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GP mythbuster 70: Mandatory training considerations in general practice

  • Organisations we regulate

We are often asked whether we set out mandatory training requirements for GP practices.

CQC does not have a list of mandatory training for members of the GP practice team. This is because exact training requirements will depend on the role and specific responsibilities of practices, and the needs of the people using the service. Ultimately, the practice is responsible for determining what mandatory and additional training staff need and how this is delivered. This may mean appropriate online training is acceptable given the constraints of the pandemic.

We look at staff training under our key question of how effective a provider is. Key line of enquiry (KLOE) E3 specifically considers whether “staff have the skills, knowledge and experience to deliver effective care and treatment”. All providers are required, under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 to meet Regulation 18. This means that providers must have sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, competent, skilled and experienced staff to meet the needs of the people using the service at all times.

Mandatory training during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic 

Although this is an exceptionally challenging time, it is still important to deliver safe and high-quality care and treatment.

Providers must support their staff to do their jobs. If professionals are asked to work outside their normal scope of practice, this must not be against their will. They must also be supported so they are properly equipped.

Healthcare workers should not be expected to take on activity that they have not been trained to do or do not have the skills for. Providers may need to offer training or development to ensure their staff have up-to-date skills and knowledge.

Providers must take reasonable steps to support their staff, so that both patients and practice staff are safe. We will only take regulatory action if this does not happen. In this current emergency period we advise providers to record any decisions and actions they need to take to manage risks in order to keep their patients and staff safe.

It is for individual providers to:

  • decide what training is mandatory and how this training is delivered during the pandemic
  • make this clear to staff
  • monitor how staff engage with it.

To carry out some specific roles, the clinician must be registered with a professional body, and providers must still meet that professional regulator’s requirements. Some bodies have temporarily removed requirements for professional appraisal and revalidation.

We recommend looking at:

When we inspect

During an inspection our team will look at whether staff have the right qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience to do their job:

  • when they start their employment
  • when they take on new responsibilities
  • on an ongoing basis.

We look at how the provider identifies the learning needs of staff, and whether they have the appropriate training to meet their learning needs and to cover the scope of their work.

As we have said, we do not have a definitive list of mandatory training. However, these are examples of training that we would expect to see evidence of:

Providers could be asked to demonstrate training for clinical staff linked to their specific clinical responsibilities. For nursing staff, for example, this could be taking samples for the cervical screening programme, administering vaccines and for extended roles in treating minor illness and long-term conditions.

Last updated:
28 April 2021