University of Chester

Programme Specification
Education for Postgraduate Medical Practice PGCert
2016 - 2017

Postgraduate Certificate

Education for Postgraduate Medical Practice

Education for Postgraduate Medical Practice

University of Chester

University of Chester and Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust

Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust

Postgraduate (Taught)


Classroom / Laboratory,

1 year

3 Years

Annual - September



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Medicine, Dentistry and Life Sciences Chester Medical School

Higher Education Academy (HEA) United Kingdom Performance Standards Framework (D2)

General Medical Council, Good Medical Practice Guidance (2006)

FH&SC Postgraduate Programmes Assessment Board

Monday 1st November 2010

The aims of the programme are to promote a deep understanding of educational issues, principles and values, and through this to enable doctors to become better teachers in the clinical setting by supporting them to:

  • Develop an advanced expertise of teaching and assessing at postgraduate level in medical practice in accordance to professional standards for educational practice (e.g. HEA UKPSF).
  • Gain well-founded expertise in teaching and assessment at postgraduate level in medicine/surgery in the clinical setting, and thus establish better-focused and more rigorous supervision of doctors (whether as educational or clinical supervisors or in other key educational roles).
  • Recognise the crucial role of language in education (talking/listening/reading and writing) and understand how the clinical teacher can utilise these to make the most of every learning opportunity for their juniors.
  • Learn about the design and development of the formal curriculum on paper and become adept at maximising the learning potential inherent in the settings in which they teach.
  • Recognise, make explicit and understand the tacit processes of clinical reasoning and professional judgement in medicine in their own practice, in order to share this and support the exploration by learners in their own practice.
  • Develop their own reflective processes and the ability to produce clinical reflective writing, know how to teach this to others, and how to respond to it, use it educationally and in assessment.
  • Learn to harness multi-professional collaboration for the support of medical education in a Health Care Trust.
  • Develop the ability to research continue to improve their practice as educators.

Personal and professional needs.
The clinical context and the wider context of higher education and its changing nature.
The widening range of applications which can be used to assist in planning, designing, delivering and assessing in the clinical context and the wider context of higher education.
Theories underpinning teaching and learning.
Principles underpinning assessing and evaluating.

Application of theory to practice.
Understanding the complex relationship between practice and theory.
Synthesising of ideas.
Understanding the problematic nature of education.
Understanding the ontological as well as the technical characteristics of good teaching.
Critical reflection in and on practice.
Abstracting pedagogic theory and practice.
Researching and resolving issues.
Evidence-based practice.

Research skills.
Information literacy.
Teaching skills and defining learning outcomes, differentiating, setting of effective tasks, questioning effectively, explaining efficiently, and giving constructive feedback.
Assessing in the clinical setting.
Working with and learning from colleagues.
Critical reflection and development of personal and professional practice.
Lifelong learning.
Transferable Professional Skills

Oral and written presentation skills.
Competent use of IT.

The programme will be offered on a modular basis. It is designed to meet the NHS Knowledge & Skills Framework (DH 2004) where applicable to the health and social care sector, and the professional standards for education as published by the HEA UKPSF (students completing all three PGCert modules may opt into assessment for recognition as Fellows of the HEA).

The postgraduate certificate contains three accredited modules and can normally be completed within one year.

All modules are worth 20 credits at level 7. All modules have internal integrity and can be linked together to form a coherent programme of learning. 

The educational philosophy of the programme is that those who teach qualified doctors are both members of the medical profession and associate members of the teaching profession. Further, and central to this, is that they carry out these particular duties in the clinical setting.  

The programme is designed to fit the needs of practising medical and surgical consultants, senior registrars and senior healthcare professionals who teach in the clinical setting.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
NM7600 7 Introduction to Postgraduate Medical Education 20 Comp
NM7601 7 How Doctors think: Teaching and Assessing Clinical Reasoning 20 Comp
NM7602 7 Medical Curricular on Paper and in Action 20 Comp

The postgraduate certificate contains three credited modules and can normally be completed within one year or three semesters.
All modules are worth 20 credits at level 7.  All modules have internal integrity and can be linked together to form a coherent programme of learning.

Candidates  will normally be senior clinicians who have completed their speciality training programme and who teach in the clinical setting.

Those without a medical degree qualification must have a first degree of which the classification will normally be a 2:1 or above.   There is no requirement for this degree to be in a health-related subject.     

