GP Supervisors

General practice (GP) supervisors are essential to the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program and health professionals learning in general practice. These experienced general practitioners establish and maintain educational alliances that support the clinical, educational and personal development of registrars who come to work in their practices.  
Training providers are responsible for allocating registrars to practices and usually do this in consultation with registrars, practices and supervisors, but it is the supervisors who have day-to-day contact with registrars. Supervisors oversee patient care and broker the relationship between the registrar and the practice in which the registrar is learning. Effective GP supervisors balance the level of support they give against the challenges confronted by the registrars. They promote reflection and give feedback based on direct observation to facilitate registrar learning. GP supervisors attend to the registrars’ wellbeing and make it safe for them to reveal and address weaknesses in their knowledge, skills and emotional responses to practise .
Registrars can choose to study for the Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and/or the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Each College has a set of vocational training standards that outline what supervisors are expected to do. Practices receive an allowance for taking registrars. GP supervisors are paid for some teaching time determined by the registrars’ stage of training and college.
Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine standards
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners standards

Training providers are responsible for ensuring supervisors and their practices meet these standards and oversee supervisors’ continuing professional development. Some training providers have medical educators dedicated to providing professional development; other training providers offer supervisors a choice of provider including support for postgraduate award studies. Further information  can be found on each of the training providers' websites.

View a video of Dr Susan Wearne - GP Supervisor in Alice Springs, to hear about her literature review on the role of GP supervisors.
*For accessibility purposes, download the video transcript (DOCX 23.6KB).

SLOs

The Department of Health encourages and provides funding for each training provider to employ one or more Supervisor Liaison Officers (SLOs). The SLO role can vary between training providers. There are two national meetings per year of SLOs to facilitate sharing of information.

If you are interested in becoming an SLO please contact your training provider.

GPSA

GP supervisors can join General Practice Supervisors Australia (GPSA) which is the peak body who advocate for and support the role of GP supervisors. 

Find out more on the GPSA website.