Breakout 1: Supporting Trainers and Learners: the Implied Contract

Supporting Trainers and Learners: the Implied Contract

 To those of us working in medical education, it’s easy to feel trapped in an ever tightening spiral of regulatory requirements, governing what should be taught, how it should be taught, who should teach it and how these aspects should be monitored and quality assured. These regulations are essentially contracts between Education Organisers (EOs)1, healthcare providers and the regulator.

Contacts define the relationship between two parties, specifying responsibilities and rights on both sides. They act as a proxy for trust, providing some kind of guarantee that both parties will act in a way that is acceptable to the other. However, these high-level contracts rarely translate to individual level contracts between clinical teachers and EOs, and almost never to contracts between teachers and learners.

Delivery of education therefore relies heavily on implied contracts which are unspoken agreements, usually between individuals and organisations, based on social / cultural expectations and past behaviour.

In this workshop we will discuss:

  • The nature of the implied contracts between teachers/trainers and medical schools/NES and between teachers and learners;
  • Potential conflicts arising between these and other, formal contractual requirements
  • The pros and cons of introducing formal, written contracts at individual level
  • Whether it is possible to change the implied contract to reflect the changed realities of education and healthcare
  1. Medical schools and NES in Scotland

Claire is currently the education lead for the Association for Medical Educators in Europe (AMEE). Prior to that she spent 7 years as the lead for staff development for clinical teachers at Dundee medical school and was also seconded to the NES ‘faculty development for Scotland’ project as an educational advisor. She has recently submitted her PhD thesis ‘Recognising, valuing and supporting clinicians who teach: a critical realist exploration’ which won an award for ‘best research paper’ in the ‘discourse and theory’ category at the 2018 AMEE conference.


Claire’s photo