The amount of teaching required depends upon the term. Currently it is:
GP Term 1 - 3 hours per week
One hour per week in GP Terms 1, 2 & 3 must be one-on-one protected planned teaching time. This is to ensure that the registrar has the opportunity to meet their learning needs in a planned way and to receive individual feedback from their supervisor.
The balance of the teaching time can be planned teaching time or may be made up of opportunistic teaching.
The Teaching Framework provides a structured guide to assist supervisors in planning their teaching during GP Terms 1 & 2. There is a wide variety of teaching methods that can be used, for example:
• Discussion of difficult cases
Ideally teaching should not consist of the same type of activity every session.
This is quite flexible and should respond to the registrar’s learning needs.
• Assisting the registrar to formulate an appropriate learning plan for the term
The supervisor can delegate teaching to other GPs and health professionals as appropriate. It is common for teaching to be shared amongst several GPs in the practice. Often different GPs will have individual areas of expertise. It may be appropriate for a limited amount of teaching to be delegated to other practice staff that have particular expertise in an area (eg the practice nurse teaching immunisation or wound dressing; the practice manager teaching about practice software, recall systems or billing systems).
Teaching may occur outside the practice where this is appropriate (eg teaching procedures at the local hospital, attending local CPD meetings, spending some time with specialists or allied health professionals).
The fundamental principal is that the teaching should be appropriate to the registrar’s learning needs.
An example of time that would not normally be considered appropriate as teaching time would be: a regular visit by a pharmaceutical representative where lunch is provided and the current marketing spiel endured for the sake of lunch. If this is not meeting the registrar’s educational needs then it should not be counted as teaching time.
The Teaching Allowance is specifically paid for the GP supervisor’s time that is devoted to teaching. All the time that the supervisor devotes to teaching can be claimed for payment - as long as it is documented on the Record of Teaching form. This includes both planned teaching and opportunistic teaching. It includes all methods of teaching eg observation of consultations, teaching procedures, providing feedback etc. If teaching is occurring while the supervisor is doing paid clinical work (eg seeing patients, doing an anaesthetic list) it would be reasonable to just claim the extra time spent as a result of teaching.
There may be some situations where time can be claimed as teaching time for the registrar but it is not appropriate to claim it for Teaching Allowance for the supervisor.
There are some examples of this in the following paragraphs.
If another GP or practice staff member (eg practice nurse, practice manager) does the teaching instead of the supervisor, then it is still appropriate to claim the teaching allowance for this time. As long as the teaching is being done by the most appropriate person to teach that topic, and the teaching is relevant to the registrar’s learning needs, then Valley to Coast will still pay the full rate to reimburse the teachers time.
If the teaching is done by someone unrelated to the practice then it is reasonable to claim for time that the supervisor devoted to the event. For example:
• the registrar sits in with a physiotherapist for half a day; the GP supervisor spent half an hour organising this with the physio and discussing with the physio what would be the most useful learning opportunities for the registrar. It
• a guest speaker comes to present at a regular practice educational meeting; the supervisor is an active participant in the meeting and facilitates the discussion and ensures the registrar is involved in the discussion. It would be reasonable for the supervisor to claim payment for this time.
• the registrar attends a regular lunchtime educational session run in the local area; the supervisor is involved in choosing topics and organising speakers for these events; the supervisor attends the session and is an active contributor. It would be reasonable for the supervisor to claim payment for this time.
• the registrar attends a regular lunchtime educational session run in the local area; the supervisor is not involved in the organisation of these sessions and does not attend. The time could be counted as teaching time for the registrar (as long as it is relevant to their learning needs) but it would not be reasonable to claim payment for the supervisor.
It may be appropriate to sometimes have joint teaching sessions where the registrar is taught along with another registrar, overseas trained doctor, junior doctor or medical student. This is fine as long as:
• it is meeting the registrar’s learning needs
In the case where two registrars have a joint teaching session with their supervisor, the time should be recorded as teaching time for each registrar. However, the time should only be claimed once by the supervisor (ie claim it on one registrar’s Record of Teaching form; on the other registrar’s form, record the teaching time, mark it with an asterix and deduct it at the bottom so that it is not claimed twice).
This outline cannot hope to cover all possible scenarios, but you will usually be able to work out the answer if you apply the basic principles. Please phone Valley to Coast if you need further advice.