Professional and Generic Skills Programme

For further information contact professionalskills@plymouth.ac.uk 

This new Professional and Generic Skills programme is a collaborative venture provided by Health Education England working in the South West and delivered by the University of Plymouth.

HESW has funded for another three years, 175 places for doctors in training (GP and Specialty ST3+), and a small number of places for SAS doctors (Speciality, Staff Grade and Associate Specialists), 10 reserved for SAS doctors, 15 dentists and 150 doctors in training. The programme is designed to provide a unique combination of practice skills, knowledge and thinking to develop your career path as a clinical leader within an evolving NHS.

You will need to commit seven days within the year to attend six CPD modules plus provide a written reflection. For the upcoming year 2021 / 22 most dates will be held virtually via Zoom.


Key themes include:

  • Patient safety, quality systems and your personal responsibilities
  • Communications, partnership and team-working
  • Maintaining trust, medical ethics, and medicine and the law
  • NHS structures and funding
  • Developing management and leadership skills for the future.

The programme is stand-alone and awards 42 CPD credits. It also provides the opportunity for further postgraduate progression in either clinical education at University of Bristol or management and leadership at the University of Plymouth.


Methods of learning

The Professional and Generic Skills Programme offers group learning which provides a good basis for participants to meet one another, hear new ideas and theories and to form valuable professional relationships. Your participation will involve reflection on your experiences to date and on the new ideas we will be discussing. Practical exercises, discussions and action-learning will be supported by our managed learning environment (Moodle) on which you’ll find extra information, video clips, recommended reading, slides and materials from each CPD delivery, and an opportunity to discuss things virtually with facilitators and fellow participants. We have designed our teaching methods for you to take essential learning from this programme back to your professional life and to support your future career aspirations.

What our students say

"Course day was much more interesting and relevant than I was expecting. My knowledge beforehand was very limited so has given me a good basic grounding to build upon in my ongoing learning and practice." – Module 1 student 

"Clearly explained the meaning and differences between coaching, mentoring and supervision." – Module 2 student 

"A really useful and interactive day. Lots of tools that I think would be easy to apply." Module 3 student

"Thank you for the group work and also for making it so directly applicable to the 'shop floor'" – Module 4 student


Professional and Generic Skills (PGS) – Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I have to miss a day of PGS?

We set up this programme to offer a full and comprehensive overview of all the added value learning you’ll need as you progress towards a substantive post in the NHS. For this reason we ask you to sign up for all six modules at the point of registration, and to make attendance an absolute priority.

However, we recognise that life can sometimes get in the way, and so if you are obliged to miss a day (due to sickness, or other extenuating reasons) then you must let our administrator know so that she can report back to HESW. HESW will follow up all absenteeism, usually with your clinical supervisor at work.

Whilst we’d like to guarantee a place on a replacement module, this isn’t possible unless we know that there is a space. The same is true about transferring into next year’s programme. So we’ll be as flexible as we can if you have to miss a day – but our priority will always be the delegates who have signed up for all six modules.

I applied to attend PGS at a particular venue and have been told that it’s full. Why can’t you guarantee that I can attend all modules at my preferred venue?

We set up this programme originally to be able to offer attendance for participants at the venue closest to their home and/or jobs. Mostly, we are able to do this but unfortunately some venues are more popular than others and the places fill up very quickly. So we’ll do our best, but sometimes we have to ask you to travel to a different venue for a module and we hope you’ll see the benefit of doing this over missing the day.

What happens if I can’t attend PGS at the venue for which I originally registered?

We recognise that roles and rotations change, and so if you contact our administrator as soon as you know you can’t attend a particular venue/day, she’ll do her very best to re-accommodate you where your new job is. However, the programme is very popular, and numbers are limited in every classroom because our tutors want to make this as interactive and productive a teaching day as possible, so we can’t guarantee that you will always get the venue you want.

If I do miss a day – will I achieve all the CPD points for the programme? How can I catch up?

If you do have to miss a day due to extenuating reasons (and it proves impossible for you to attend another replacement day), then our Programme Lead will consider a detailed personal reflection from you based on the content of the day you’ve missed, in lieu of attendance. To prepare this, we recommend that you make contact with a fellow participant to gather their reflection on the day they attended, as well as studying and considering the materials on the open-access learning website (MOODLE). Following this, you may email the Programme Lead (judy.ravenscroft@plymouth.ac.uk) and copy to (professionalskills@plymouth.ac.uk) with up to 500 words which clearly show that you have understood the key learning outcomes, your reflections on the content, and how it will be of use to you at work.

Can you tell me more about the Accreditation of Prior Credited Learning which forms part of the longer-term PGS progression opportunities?

We are in the happy position of being able to offer two choices for academic progression for participants who have completed all six modules of PGS.

They are: 

University of Bristol 

Faculty of Health