The concept of local postgraduate schools was laid out in a key discussion document by the Conference of Postgraduate Deans and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. This suggested that Postgraduate Schools would be integral parts of Severn PGME, which would remain responsible for their overall management, as at present.   This envisaged their functions would normally include:-

  1. Selection into specialty programmes
  2. Supervision of the educational process including assessment  and implementation of curricula
  3. Programme and placement management
  4. Purchase of educational services from external suppliers
  5. Provision of Educational resources, including programme induction
  6. Support and development of locally delivered specialty courses
  7. Delivery on a speciality basis of quality control and evaluation systems to meet GMC requirements
  8. Organisation of Faculty development and if necessary Faculty accreditation.
  9. Recommendation for certification
  10. Development of academic career paths
  11. Provision of support for Article 14 applicants
  12. Organisation of remedial training
  13. Management of study leave and study leave funding
  14. Recognition of training posts
  15. Managing any changes to the organization of programmes as and when they occur.
  16. In multi-specialty schools with a dedicated Training Programme Director for each, Schools would focus on 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 13, and 15 with Training Programme Directors taking a lead on the other roles as outlined above in the Gold Guide.

This work, which contained a suggested structure for Postgraduate Boards has been used to develop a model terms of reference and board for Postgraduate Schools.

Head of Schools

For large multi-speciality schools, namely medicine, surgery, psychiatry, the Head of School will be a joint Severn PGME and Royal College Appointment. The Heads of School will be appointed as Associate Postgraduate Deans with funded sessions, accountable to the Postgraduate Dean. They will have responsibility for management of Training Programme Directors within their schools. Heads of School of single specialties will be accountable to the Postgraduate Dean or his delegated authority, but will not have Associate Dean status.

Generic Terms of Reference for Postgraduate Schools


The School will support the delivery of high quality patient care by establishing a framework for a partnership between Severn PGME, the Royal college, participating Hospital Trusts and other providers of Postgraduate education in order to provide high quality postgraduate medical training that meets the standards required by the General Medical Council

The School will have responsibility for postgraduate education within Severn PGME (unless agreed differently by all relevant parties).

The Board will be responsible for the following:

  • Supporting local and nationally organised selection
  • Leading and supporting the systematic introduction of the curriculum including assessment methodologies
  • Developing and managing standardised quality control systems on which quality assurance programmes depend, and which integrate with Severn PGME quality management programme
  • Collecting, collating and providing evidence that the General Medical Council standards of training and education are met by the service providers and their Director of Medical Education
  • Facilitating the development of innovative training programmes for both specialty and generic skills training programmes
  • Developing policies for study leave and where appropriate co-ordinating the provision of common learning opportunities such as Regional training days, local training days, rotation placements including to Intercollegiate Surgical Training Curriculum, local delivered courses and if appropriate working with other schools in developing the above
  • Ensuring educational supervisors are appropriately trained
  • Ensuring that evidence is available that the national standards of training continue to be met when training takes place outside of the normal placements (out of programme experience) including training abroad
  • Promoting a multi-professional approach to patient care and learning where appropriate
  • Disseminating quality assurance reports, for example, from he General Medical Council National Training survey
  • Advising on the recognition of new posts
  • Working closely with senior NHS management so as to achieve effective joint management of education and service priorities
  • Collaborating with other Postgraduate Schools with regard to training rotations
  • Ensuring that School business complies fully with Health Education England governance arrangements
  • Any other responsibility that is determined as appropriate by the Postgraduate Dean

The Board will develop a three-year strategic plan with a one year operational plan


(Note for single specialty schools the composition will be more akin to an Specialist Training Committee, with representation from each Trust in rotation, usually through Trust Specialty Tutors).


  • Chair: Head of the Postgraduate School / Associate Dean or his/hers nominated deputy
  • Training Programme Directors in key specialties (to be defined for each school)
  • CT1/2 Training Programme Directors (where appropriate)
  • Trainee representative
  • Regional Adviser/Specialist Adviser Committee/College member
  • University/academic representative(s)
  • Trust/Director of Medical Education representative
  • College Representative
  • The Severn and Peninsula Deans or their nominated representatives (would include Peninsula Head of School).
  • Up to 3 non voting members might be co-opted by the Board if necessary for the functioning of the Board and the agreement of the Postgraduate Dean
  • Lay representation


At least 3 times a year. Administrative support to schools will generally be supported by Severn PGME.

Sub Committees

Schools may set up working groups or sub committees to support the delivery of these roles.

Each School will be asked to produce terms of reference.