Recommendation 163

Ratios of trainers to trainees

The General Medical Council’s system of reviewing the acceptability of the provision of training by healthcare providers must include a review of the sufficiency of the numbers and skills of available staff for the provision of training and to ensure patient safety in the course of training.

The General Medical Council’s standards for training includes (at Domain 8) educational resources and capacity and provides that there must be a suitable ratio of trainers to trainees.  The General Medical Council has made it clear that it will use its Review of Quality Assurance in Education to consider whether the standard should be more specific while allowing necessary scope for local flexibility.


The General Medical Council is reviewing its standards of medical education and training, as set out in Tomorrow’s Doctors and The Trainee Doctor. The review will be developing themes which will replace the current domains outlined in the standards. One of those themes is support for learning and training, ensuring that each doctor in training has dedicated support to acquire the necessary skills and experience, personal support and time to learn. These themes aim to be more specific than the current domains. A new standards framework was launched for consultation in January 2015.