scope and flexibility around trainer approvals. This would allow us to align our responsibilities for trainers across each stage of medical education and across different areas of medical training.