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22.05.17

GMC unveils new standards for more ‘flexible’ postgraduate education

Postgraduate training has been made more flexible for doctors today as the General Medical Council (GMC) announced new standards.

Unveiled in a document called ‘Excellence by design: standards for postgraduate curricula’, the new standards provide a framework for the approval and provision of postgraduate medical education and training in the UK.

Colleges and faculties will now be required to update their 103-existing postgraduate medical curricula against the GMC’s new standards – with the process set to be completed by 2020.

Charlie Massey, chief executive of the GMC, said: “Our vision for postgraduate training is one that supports the aspirations and commitment of today’s medical professionals to help them meet the needs of patients and the services they receive.

“The standards we are publishing today will support greater flexibility in postgraduate training,” Massey added. “They will give doctors more freedom and choice as their interests in medicine develop, while at the same time meeting the changing patterns in the health needs of patients, ensuring they receive high quality care.”

The GMC’s new standards will also shift the focus of postgraduate training towards helping doctors achieve high-level learning outcomes, Massey added.

“The framework covers the broader areas of professional practice, such as communication and team working, necessary for doctors to provide high-quality care,” he added. “We want to deliver a reformed and reinvigorated system of postgraduate training. We recognise that to do that in full we need the UK government to make the law less restrictive, so that we can be more agile in approving training.”

And Bill Allum, chair of the Joint Committee on Surgical Training (JCST), and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges’ lead for production of GPC implementation guidance for colleges, said: “Inclusion of generic professional capabilities in all curricula will ensure that professionalism receives the priority and emphasis it requires during training, in order to ensure doctors develop the key professional values and behaviours, knowledge and skills required.”

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