Our Professional Skills Academy offers a range of professional development training opportunities to both core and higher trainees within structured programmes.

These are designed to support them in all aspects of their current work as a psychiatrist and to prepare them for their future in the profession. Our aim is to have trainees be ‘consultant ready’ by the time they finish their training with us.

The Professional Skills Planning and Steering Group prepares and develops the programmes. It is led by the Professional Skills Tutor, Dr Liz Fellow-Smith and includes core and higher trainee representatives.

The Core Trainee Programme is a two-year rolling programme which will be integrated into the MRCPsych course. Six additional training days are organised per year.

The Higher Trainees Programme is a three-year rolling programme consisting of one full day per month plus additional training courses in different areas.

There are four elements in the programme:

  • Leadership skills
  • Clinical communication skills
  • Research skills
  • Faculty Development

For further information on the professional development programmes please contact: pgmeg.cnwl@nhs.net 

The Leadership Skills element of the professional development programme is led by Dr Liz Fellow-Smith (Lead tutor) and Dr Karim Dar (Deputy Tutor).

The Core Trainee Programme has incorporated sessions on a variety of topics including ‘Managing Yourself in The Aftermath of a Serious Incident - A Combined Approach: psychotherapy, communications, leadership’, ‘Raising Concerns and Decision Making’ and ‘Emotional intelligence/time management/work life balance’

The Higher trainee programme has incorporated sessions on a variety of topics including ‘Leadership and Self Awareness: Myers Briggs Type Indicators’ and ‘What makes a committee work: a simulated exercise’; it has recently incorporated Action Learning Set Groups to support leadership learning, particularly in relation to project work within services.

This programme has proved to be very popular with Core and Higher trainees.

The communication skills element of the Professional Development programme is led by Dr Simon Michaelson.

The core programme consists of enhancing basic and advanced clinical communication skills leading to success in the Clinical Assessment of Skills and Competencies (CASC) examination. There are also joint sessions with Leadership and Psychotherapy on many topics relevant to daily practice such as managing serious incidents, raising concerns and decision making.

The Higher Trainee Programme delivers sessions on a variety of topics to prepare them for their future careers  such as  ‘The Joys (and challenges) of supervising your core trainee’, ‘Dealing with Colleagues’ and ‘Preparing for Consultant Interviews’. There is also additional specific training for Higher Trainees to become Tutors and gain experience in delivering training themselves.

The research element of the Professional Development programme is led by Professor Anne Lingford-Hughes.

All trainees are encouraged to consider research at an early stage and offered support with the aim that all trainees will have a paper published or accepted in a peer-reviewed journal or presented at a national or international conference at or around the time of their CCT.

The emphasis in the first three years of training is on acquiring critical appraisal and scientific skills in relation to the evidence, literature and hypothesis testing

The higher trainee programme builds on this foundation, covering a range of key practical topics such as how to develop a project, how to formulate a hypothesis, how to review the literature, where to publish as well as specific approaches such as ‘Qualitative methods’. The trainees also have the opportunity to discuss their research and present their findings.

The CNWL Faculty Development programme for trainees has been developed in with the Imperial Healthcare T4 ‘Training the trainers of Tomorrow’.

This includes sessions supporting higher trainees to achieve their competencies to work as Clinical Supervisors and also training in more detail on specific educational skill areas such as Educational Supervision, Career Planning and Workplace Based Assessments. Opportunities to join the sector wide T4 faculty are available as part of this programme, and sessions can be developed and planned in tandem with trainees’ requests and priorities.