Supporting Trainees Returning to Clinical Practice

Trainees take time out of their programme  for many reasons. The Educational Supervisor has an important role in signposting available resources, completing SuppoRTT forms including pre-absence and before a trainee returns, and on their return to hold regular meetings with the trainee to review their progress, well being and make decisions on return to the acute rota. Complex cases may need to be discussed with the appropriate programme management TPD.

Please review this guidance specifically aimed at supervisors supporting trainees returning to clinical practice: Supervisor Guidance

Other resources:


Further support available for Trainees

One of the roles of an Educational Supervisor / College Tutor is to identify concerns relating to trainees early and to signpost resources  to trainees. This will be in addition to referring to Occupational Health and GP where relevant. This may include trainees with multiple exam failures, trainees experiencing distress / anxiety / burnout, poor organisational skills identified, career doubts etc.

The Professional Support Unit (PSU) offers a wide range of services to trainees including Practitioners Healthy Programme (PHP) with access to CBT and self-help workshops.  The PSU also offers Dyslexia assessment service, Careers guidance, Coaching, exam support, e-learning modules and self-support. A list of services and how to access is available

Supporting Trainees with QIP

The role of the educational supervisor is to encourage trainees to undertake and lead on Quality Improvement Projects (Domain 8 RCPCH Progress), and to support projects by providing organisational knowledge, mentorship and guidance. It is also helpful to signpost trainees to The Model for Improvement and encourage them to choose small but achievable issues to work on.

Course available through LSP

Other useful resources:


 Supporting Trainees with  GRID & SPIN

GRID Training

At Level 3 of training (ST6-8) trainees have the opportunity to sub-specialise in a specific area of paediatrics. Those who complete an approved programme of sub-specialist training will be eligible to enter onto the GMC's Specialist Register as a paediatrician (sub-specialist). The grid enables workforce planning so that appropriate numbers of sub-specialists are trained, preventing trainees from completing highly-specialised training with little chance of obtaining a consultant post in that sub-specialty.

Current specialties in NTN GRID:  Child Mental Health, Clinical Pharmacology, Community Child Health, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Emergency Medicine, Gastroenterology/ Hepatology and Nutrition, Immunology/ Infectious Disease and Allergy, Intensive Care Medicine, Metabolic Medicine, Neonatal Medicine, Nephrology, Neurodisability, Neurology, Oncology, Palliative Medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Rheumatology

Trainees considering GRID applications should review the scoring sheet found on RCPCH web-page in improve chances of success (see below). Before submitting an application advise trainee to contact relevant CSAC sub-speciality chair. Applications open usually in September, trainees can apply for 2 sub-speciality programmes each year. Interviews are held later in the Autumn. Trainees can preference all the posts in the country for the speciality you have applied for. It is recommend to preference everything. RCPCH also run a clearing round for those found appointable at interview who have not matched to a GRID post.

Trainees must have completed  level 2 competencies by the start date of GRID. If trainees are doing level 3 placements already they can request to have these preapproved towards GRID training, through the  CSAC chairs directly.

Grid email:

SPIN Module

Special Interest (SPIN) modules are the additional training/experience a trainee/paediatrician completes so that they can be the local lead and part of the clinical network providing for children who need specialist paediatric care. This will involve training, assessment and supervised care. It will vary in breadth and depth, but will often equate with the training received during a full time 12-24 month placement. On completion of the module and Level 3 training the CCT holder should be competent to take up a post as a General Paediatrician with a special interest.  SPIN is NOT a route to GMC sub-specialty accreditation.

There are currently 17 SPIN modules curricula information is available on RCPCH website: Diabetes , Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Immunology & Infectious Disease, High Dependency Care, Nephrology, Young People’s Health, Neurodisability, Rheumatology, Palliative, Epilepsy, Oncology, Respiratory Medicine, Cardiology, Allergy, Dermatology, Safeguarding, Neonatology

The training should be approximately equivalent to 12-24 months full time. Some SPIN modules may take up to 24 months full time. A component of the training could be in an unfilled GRID post (tertiary centre or large DGH), the other competences could be acquired in posts in large or small DGHs. All the training requirements are in the SPIN logbooks. Some  retrospective evidence may be considered  towards the SPIN. It would be up to the CSAC to decide if this was appropriate. However, at least 6 months must be completed prospectively.

For information on trainee application process contact SPIN email: