Trust Specialty Training Lead

With the recent developments in training it has become apparent that pivotal to the adequate delivery of the new educational agenda is an individual in each Trust (or other Local Education Provider (LEP)), who is responsible for educational matters in their specialty.


This individual is particularly important to ensure appropriate communication between the Trust's Educational Supervisors (ES), Director of Medical Education (DME) and Training Programme Directors (TPD).


It is recommended that all specialties with a recognised, distinct, Health Education England, North West (HEE (NW)) training programme should have such a named individual within each Trust. In some instances this role will be similar to that currently performed by the Specialty Tutor or the Specialty Training Committee (STC) representative. However, in many cases some adjustments to existing roles will be required to fulfil all the criteria outlined below. 


The content and workload of the role played by this individual will vary between specialties and Trusts. Thus the time commitment and time allocated in the job plan will vary. Please see guidance about job planning for this role on the job planning section of the website.  


To see the full overview of this role, please click here.


HEE (NW) recommends the following guidance to all LEPs, Schools and Training Programmes for the purpose of developing this role:


Management of Role:

Each Trust Specialty Training Lead (TSTL) should be appointed by the Trust following a robust process which should:

  • Include appropriate input from the DME and Specialty Training Programme.
  • Be open to all eligible candidates.
  • Incorporate a transparent, consistent and equitable process.
  • Provide feedback to all applicants to assist in further personal development.

Appointments should be made on a three-year basis.  A second three-year term may be awarded, subject to agreement from all parties. Following this, the post holder should stand down to allow a competitive appointment process to be followed. Appropriate resources and named administrative support for the role should be identified and provided by the DME. Clear reporting pathways should be agreed to ensure appropriate communication between TSTLs, Educational Supervisors, Trust DMEs, Specialty and Foundation Training Programme Directors. (For guidance please see HEE (NW) frameworks outlined in Examples 1 to 3 below). 


Transition Period:

For those currently in post it is recommended that a twelve month period of grace be awarded to allow individuals to ensure they meet the standards in the person specification and are carrying out the duties as described in the job description. A competitive appointment process should then follow, open to all eligible candidates including the current post holder.


Job description: 

Please see below for a generic job description.  This must be supported by an individual job plan and a regular objective setting/appraisal cycle (see HEE (NW) guidance on Educational appraisal).


The roles of these Trust Specialty Training Leads will include: 


1. Communication / Management of Education
  • Ensuring communication between Trainees/Educational Supervisors/Director of Medical Education/Training Programme Directors.
  • Representing their specialty on the Trust Education Board (or equivalent). 
  • Representing the Trust on the relevant HEE (NW) Specialty Training Committee (STC).
  • Assisting with the ARCP process as requested by the TPD. 
  • Monitoring the number and type of posts and their educational opportunities. 
  • Ensuring local contribution of suitably trained consultants to recruitment within the appropriate school / training programme.

2. Trainee Support
  • Ensuring that an induction process is in place in their specialty, and that trainees attend trust induction.
  • Matching individual trainees with a named Educational Supervisor.
  • Ensuring that all trainees have completed a learning agreement with their Educational Supervisor.
  • Ensuring the delivery of the GMC/College core and higher specialty curriculum within the Trust (including the GP curriculum for those with GP StRs in secondary care placements).
  • Organising and monitoring the local specialty teaching including attendance, feedback, quality control (QC), curriculum coverage and consideration of different stages and curriculum, as relevant, of Core, Specialty and GP.
  • Support for trainees in difficulty and onward referral via Trust/HEE (NW)pathways as appropriate.
  • Specialty career information and support.
  • Advising on access to study leave opportunities.

3. Quality Control
  • Lead for education and for managing educational change in department.
  • Supporting and implementing the Trust/Specialty quality control plans.
  • Provision of an annual report to the DME and TPD(s), using the HEE (NW)template.

4. Faculty Development
  • Ensuring all Clinical and Educational Supervisors are trained and co-ordinating educator training programmes within their department/specialty.
  • Input (via MSF or other methods) to annual appraisal of Clinical and Educational Supervisors (see HEE (NW) Guidance).


Please see page 4 of this document to view the supporting HEE (NW) TSTL Person Specification.


Examples of reporting structures and information flow

Please click on Examples 1 to 3 below for diagrams illustrating how Trust Specialty Training Leads are pivotal to the flow of information between individual Trainees, Educational Supervisors, Training Programme Directors and Directors of Medical Education. (Note that the arrows indicate information flow only and not reporting lines); please see pages 5-9 of this document for diagrams which look at the 3 examples below:

Example 1: A Department with Foundation, Core and Specialty Trainees

Example 2: A larger Department with multiple Foundation, Core and Specialty Trainees

Example 3: A Specialty with 'run-through' specialty training and GP trainees

In these examples the individuals highlighted in red and green italics are the key Trust Specialty Training Leads (TSTL) referred to earlier in this document.

It is not possible to cover all possible alternative arrangements but the three following generic examples are shown to give an indication of how individuals should relate to each other. These examples cover both small and large departments and also an example of a specialty with run through training.