Educational Supervisor

 Doctors looking at notes

Health Education England, North West (HEE (NW)) has produced guidance on the roles, responsibilities, knowledge and skills required of an Educational Supervisor (ES) working in postgraduate medical education in the North West.

The full guidance can be downloaded in the following document: ‘Overview: Educational Supervision in Health Education North West’

This guidance will also support Trusts and other Local Education Providers (LEPs) in their quality control as they educationally support, manage, audit and resource the educational role of an ES.

This guidance is based on the Gold Guide to Specialty Training [January 2018]; The GMC's Outcome's for Graduates [June 2018] and the Foundation Programme.

This guidance builds on that outlined for the role of a Clinical Supervisor (CS).



Each trainee should have a named ES who is responsible for overseeing that trainee’s educational progress over a period of time. 

The GMC defines an ES as:

“A trainer who is selected and appropriately trained to be responsible for the overall supervision and management of a specified trainee’s educational progress during a clinical training placement or series of placements. The Educational Supervisor is responsible for the trainee's Educational Agreement.”

The ES role is to help the student or trainee to plan their training and achieve agreed learning outcomes. S/he is responsible for the educational agreement and for bringing together all relevant evidence to form a summative judgement at the end of the clinical training placement and/or series of placements. 

Some training schemes appoint an ES for each training placement. The roles of CS and ES may then be merged.  These individuals will require a higher level of educational development for their role than a CS which will usually be significantly more demanding. 

In many instances the same person may undertake both CS and ES roles for a given trainee. However, in specialty training (including GP trainees in secondary care attachments) some doctors may act as ES for more than one trainee and receive feedback on trainee performance from multiple CS. Some doctors may act as CS only. An overview of CS can be found at the Clinical Supervision page.


Roles and Responsibilities of an Educational Supervisor

This is a complex role which spans the areas of educational management, educational supervision and feedback, an understanding of the role of assessment in learning, the use of portfolios as a learning and assessment tool, an understanding of how to identify, support and manage a trainee in difficulty, and of supporting trainee career decision making. It also requires an understanding of the role of the CS and how to link with that individual in situations where the 2 roles are separated. The standards for trainers are met in the outline of roles and responsibilities of an ES given below.



Knowledge and Skills Required for Educational Supervisor Roles

ES will need to demonstrate that they have the following core knowledge and skills:

Plus the Knowledge and Skills of a CS.  


Achieving the Knowledge and Skills of an Educational Supervisor

It is recognised that other bodies, such as Royal Colleges, Universities, and other education providers also provide training which individuals may be able to use to demonstrate that they have met the required standards. More information on other training available can be found at the Courses and Conferences page.

To be formally recognised as a trainer Educational Supervisors need to provide a portfolio of evidence to show that they meet the GMC trainer standards. For more information on the evidence required please visit the Education Standards and Guidance page

All ES will be expected to demonstrate that they continue to meet the standards outlined through annual appraisal. This will form part of the five yearly revalidation process. Please see further guidance about appraisal on the Appraisal page.

Under the GMC arrangements for recognising and approving trainers it is the LEPs responsibility to ensure that all Educational Supervisors meet the necessary requirements for the role and to report annually to HEE (NW) on their trainers for live reporting to the GMC.  

Corroboratory evidence is sought at the HEE (NW) Quality Monitoring visits.


 Page reviewed 18 February 2019