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In accordance with the requirements of Good Medical Practice, the ultimate responsibility for the quality of patient care and the quality of training lies with the supervisor. Supervision is designed to ensure the safety of the patient by encouraging safe and effective practice and professional conduct. The level of supervision will change in line with the trainee’s progression through the stages of the curriculum, enabling trainees to develop independent learning. Those involved in the supervision of trainees must undertake appropriate training.

Trainees will be placed in approved posts that will meet required training and educational standards. Individual trusts will have responsibility for ensuring that clinical governance and health and safety standards are met.

The syllabus content details the level of knowledge, clinical, technical/operative and professional skills expected of a trainee at any given stage of training, clearly indicating the level of supervision required. Trainees will work at a level commensurate with their experience and competence, and this should be explicitly set down by the Assigned Educational Supervisor in the Learning Agreement. There is a gradual reduction in the level of supervision required until the level of competence for independent practice is acquired. There is an expectation that supervision and feedback are part of the ongoing relationship between trainees and their trainers and assessors, and that it will take place informally on a daily basis.

In keeping with Good Medical Practice, Good Clinical Care, trainees have a responsibility to recognise and work within the limits of their professional competence and to consult with colleagues as appropriate. The development of good judgement in clinical practice is a key requirement of the curriculum. The content of the curriculum dealing with professional behaviour emphasises the responsibilities of the trainee to place the well-being and safety of patients above all other considerations. Throughout the curriculum, great emphasis is laid on the development of good judgement and this includes the ability to judge when to seek assistance and advice. Appropriate consultation with trainers and colleagues for advice and direct help is carefully monitored and assessed.