All candidates who complete an application form and provide a supporting reference will be interviewed. Students will be assessed on an individual basis to determine if they meet the academic criteria and the relevance of their workplace experience.

To be accepted on the course, all candidates need to agree to be observed in the clinical setting, and to confirm that they can commit appropriate time to the course and its demands, and can attend a minimum four and a half of the five teaching days of each module.

The General Medical Council (GMC) makes very clear demands on all doctors in respect of teaching and assessment (GMC 2006).

The key paragraphs are as follows: 

  • 'Teaching, training, appraising and assessing doctors and students are important for the care of patients now and in the future. You should be willing to contribute to these activities. (para 15) 
  • 'If you are involved in teaching you must develop the skills, attitudes and practices of a competent teacher. (para 16) 
  • 'You must make sure that all staff for whom you are responsible, including locums and students, are properly supervised. (para 17) 
  • 'In a ‘standards conscious’ and increasingly litigious world, the definition of ‘competent teacher’ (para 16) is set to become more specific, and doctors will soon need to seek formal educational qualifications that will provide credible evidence of their teaching competence.'

The Higher Education Academy have published the United Kingdom Professional Standards Framework for Teaching and Supporting Learning (2011). The UKPSF framework comprises of three interconnected elements for teaching practice: areas of activity, core knowledge and professional values, each with specified dimensions for practice. The framework specifies 4 descriptors of professional educational practice. The modules that comprise the PG Cert element of this programme (NM7600, NM7601, and NM7602) have been carefully mapped to ensure alignment to the D2 (Fellowship) level of this framework.

Students will experience a variety of teaching and learning methods designed to facilitate the achievement of all learning outcomes at level 7 within a student-centred approach, and to foster personal and professional development.

A variety of teaching and learning strategies will be used to meet the programme learning outcomes. These will include small group work, discussion, seminar presentations, work-based learning, problem-based learning, action learning sets, micro teaching and learning through the practice of teaching. Self-directed, inter-professional learning and peer-learning will be encouraged throughout and, consistent with the philosophy of the programme, peer and self assessment.  

Emphasis, however, will be placed on seminar sessions and workshops. The seminars and workshops will essentially be characterised by staff providing direction, but with much learner autonomy evident in the group work. Learning will be supported further by the use of notes and other material prepared by both teachers and learners.

Students will be exposed to a variety of assessment methods designed to ensure that the content, outcomes and level of the modules are measured in a fair and transparent manner. Examples include assignments and reflective accounts. Knowledge and intellectual skills will be assessed normally through coursework, and students will be asked to demonstrate thinking and cognitive ability through written assignments and reflective accounts. All aspects of the assessment strategy will be used to evaluate transferable/key skills and, where relevant, mapped against national benchmarks.

Assessment methods for each module are:


Method of assessment
NM7600 - Introduction to Postgraduate Medical Education

Portfolio (all learning outcomes, 100% weighting, 5000 words equivalent): 

This will consist of 2 components -

Component A: A reflective summary of the practical insights gained from observed teaching in the clinical setting. (2000 words)

Component B: A portfolio will evidence synthesis of key insights gained about teaching, learning and assessment in postgraduate medicine/surgery.  (3000 words)

Reassessment:Retrieval of failed component.
NM7601 - How doctors think; teaching and assessing clinical reasoning and professional judgement 


 Portfolio (addressing all learning outcomes, 100% weighting, 5000 word equivalent).  This will consist of:

A formal exploration of the teaching processes, both of participants themselves and those offered to the learner, which comments critically on their clinical reflective writing.  (5000 words equivalent, all learning outcomes.)

Re-assessment:Retrieval of failed element.
NM7602 - Medical curricular on paper and in action


Portfolio (all learning outcomes, 100% weighting, 5000 word equivalent)

This will consist of 3 components:

Component A: Documentation of the development of a teaching session for a junior doctor. (1000 words equivalent)

Component B: A critique of the educational design of the session and of the teaching session itself, based upon an oral recording of the session which is submitted with the portfolio. (3000 words equivalent)

Component C:  Summative assessment of practice teaching in the clinical setting (1000 words equivalent).  Recorded as a PASS/FAIL

Re-assessment: Resubmission of portfolio

The programme aims to enable participants to become proactive, autonomous, lifelong learners who are resilient, resourceful, reflective and reciprocal.

The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

The teaching will be delivered by subject experts from the Countess of Chester Foundation NHS Trust with support from University of Chester.

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