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The management of PCN Annual Self-Assessment process for approved PCN learning environments is overseen by the NCL Training Hub Faculty and Quality team, on behalf of NHS England WTE. 

This page will provide information about the PCN Annual Self-Assessment form and process. 

What is a PCN self-assessment?

Each year, PCNs that are approved as PCN learning environments are required to complete a form reaffirm their adherence to the NHS England Workforce, Training and Education (NHSE WTE) quality framework standards. This process replaces the re-validation application previously required every five years, where approvals are no longer time-stamped.  

The self-assessment paper-based audit is designed to provide assurance to NHSE WTE, Higher Education Institutions and Regulators that placements remain safe for learners and that environments are continuing to drive up quality standards.  

Who should participate in the Annual PCN Self-Assessment process?

Within approved PCNs, the self-assessment applies to practices already approved as learning environments, and approved educators of all primary care clinical roles who supervise learners in these practices.  

PCN Leads are requested to lead on the completion of the self-assessment form, gathering information from the following roles: 

  • Approved/previously recognised educators 

  • Practice managers 

  • PCN Educator Leads 

  • Faculty Programme Directors 

PCNs that were approved as learning environments within the last twelve months will not yet be requested to submit a self-assessment form. 

Instruction to complete the Annual PCN Self-Assessment form 

You can download a copy of the form from the NCL Training Hub Approved Learning Environments resources webpage.  

A nominated PCN lead should oversee the form’s completion on behalf of the PCN. The form requires the following information: 

Names and details of all currently approved educators from all professions that support learners in practice – this should include the following: 

  •  Educators who have been approved via the current educator approval process 

  • Educators who were previously recognised as such prior to the current educator approval process 

  • Educators who have completed an appropriate NHS England WTE supervisor training course before 31 March 2023 with ongoing learning, feedback and reflection. 

Practices in the PCN approved as learning environments. 

Self-reflective statement of peer review teaching session for each educator in the PCN: 

  • This applies to all educators listed on as approved educators. 

  • The statements should demonstrate how educators apply their teaching and can adapt to fit the needs of the trainee and/or the curriculum. 

Responses based on the six NHS WTE quality domains to evidence PCN ongoing commitment to high-quality standards in supporting training and education over the past year and share plans for maintaining these standards for a further 12 months. Evidence should be provided in responses to each domain, with examples below: 

  • Learning environment and culture (e.g. QI activities and patient feedback that have produced change) 

  • Educational governance and commitment to quality (e.g. learners having an input at clinic/practice/PCN meetings, EDI considerations that have been acted on) 

  • Developing and supporting learners (e.g. structured involvement with multi-professional education groups, adaptations to timetables for learners requiring extra support) 

  • Developing and supporting supervisors (e.g. ways in which learners are monitored to make sure they are on track to meet curriculum learning outcomes and how placements and assessments are reviewed) 

  • Developing programmes and curricula (e.g. regular engagement with HEIs and Training Hubs to understand training needs) 

  • Developing a sustainable workforce (e.g. plans to take on learners of different professions and how learners are exposed to other roles)  

Submission

The PCN nominated lead should complete the self-assessment form and submit it to the NCL Quality team at nclicb.approvedlearningenvironments@nhs.net by 01 September 2024.  

All sections of the form must be completed prior to submissio

Review process and recommendations

Forms will be reviewed by local Borough Training Hubs against a checklist. The NCL self-assessment panel, led by the NCL Training Hub Quality Clinical Lead, will review submissions and make recommendations. No assessment meeting will be held. 

The NCL self-assessment panel will recommend one of the following to NHSE WT&E: 

  • Recommend continued recognition for 12 months 

  • Recommend continued recognition with actions for 12 months 

  • Not recommended for continued recognition. PCNs not recommended will engage with NHSE WT&E to address any concerns or notification of major changes impacting the PCN.   

PCNs not recommended will work with NCL Training Hub Quality team and NHSE WTE to address any concerns impacting the PCN or practices.  

NHSE WTE will sign off the self-assessment forms. 

Further support 

Questions about the Annual PCN Self-Assessment process can be sent to the NCL Quality team at nclicb.approvedlearningenvironments@nhs.net.  

Borough Faculty Programme Directors will be able to provide support with responses on the self-assessment form that are relevant to local education.