1. Introduction

This webpage sets out the educational governance structure for Health Education England (HEE), working across the south west.  It is designed to ensure that we meet our responsibilities on behalf of HEE to the standard required by the General Medical Council (GMC).

This page summarises:

  • Roles and responsibilities of those working in postgraduate medical education
  • Key committee and meeting structures to support the delivery of these roles
  • Useful links


2. Roles and Responsibilities of those working in postgraduate medical education

It is essential that there is a clear understanding of respective roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of all those working in postgraduate medical education.

The Postgraduate Dean takes overall responsibility for education and training and acts as the Responsible Officer. Working with the Postgraduate Dean for Medicine to support medical education across the regions are:-

  • Postgraduate Dean for Medicine
  • Associate Postgraduate Deans
  • Head of Postgraduate Schools
  • Training Programme Directors
  • Foundation Training Programme Directors
  • Directors of Medical Education
  • Educational Supervisors
  • Clinical Supervisors

Their roles are outlined in further detail below:


2.1 Postgraduate Dean for Medicine

The role of Postgraduate Dean for Medicine has evolved over a number of years as a result of changes in healthcare education and training, the implementation of revalidation, the emergence of new workforce solutions and the continuing development of HEE.

The role of the Postgraduate Dean for Medicine embraces corporate, statutory and non-statutory functions. It aligns closely with the HEE mandate, and is focused upon improving patient and trainee safety and experience, and supporting service transformation.

As a system leader the Postgraduate Dean for Medicine:

  • Acts as a clinical leader, at geographical and national levels
  • Ensures the quality and safety of learners and learning environments
  • Fulfils specific statutory functions
  • Champions healthcare education

The Postgraduate Dean for Medicine is line managed by the Local Education and Training Board (LETB) Director and professionally accountable to the Director of Education and Quality (Geography) and thus to the national Director of Education and Quality for HEE as a Designated Body.


2.2 Associate Postgraduate Dean(s)

The role of the Associate Dean is to support the Postgraduate Dean for Medicine in ensuring the delivery of high quality postgraduate medical education and training across HEE, working across the South West. The Associate Deans are professionally and managerially accountable to the Postgraduate Dean for Medicine.

This role provides support for GP, Foundation, Core and Specialty Training to all trainees within the Peninsula. Each Associate Dean also has a primary area of focus which will be one of faculty development, quality management, SAS doctor, ARCP, professional support unit, simulation or quality improvement.


 2.3 Heads of School

The role of Head of School is to work with and support the Postgraduate Dean for Medicine in leading the delivery of a wide range of functions, aligned to the HEE mandate.

The Head of School is professionally and managerially accountable to the Postgraduate Dean for Medicine. The Head of School will focus upon improvement of learner supervision, assessment and experience, engagement of faculty and ensuring effective educational outcomes, both now and in the future. The role is evolving and will also focus on whole workforce transformation and developing multi-professional links.


2.4 Training Programme Director (excluding Foundation)

The Training Programme Director has a key role in managing the training programme of the specialty. The fundamental role is that of coordinator and communicator between doctors in training, the Postgraduate Dean for Medicine, the Specialty Training Committee, and the appropriate Royal College or Faculty.

It is a GMC requirement that training programmes are led by Training Programme Directors and their responsibilities are delineated in 'A Reference Guide for Postgraduate Specialty Training in the UK' (The Gold Guide).

Training Programme Directors are accountable to the relevant Head of School.


2.5 Foundation Programme Director (Foundation only)

The responsibilities of Foundation Programme Directors (FPD) are outlined in the UK Foundation Programme's Reference Guide, pages 11 and 70. Normally there are one of two FPDs based within each LEP who are responsible for the management and quality control of Foundation Year 1 and/or Foundation Year 2 training. 


2.6 Director of Medical Education

The expected standards of the Director of Medical Education (DME) are set out in the Learning and Development Agreement (LDA) between HEE and the LEP.

The Director of Medical Education is responsible for maintaining and developing the profile of medical education in each LEP, and for ensuring the delivery of the LDA (Educational Contract) in conjunction with HEE.

Each individual is responsible for maintaining and developing the profile of medical education with the LEP, ensuring quality control processes of training to local, regional and national standards and providing an annual report to the Postgraduate Dean for Medicine. In some cases these roles may be undertaken by the Postgraduate Clinical Tutor. The DME may also be responsible for signing the LDA, Education Contract on behalf of the LEP.


2.7 Educational Supervisor

The role of the Educational Supervisor:

A named educational supervisor is a trainer who is selected and appropriately trained to be responsible for the overall supervision and management of a trainee’s trajectory of learning and educational progress during a placement or series of placements. Every trainee must have a named educational supervisor. The educational supervisor helps the trainee to plan their training and achieve agreed learning outcomes. He or she is responsible for the educational agreement and for bringing together all relevant evidence to form a summative judgement at the end of the placement or series of placements.

GMC Recognising and Approving supervisors: The Implementation Plan


2.8 Clinical Supervisor

The role of the Clinical Supervisor:

A named clinical supervisor is a trainer who is responsible for overseeing a specified trainee’s clinical work on a day to day basis throughout a placement in a clinical or medical environment and is appropriately trained to do so. He or she will provide constructive feedback during that placement. He or she will lead on providing a review of the trainee’s clinical or medical practice throughout the placement that will contribute to the educational supervisor’s report on whether the trainee should progress to the next stage of their training.

GMC Recognising and Approving supervisors: The Implementation Plan


3. Governance Structure

The overarching governance structure specifically for medical education within HEE, working across the south west consists of the following formal educational and business meetings.

Formal Educational Meetings

  • Foundation School Committee
  • Specialty School Boards
  • Speciality Training Committees
  • Quality Advisory Board
  • General Practice Committee
  • School of Primary Care Board
  • School of Primary Care Educational Executive Committee

Business Meetings

  • Executive Team Meeting
  • Staff Meeting
  • Heads of School Meeting
  • Dean’s Education Group
  • Medical Education Managers/Medical Staffing Meeting

Corporate Meetings

  • Learning and Development Agreement
  • Investment Plan
  • Governing Body
  • Interim and Annual Contract Meetings
  • Quality Improvement Committee

Terms of Reference (ToR) are currently being updated. When available all ToR will be available as appendices linked to this page.

Useful links