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Are you interested in becoming a GP supervisor?
GP supervisors have a unique and central role in general practice training. The ‘apprenticeship’ training model provides registrars with the support of dedicated and experienced clinicians who work in the same or similar clinical settings.
Supervisors develop strong working relationships with their registrars, and provide them with professional role modelling, teaching and mentoring. Supervisors facilitate a registrar’s progress in gaining clinical experience and competence, and help to ensure that the registrar has the breadth of clinical experience in order to successfully undertake fellowship exams and be ready for unsupervised clinical practice.
At James Cook University (JCU), supervisors are central to our General Practice training model of medical education. While providing vocational training in the ‘North West Queensland’ region, an area that comprises 90 percent of the state, JCU aims to support the provision of excellent clinical placements, with as much teaching and training as is appropriate, delivered as locally as possible.
The role of the supervisor
To ensure that registrars are well supported and have reliable access to teaching and advice throughout their training, the supervisor/team of supervisors is required to undertake the activities in the below list:
- Provide on-site clinical supervision and feedback as per the relevant college requirements.
- Physically be on site for set portions of time, relevant to the registrar’s training level.
- Provide ‘in practice’ teaching time to registrars as per the relevant college requirements.
- Facilitate the delivery of the mandatory General Practice Orientation Program to all GP registrars during their first two weeks of employment in community General Practice.
- Assist registrars in drawing up a feasible and achievable learning plan.
- Facilitate formative assessment of registrars including External Clinical Teaching (ECT) visits, miniCEXs (for ACRRM pathway registrars) and training advisor visits.
- Complete a formative assessment evaluation of their registrar’s progress at least once per semester.
- Ensure that first year (typically GPT/PRRT 1+2) registrars are released from their clinical duties in order to attend mandatory out of practice teaching (facilitated by JCU).
- Inform JCU as soon as possible of any concerns regarding a registrar, including any critical incidents or adverse events.
- Participate in JCU supervisor education activities.
To be eligible to become an accredited JCU supervisor, a GP must meet the following requirements:
- hold a college fellowship (FRACGP and/or FACRRM);
- have not less than four years FTE experience in general practice to supervise registrars on the RACGP pathway (this can include postgraduate training experience in general practice) with a minimum of five years’ experience to supervise RACGP GPT1/2 placements;
- have not less than five years’ full-time equivalent experience in rural and remote medicine or other rural specialist practice (including training time) to supervise registrars on the ACRRM pathway;
- work in a training post accredited by JCU to the standards of the respective college;
- have signed the training practice’s Training Post Agreement (TPA) in place with JCU GP training;
- be registered with AHPRA as a specialist GP with full and unrestricted registration;
- participate in continuing professional development that is aimed at improving performance as a general practice educator; and
- provide excellent professional and clinical role modelling.
What is a Training Post Agreement?
A Training Post Agreement is an agreement signed by an accredited JCUGP Training Post (also known as a practice), in which they agree to provide on-site vocational training in general practice as per JCU obligations. As an accredited supervisor, you are required to sign the TPA of your chosen training post agreeing to certain responsibilities.
As a new supervisor to JCU GP training a schedule of activities has been designed to help orientate you with your new role and give you the best start to this new journey. This support includes:
- 3 introductory sessions developed to support new supervisors in their role as soon as they become supervisors. These sessions are delivered locally at a node level and include information on the roles and responsibilities of supervisors, an introduction to teaching, learning and feedback;
- An opportunity to participate in the JCU micro-credentialed Certificate of Clinical Supervision;
- Scheduled supervisor professional development activities that are offered face-to-face and virtually across our regionally distributed training locations; and
- JCU GP will financially and logistically support supervisors to attend these various activities.
- Access to the JCU GP Senior Fellows group. This is a group of highly experienced GP training supervisors who are available to provide support and guidance.
JCU offers a comprehensive program to support all of our supervisors in their development, in supporting their registrars and managing any challenges. The local JCU office is the first point of call for supervisors and their training posts, with local medical educators, who are all practicing GPs, and local administrative staff available to respond to any queries that supervisors may have. Senior JCU staff are also available to provide counsel and support to supervisors in matters regarding registrar training.
Along with in person support, JCU supervisors have access to a large range of teaching and other resources through JCU GP Training's online platform, including:
- JCU Cultural Awareness Training Modules;
- JCU Training Online Modules;
- case of the week;
- formative assessments for registrars;
- clinical online modules;
- RACGP Check issues;
- JCU Supervisors Guide to Registrars in Difficulty; and
- Supervisor teaching topics.
In accordance with the ACRRM and RACGP vocational training standards GP Supervisors are required to participate in a minimum of nine (9) hours of continuing professional development (CPD) per annum, which is aimed at consolidating and enhancing their skills as GP educators.
To assist in achieving this, JCU provides a range of education activities including:
- Workshops and local evening supervisor sessions
- New supervisor initial training
- Certificate in clinical supervision
- One day workshops
- Expert panel webinars
For up-to-date details, registration and program information, please visit the events calendar and search for ‘supervisors.
Next steps to becoming a GP supervisor
Are you ready to be a JCU GP supervisor? Great! Becoming an accredited supervisor involves a few steps. If your practice is already RACGP/ACRRM accredited, then this involves completing an application form, providing supporting documentation and a meeting with the local node staff.
The first step is to give your local JCU GP office a call. The team will be able to answer any further questions you have and give you a more detailed look into how a supervisor helps our registrars.
JCU GP offices are located in the below regions: