Dinniss et al (Psychiatric Bulletin, March 2007, 31, ) described their experience of the MSc in Clinical Education which they completed through the Peninsula Postgraduate Health Institute which is affiliated to the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth. My experience of pursuing a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) at King's Institute of Learning and Teaching (KILT) in London bears some similarities.
There is clearly an argument in favour of a formal training in postgraduate education or perhaps specifically clinical education. Specialist registrars/ST4 trainees might wish to enhance their skills and provide a better quality of teaching based on a strong theoretical background and practical experience.
The PGCAP has been a worthwhile experience, improving my teaching skills, knowledge of educational theory and facilitating reflective teaching practice. I have become more aware of issues relating to curriculum design and assessments. I believe this knowledge will be helpful for educational or clinical supervisory roles under Modernising Medical Careers.
Drawbacks of the PGCAP are that it is not discipline specific (although what has been learnt can easily be applied to all disciplines) and the course is expensive. To address the issue of discipline specificity, perhaps the College's Education and Training Centre might consider setting up a course aimed at psychiatric educators. Trusts could assist trainees with costs of courses through special budgets for medical education.