Developing your teaching skills

What is good medical teaching and how can junior doctors enhance their skills?

As set out in the Guidance for Junior Doctors, there is no ideal formula for good teaching.

 Effective learning happens when:

  • teachers are enthusiastic and supportive
  • students are engaged in doing rather than listening
  • teaching is based around patients and cases, not diseases
  • teaching links basic scientific knowledge, and helps students apply it to clinical contexts
  • students can interact with the teacher and the learning materials

To help you enhance your skills below are details of: the TIPS courses; e-learning modules from the London Deanery; details of the UCL TiME Conferences; and information on Training to Teach. Other teaching resources are listed on the appropriate pages. Ways to have your teaching skills and experience accredited, and ways to take your interest further are also provided.

The Royal College of Physicians recently published the "Acute Care Toolkit 5: Teaching on the Acute Medical Unit." This contains a wealth of practical advice on maximising teaching and learning opportunities in the AMU. The principles apply to Postgraduate Trainees, as well as Undergraduate students. You may also recognise a few familiar faces... 


A great way to improve you teaching is to get feedback. Feedback can come from self-reflection, peer observation and from learners themselves. There are many different ways to get feedback from learners and various types and designs of feedback form. Paul, a previous Clinical Teaching Fellow, has helpfully provided an example form that you can download, print and use.

Training to Teach (TtT)

New Training Course for Teaching in the Clinical Environment (previously TIPS)

"Teaching is a skill and like any skill it can be learnt. Those with a special responsibility for teaching need to make every effort to develop and maintain the skills of a competent teacher".

Good Medical Practice, GMC, 2006

The Academic Centre for Medical Education is delighted to introduce a new teacher training course for healthcare professionals who teach in the clinical setting, adapted from feedback received from the TIPS teaching course that was ran previously.

This new one-day course offers practical guidance on developing your teaching skills by improving interaction and applying structure to your teaching sessions with the opportunity to practice these newly acquired skills in a mini-teaching session of your own. The course incorporates core aspects of clinical teaching with small group teaching and consistently links to medical educational theory.

The course will run from registration and introduction at 8.45am until 5.30pm, with coffee breaks and lunch provided.

Course dates

Course dates and an application form can be accessed via the website http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/training-to-teach-ttt-teaching-in-the-clinical-environment-training-course-registration-6673531713

If none of these suit or are fully booked please join the mailing list to be kept informed of cancellations and new dates: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ttt-training-to-teach-course-at-ucl-medical-school-mailing-list-tickets-7860427751.

Course fee

If you are not a staff member of a partner Trust listed below the course fee of £185.00 will apply, instructions for which will be sent after booking.  Please see the application form for cancellation instructions.

If you are funded by your employer/Trust please ensure the administrator contacts us immediately with invoicing instructions.

There is no fee if you are directly employed by one of the following Trusts:

  • Central North West London NHS Trust
  • Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust
  • University College London Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Whittington Hospital Trust
  • UCL Medical School staff

We are unable to offer any discounts or exemptions if you are not directly employed by a Partner Trust.

Please note
  • If you have already attended TIPS 1 or TIPS FY you will not need to attend this course.
  • If you are interested in the previous TIPS 2 or 3 courses unfortunately we will no longer be offering these at ACME and are unable to suggest an alternative.
  • Please ensure you have approved study leave and are able to attend before booking, as the courses are very popular and places could be taken by another candidate.

If you have any queries please contact the course administrator, Jeannine Attreed j.attreed@ucl.ac.uk.  

The London Deanery

High quality, accessible, free online modules are provided by the London Deanery. They are a great place to start, to get an overview of various aspects of medical education.

The London Deanery e-Learning for Clinical Teachers

Topics include:

  • assessing educational needs
  • giving feedback
  • setting learning objectives
  • introduction to educational research
  • involving patients in clinical teaching
  • and many more...

Certificates are available on completion of individual modules, to add to your ePortfolio.

UCL TiME Conference  

There are an increasing number of junior doctors who combine their interest in medical education with clinical training. There are a range of formal posts available including CTFs (Clinical Teaching Fellow, including those at UCL) and FMEs (Fellows in Medical Education). Many hospitals and academic departments have one or more doctors in these posts. There are also many more doctors in training who would like to learn more about how to increase their involvement and experience in medical education. The TiME Conferences are a chance to get together, share experiences and ideas, and learn more about careers in medical education. The inaugural TiME conference: Medical Educators of Tomorrow, was held in April. Feedback and photos can be found on the TiME site.


The recent (sold-out!) 4TiME Conference: Innovations in Medical Education was  a huge success attracting both local & international delegates!We enjoyed a range of exciting talks & workshops from mobile learning opportunities to producing award-winning educational videos! Photos and feedback will be available on the TiME site soon. 

Training to Teach

For CMT/ACCS trainees who are tutors in the Twilight Clinical Teaching Programme at UCLH, a Training to Teach programme has been established. The aim is to build on the skills and knowledge of trainees with some previous experience of teaching, many of whom have already completed TIPS 1 or a similar programme. The sessions vary, but are highly interactive and include discussions, sharing ideas and challenges, and critiquing medical education research. See the UCLH Twilight Clinical Teaching pages for more details.  


The UCL Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching works closely with staff responsible for teaching and learning across UCL, to provide support underpinned by the scholarship of teaching and learning, and grounded in the UCL context. 

Their site has a wealth of cross-disciplinary information. Of specific interest may be:

  • Professional development - for staff with honorary contracts with UCL as teachers and lecturers
  • Advice and Guidelines - both general and discipline-specific
  • Resources - a wealth of ideas and resources to help you influence, motivate and inspire your students. 
  • Courses and workshops - only on offer if you have an academic link to UCL eg an honorary contract with UCL medical school. You will need a UCL login to book via the single training booking system. If you're a Case of the Month Tutor you will already have a UCL login - lucky you!