Educational Supervisor

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 training placement or series of placements. The educational supervisor is responsible for the trainee’s educational agreement.

Clinical Supervisor

A trainer who is selected and appropriately trained to be responsible for overseeing a specified trainee’s clinical work and providing constructive feedback during a trainee’s placement. The roles of Clinical and Educational Supervisors may then be merged. In many Trusts, the Clinical and Educational Supervisor is, and can be, the same Consultant or GP.

Roles and Responsibilities of an Educational Supervisor

Becoming a supervisor:

You will need to have sufficient identified time in your job plan to carry out the role effectively which should be discussed with your Clinical Director and Local Faculty Lead.

Educational Supervisors are allocated 0.25 PA per trainee in their job plans

Firstly you must complete the Royal College of Physician’s workshop course to be an accredited supervisor which meets the GMC standards and will give you formal recognition of your role as supervisor. Please contact June Mossop-Toms, Academic Registrar to book on to the next available course

If you have an equivalent supervisor qualification this may be sufficient for accreditation in the Trust, please contact June for details of your existing qualification.

What makes a good educator? Suggestions and ideas from supervisors, trainees and medical students at East Kent.

Once you are accredited you will be expected to:

Participate in department and team induction for new trainees and use the time allocated to the delivery of the Educational Supervisor role to undertake the role and responsibilities appropriately and effectively.

Commit to undertake training relevant to the role of Educational Supervisor to develop your skills and competence.

Undertake training and CPD activity which meets GMC standards in relation to all 7 AoME framework areas over a 5 year cycle (and at least 2 framework areas per year).

Engage in annual appraisal of the Educational Supervisor component of your job plan. (See Evidence for Education Appraisals). Trainers in recognised roles will be expected to provide evidence of their ongoing professional development against the framework standards.

Liaise with others, both in clinical departments and with the Medical Education Directorate, to ensure a consistent approach to educational supervision.

Participate in supporting activities relating to the role, including recruitment to training posts by attending interview panels, ARCP panels and undertaking educational activities and learning opportunities such as Structured Learning Events (SLEs) with trainees.

Arrange for an appropriate colleague to fulfil the educational supervision role during any period of absence and provide a handover to any subsequent Educational Supervisors at the change of placement to ensure there is awareness of the content of the Learning Agreement

Key Duties of the Educational Supervisor Role:

Supporting your Trainee(s)

Ensure that all meetings take place in protected time and are held in a private and undisturbed environment.

Meet with your trainee within the first two weeks of the post to:

  • Develop a personalised work schedule which should be uploaded on to the e-portfolio.

  • Develop a personal learning plan with your trainee which is mutually agreed and which will be the point of reference for future appraisals.

  • Give your trainee an opportunity to comment on their training and the support provided

  • Ensure that your trainee understands his/her responsibility for their own learning, the structure of the programme, the curriculum, the educational opportunities available, the assessment system and the relevant e-portfolio.

  • Plan a programme of clinic and theatre attendance.

Give honest and constructive feedback on a regular basis which is recorded. (See: Effective feedback.)

Oversee the education of your trainee, acting as mentor and meeting up to ensure that he/she is making the expected clinical and educational progress.

Ensure that your trainee knows how to access careers advice and support.

Be familiar with and maintain knowledge of the training programme, curriculum requirements and educational opportunities available.

Meet with your trainee on a regular basis to review:

  • Completion of supervised learning events, workplace based assessments and attendance at formal teaching events.

  • Their e-portfolio to ensure that it is being maintained and developed.

  • Progress against the personal learning plan.

  • Clinical performance and professionalism.

You should also use these meetings to:

  • Update the personal learning plan when necessary.

  • Address any complaints and/or serious incidents and support the trainee with their reflection on the incident

Where there is an issue with clinical performance and/or professionalism and your trainee is failing to meet the required standard, as Educational Supervisor you should ensure that:

  • Any issues are discussed as soon as the problem is identified where possible and that a written record of the meeting is kept.

  • Remedial measures are put in place with clearly defined written objectives so that your trainee has the opportunity to correct any deficiencies.

  • All relevant key personnel (including the Director of Medical Education, Medical Director and the Postgraduate Dean) are kept fully informed.

Be familiar with Trust policies for dealing with trainees needing support.

As an educator, I promise to...

Trainee expectations:

  • All trainees must have a named Educational Supervisor and the trainee should be informed of this in writing.

  • A trainee may have the same Educational Supervisor for the duration of their training programme or for each year.

  • Adequate time with their supervisor - No more than four trainees may be supervised by an Educational Supervisor, subject to the provision of appropriate time in a job plan for educational supervision functions.

  • An Educational Supervisor may act additionally as a named Clinical Supervisor for a trainee or trainees and may also have a role in delivering undergraduate education for which he/she should be recognised by the undergraduate educational organiser (medical school).

  • A supportive relationship and pastoral support when this is needed.

  • Honest and constructive feedback.

  • Regular meetings to discuss their educational and clinical objectives.

A junior doctor's perspective on a good supervisor - Dr Thurkka Rajeswaran and Dr Haibo Li

Support for you as a supervisor (programme of Continuing Professional Development)

Educational and Clinical Supervisor Workshops

These sessions are held on a regular basis and all supervisors are welcome to attend:


  • Introduction to Medical Education

  • Quality governance and GMC, surveys, visits 

  • Induction and welcome to new trainees (role of supervisor) Feedback 

  • E-portfolio, assessments and meetings, curriculum compliance and sign off  

  • Sickness reporting & employer duties 

  • Trainees needing support, referring process if required – practical steps

Contact Cathy Kidd for dates.

Trainer Update Days

These days are held twice a year in a central location and all supervisors and trainers are invited to attend. Recent topics have included:

  • Educational Governance

  • Introducing the Physician Associate

  • Job Planning and Policy Overview

  • Continuing Professional Development for Education

  • Trainees' perspective on "My ideal supervisor"

  • Developing a learning culture

Contact Jane Richens for dates.

Related Content

Trainer Resources Supervision