Welcome to the Primary Care Learning Organisation Toolkit


This Toolkit sets out the new approval process, procedure and documents for Learning Organisations, in accordance with the HEE Quality Framework 

Historically approval to host trainees or students was granted to practices and their supervisors by multiple organisations e.g., Approved Education Institutions (AEI’s), Health Education England (HEE), School of Primary Care. In the future, approval will be given to a Learning Organisation, ideally based on a Primary Care Network (PCN) footprint. The aim is to approve Learning Organisations as sites for multidisciplinary learners, it streamlines and reduces the number of reapproval visits and audits required and highlights how you meet the HEE Quality Framework 

Supervisors will be accredited by their individual professional organisations e.g. The GP School for GP clinical and educational supervisors.  

To gain approval to host learners Learning Organisations must evidence achievement of the required standards within the HEE Quality Framework at the point of application. This will be subsequently monitored through the review process.   

This process supports the Training Hub Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) covering 'expanding and managing innovative and high-quality learning environments'.  


If you have any questions, please email Rae Burgess at england.traininghubquality.sw@nhs.net


Please see the short video below which will give different stakeholders perspectives and promote the benefits of undergoing the South West Learning Organisation Approval process.

 LOA video front page

Please click the image above to open the YouTube video. 


Learning Organisation Approval Activity

Potential Timeline*

The Learning Organisation is approached via email by their local Training Hub to begin the approval process. It may be possible to respond to a Learning Organisation’s request to undergo this process depending on Training Hub capacity, please contact the Training Hub Project Officer if you have any queries. This is the beginning of the approval process.
The Learning Organisation access the online toolkit to review the:
This is the beginning of the approval process.
The Training Hub assists the Learning Organisation with the co-ordination and completion of the application form, involving AEI's, supervisors and other relevant individuals as per the guidance. This can take up to 4 weeks to complete and should be completed at the same time as the step below.
Whilst the application paperwork is being completed, the Training Hub help the Learning Organisation identify the panel as per the guidance and set a visit date, this visit will need to be scheduled at least 12 weeks in advance to allow enough notice to be given on clinical sessions. Allow up to 14 weeks for setting a Approval Panel Visit date.
The Training Hub to support the Learning Organisation to send via email the pre meeting paperwork to the panel, including the timed agenda, completed application form, visit checklist and the key lines of enquiry document for consideration. To be sent at least 2 weeks before the Learning Organisation Approval Panel Visit date.
Hold the Learning Organisation approval panel visit, please expect this meeting to take up to half a day. Please note the timed agenda is for a 2 hour meeting however we expect the meeting to take 2 - 4 hours depending on if feedback is given within the session, please do amend this agenda as is appropriate for your visit. The Learning Organisation Approval Panel Visit date.
The Training Hub send the visit report (which can be found at the bottom of your application form) to the Training Hub Project Officer within 2 weeks of the approval panel visit taking place. To be sent no later than 2 weeks after the Learning Organisation Approval Panel Visit date.
Once the visit report has been received the Training Hub Project Officer will schedule the Learning Organisation onto the next Quality Assurance Group for Primary Care Learning Organisations. Please note there is no need for the Learning Organisation or Training Hub to attend this meeting. Please allow up to 6 weeks after the Learning Organisation report has been received to be scheduled onto the Quality Assurance Group for Primary Care Learners.
Once the Quality Assurance Group for Primary Care Learning Organisations has met, the Training Hub Project Officer will send the completed report and decision to the Training Hub. The report will be sent within 2 weeks of the Quality Assurance Group for Primary Care Learners meeting.
The Training Hub will then share this report with the panel and all relevant parties ensuring the relevant regulators are updated. To be shared upon receiving the completed report.
The Learning Organisation is now approved for learners. This is the end of the initial approval process. The approved Learning Organisation to engage with business as usual including the Annual Returns process, Quality Panels, The National Student Survey (NSS), The National Training Survey (NTS) and The National Education and Training Survey (NETS) and the AEI business as usual processes.
Following your Learning Organisation approval you will need to engage with the Annual Returns process. This process is currently in development and details will be published when they are confirmed. To be completed annually, timelines to be announced.


 *Please note this timeline is assuming each stage takes the maximum amount of time, if you are able to complete a stage sooner or can progress quicker through please do.


