Welcome to the Primary Care Learning Organisation Toolkit.

This Toolkit sets out the new approval process, procedure and documents for Learning Organisations, in accordance with the HEE Quality Framework

Historically approval to host trainees or students was granted to practices and their supervisors by multiple organisations e.g HEI's, HEE, School of Primary Care. In the future, approval will be given to a Learning Organisation - ideally based on a PCN footprint, although individual practices can apply. The aim is to assure that the Learning Organisation meets the Quality Standards for all learners that they host. 

Supervisors will be accredited by their individual professional organisations e.g. The GP School for GP clinical and educational supervisors. 

To gain approval to host learners Learning Organisations must evidence achievement of the required standards within the HEE Quality Framework at the point of application.  This will be subsequently monitored through the review process.  

This process supports the Training Hub KPI's covering 'expanding and managing innovative and high-quality learning environments'.​​​​​​​


If you have any questions, please email Rae Burgess at TrainingHubQuality.sw@hee.nhs.uk


Step Process Documentation
1 Review documentation hosted on website

Process Flow Chart

Application Guidance

2 Learning Organisation application form is sent to the Training Hub by the Learning Organisation Application Form
3 Learning Organisation approval visit is arranged by the Training Hub Quality Lead/Training Hub Quality Admin support

Draft Email

- Pre panel Papers 

- Agenda

4 Learning Organisation report is produced by the Training Hub Quality Lead with Training Hub Admin Support following the visit  
5 Learning Organisation documentation and report submitted by the Training Hub Quality Lead to HEE Quality team for review  

Learning Organisation outcome confirmed to the TH QL who will distribute the outcome and report to:

- Learning Organisation

- HEI’s

- Panel members

- School of Primary care

7 Annual return based on CQC/NETs data  


Please note the Annual Return process is currently under development and will be updated soon.


We are also in the process of amending the process to not include 4-5 year reapprovals so please disregard this on documents, we will get this updates as soon as possible.




Application Guidance

1) Introduction 

This page sets out the new approval process and procedure for Learning Organisations, in accordance with the HEE Quality Framework (https://www.hee.nhs.uk/our-work/quality). Historically individual GP practices would make an application, although in some cases this is an option, approval has been gained in order for a larger footprint of GP practices working together; for example, within a Primary Care Network (PCN)(which can also include other Primary Care environments e.g Community Hospitals or Nursing Homes) to be approved as a Learning Organisation, subject to meeting certain quality and safety criteria. It is very important that the agreed safety standards for PCN’s or ‘at scale’ learning organisations evidence their understanding and planned adherence to these standards at the point of application, approval and subsequent on-going quality monitoring.  

In addition, the revised processes will allow for existing or new primary care learning organisations to expand and seek approval to host a wider range of multi-professional learners e.g., Nurses, Pharmacists and AHP’s. The aim is to have a single process for initial and on-going quality monitoring that will meet the requirements of multiple regulatory bodies and/or Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s). 

Whilst the approval and re-approval process must continue to be robust, a greater emphasis is being placed on a risk-based approach to assessment, particularly with established learning organisations seeking expansion to include the wider workforce or those seeking on-going recognition. Please see the ‘Future RRA Guidance’ document for further details. 


2) Glossary

A Learning Organisation in this document would normally refer to a PCN however it also encompasses induvial learning environments (e.g an individual GP Practice, care homes etc) and includes all Primary Care Learners in an environment who are placed by PGME, Training Hubs, HEIs etc. 

A Learning Environment in this document refers to an individual site within a Learning Organisation (e.g an individual GP practice) 

Applicant refers to the Learning Organisation or an individual Learning Environment applying as a Learning Organisation who are submitting for site approval. 


3) Flow Chart

4) Procedures  

4.1) Learning Organisation Approvals  

In order for a learner from any professional group to be hosted, the applicant must demonstrate that they have both the governance and infrastructure in place to provide a safe, high quality learner experience. These requirements extend beyond the approved educator role and encompasses how other members of the host team, e.g., Practice Manager, Receptionists, Medical Secretaries and other multi-professionals and clinicians within the LO contribute to supporting both the educator and learner. 

The LO must be able to demonstrate their knowledge of; and how they will meet, learner contract requirements i.e., working time directives, sick and study leave etc and how they will meet the learner specific requirements in terms of clinical and educational supervision.  


4.2) First Time LO Applications 

The first-time application process begins by the completion of the Learning Organisation Application Form by the prospective Learning Organisation. The application form prompts the applicant to demonstrate how they meet the quality and safety requirements, for all learners, in addition to gathering high level data about external quality assurances e.g., CQC assessment outcomes.  

The completed application form should be sent to your local Training Hub Quality Administrator who will firstly check that the form is completed accurately and fully. Any gaps in information will be requested from the prospective LO before formal assessment can take place.  

A Quality information pack will then be produced by the TH quality team. 

TH’s will convene a multi-disciplinary Assessment Team to formally review the application form, other Quality information and a formal interview of the Learning Organisation representatives who will then determine a recommendation.  


The panel must be comprised of:  

  • TH Quality Representative/TH Clinical Lead. 

  • Admin/Coordination lead (TBC) 

  • Appropriate representation for the learners in the organisation. Which might include, Patch AD or GP School Quality Lead, a HEI representative and a relevant trainer (Educational or Clinical supervisor). 


Wherever possible the panel should also include: 

  • Training Programme Director (could be local or a TPD working across the SW).  

  • Learners.  

  • Practice Manager from an approved LO.  


If this first application is from a PCN/Network with no existing approved educators or practices, the practicality of multiple on-site visits for large PCNs will be challenging both for the Assessment Team and PCN. The function of the Assessment Team is to discuss the application in detail and to meet with the wider LO team in order to assess the commitment and support for trainees within the whole environment, as a minimum the Assessment Team should visit one site and meet with the practice or PCN Clinical/Educational Lead and the PCN Manager.  

During the assessment, the TH visiting team should explore opportunities for further expansion of training placements with the LO. 

At the conclusion of the visit and before the Assessment Team depart, the Training Hub Quality Lead will confirm the assessment outcome to the LO.  


The Training Hub Quality Lead with the Training Hub admin support will complete the relevant sections on the LO Application Form and provide a copy; clearly stating their recommendation, to the HEE Quality Team for formal review. This will be done in line with the ‘Future RA Guidance’ document. 


The HEE Quality Team will review the TH recommendation at the next available Quality Scrutiny Board and confirm their decision to the Training Hub Quality Lead. The Training Hub will then inform all relevant parties. 


 4.3) Annual review 

Following the initial approval, each LO will be expected to complete an annual return. This return will be largely based on the most recent CQC and NETs data and will be an opportunity for the LO to make the HEE quality team aware of any changes which have occurred.