National Training Surveys (NTS) – all you need to know

Annually the General Medical Council (GMC) release two surveys to all trainers and trainee doctors.

Here is all you need to know about them.

What are the Surveys?

The two surveys released, the National Training Survey and the National Trainer Survey, have both been formulated for the GMC to gain insight into postgraduate medical education in the UK and to establish which areas of training are working well and where improvements can be made.

What is the difference between the Trainer and the Trainee Surveys?

The differences between the surveys are to whom they are aimed at and the purpose of the information they gather.

The Training Survey is aimed at all trainee doctors. It was developed to monitor the quality of postgraduate medical education and training in the UK. It asks specific questions about the programme every doctor in training is following on the census date, which this year is Tuesday 21st March 2023.

The Trainer Survey is for named Clinical and Educational Supervisors. Those who have been trained to oversee a trainee’s clinical or educational progress through a placement or series of placements. The aim of the survey is to identify aspects of medical education that are working and those which require development.

However, the purpose of both surveys is to improve the existing standard of education offered within the NHS.

Who has to complete them?

The training survey must be completed by all eligible trainee doctors. It is considered a professional obligation of trainee doctors to provide this vital feedback on their education and training experiences. A unique code is provided at the end of the survey to provide evidence of completion.

You are required to complete the survey if, on the census date (21/03/2023), you are:

  • In foundation, core, specialty, or general practice training
  • In fixed term (FTSTA) or locum (LAT) appointments
  • In military, clinical lecturer or academic clinical fellowship training posts
  • Working either within the NHS or in a non-NHS organisation
  • F2 trainees completing additional General Practice training
  • On out of programme training on approved UK training programmes at another HEE local office (OOPT-UK)
  • Post-CCT on sub-specialty training
  • An F2 trainee completing additional General Practice training

You are not required to complete the survey if, on the census date (21/03/2023), you are:

  • Past your CCT date but not on sub-specialty training
  • On maternity, paternity or adoption leave
  • Out of programme training outside of the UK (OOPT trainees within the UK are required to complete it)
  • Out of programme on research (OOPR), experience (OOPE) or a career break (OOPC)
  • On long term sick leave
  • A Dentist
  • A non-medical public health trainee (a separate survey is run)
  • A Doctor who is NOT in training posts e.g. locum appointment for service (LAS) and trust grade doctors
  • Following a Medical Training Initiative (MTI) programme

The trainer surveys must be completed by all eligible educators. Like last year, the GMC will be running the trainer survey alongside the trainee survey.  The timescale and access (via GMC Online) is the same as the trainee survey, but the questions and results will take a different format.

Trainers should also check that the trainees they supervise have completed the trainee survey.

What happens with the information gathered?

In conjunction with Health Education England (HEE), the GMC will analyse all information and experiences gathered, and will provide useful information for HEE and other stakeholders, which can improve the support and resources available to trainers and trainees, alike.

The Education Governance team at LTHTR is committed to listening and responding to the views of all trainees and trainers as a key element of its quality review and improvement processes. Feedback from the GMC NTS is used alongside internal feedback gathered throughout the academic year to support action planning and highlight areas of best practice.

Where can the surveys be completed? 

The surveys are currently live and will be open until Thursday 4th May 2023.

The survey is available, here and will require your GMC online login. Doctors should complete the relevant survey as early as possible in the survey period.

The first step is to validate the census information that HEE has provided to the GMC. If a change is necessary, this will be fed back to HEE North.

The results from the surveys this year will be added to the GMC’s online reporting platform in July 2023, summary reports from the GMC will also be published from then onwards.

If you are having trouble logging in to GMC Online then you can contact the GMC Online team on 0161 923 6602.

If, after logging in to GMC online, the survey is not available please contact the Quality Admin team at

Alternatively, you can email and they will endeavour to answer any questions.