Application Guidance


1. Introduction 


This page sets out the new approval process and procedure for Learning Organisations, in accordance with the HEE Quality Framework.  


The approval process for Learning Organisations moves away from individual GP practices making an application for a single learner group and instead looks at approving a Learning Organisation consisting of multiple sites (likely a PCN footprint) and multiple learner types. We hope this approach will streamline the process for practices and allow data from more learners to feed into quality assessments leading to quality improvements. 


The aim is to have a single process for initial and on-going quality monitoring that will meet the requirements of multiple regulatory bodies and/or Approved Education Institutions (AEI’s). 


Whilst the approval and annual return process must continue to be robust, a greater emphasis is being placed on a risk-based approach to assessment. 


2. Glossary


A Learning Organisation in this process would normally refer to a PCN however it also encompasses individual learning environments (e.g., an individual GP Practice, care homes etc) and includes all Primary Care Learners in an environment who are placed by PGME, Training Hubs, AEIs etc.  


A Learning Environment in this process refers to an individual site within a Learning Organisation (e.g., an individual GP practice)  


The applicant refers to the Learning Organisation who are submitting for approval.  


4. Process Introduction


In order for a learner from any professional group to be hosted, the applicant must demonstrate they have both the governance and infrastructure in place to provide a safe, high quality learner experience. These requirements extend beyond the approved educator role and encompasses how other members of the host team, e.g., Practice Manager, Receptionists, Medical Secretaries and other multi-professionals and clinicians within the Learning Organisation contribute to supporting both the educator and learner.  


The Learning Organisation must be able to demonstrate their knowledge of; and how they will meet, learner contract requirements i.e., working time directives, sick and study leave etc and how they will meet the learner specific requirements in terms of clinical and educational supervision.   


4.1. Application process


The application process begins by the completion of the Learning Organisation application form by the prospective Learning Organisation. The application form prompts the applicant to demonstrate how they meet the quality and safety requirements, for all learners, in addition to gathering high level data about external quality assurances e.g., CQC assessment outcomes.  


The completed application form should be sent to your local Training Hub Quality Administrator who will check the form is completed accurately and with appropriate linked evidence. Any gaps in information will be requested from the prospective Learning Organisation before formal assessment can take place.   


A Quality information pack will then be produced by the NHS England Quality Assurance Group for Primary Care Learning Organisations.  


Training Hub’s will convene a multi-disciplinary panel to review the application formsubmitted evidence, other Quality informationAn approval panel visit of the Learning Organisation is then arranged toexplore key areas of interest and determine a recommendation to submit to the NHS England Quality Assurance Group for Primary Care Learning Organisations.  


The panel must have appropriate administration support and be comprised of:   

  • Training Hub Quality Representative/Training Hub Clinical Lead.   

  • Appropriate representation for all the learners across all environments in the organisation. Which might include, an AEI representative, a School of Primary Care AD and a relevant trainer (Educational or Clinical supervisor).  


Wherever possible the panel should also include learner representatives. 


This meeting is likely to be held remotely on Teams due to panel availability, however, it can also be in person or a hybrid approach. 


During the visit the approval panel will explore opportunities for further expansion of training placements with the Learning Organisation.   


The Training Hub Quality Lead with the Training Hub admin support will complete the relevant sections on the Learning Organisation Application Form clearly stating their recommendation and any concerns and submit to the NHS England Quality Assurance Group for Primary Care Learning Organisation for formal review at england.traininghubquality.sw@nhs.net. 


This will be reviewed at the next available NHS England Quality Assurance Group for Primary Care Learning Organisation, and a confirmation of their decision will be sent to the Learning Organisation copying in the Training Hub Quality Lead.


5. Concerns


The visit/review may identify areas for improvement. These will be clearly recorded and reported back to the Learning Organisation with an action owner and timeframe for completion.  


If any concerns are identified in the Learning Environment these will be managed by the usual processes as outlined in the Quality Framework, please see our escalating concerns page. 


6. Annual Review 


Following the approval, each Learning Organisation will be expected to complete an annual return.  


This process is in development and details will be published as soon as they are available. 



This toolkit was launched in April 2023 and was reviewed in October 2023.