Training resource for GP practice staff

It can be difficult to know what mandatory and statutory training GP practice staff should do. Read our guidance to help you make informed decisions best for your staff and practice.
Location: England
Audience: GPs Practice managers
Updated: Monday 13 January 2020
GP practice article illustration

Our aim is to provide you with an overview of 12 areas of training for practice staff and help you to stay on top of training demands.


Basic life support

All staff should understand their role as part of the team response to resuscitation. The CQC does not have explicit guidance around emergency equipment but has produced agreed principles and encourages practices to have defibrillators.

Who should do it?

All staff, including non-clinical, should undergo regular training in adult and child resuscitation appropriate to their position.

How it should be completed

Face to face training.

Clinical staff should be able to:

  • recognise cardio-respiratory arrest
  • call for help and start CPR with defibrillation as appropriate
  • receive regular training updates at an appropriate frequency to maintain their competency
  • retain documentary evidence of completed and approved CPR training.


Infection control

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 requires practices to assess the risk of, and prevent, detect and control the spread of infections.

Following the code of practice on prevention and control of healthcare associated infection, issued by the Department of Health, the law says that the CQC must take the code into account when making decisions about registration.

Who should do it?

Clinical staff and all relevant staff whose normal duties are directly or indirectly concerned with providing care.

How it should be completed

Face to face or e-learning.


Safeguarding vulnerable children

The Health and Social Care Act does not set out the exact level, content or frequency of training in safeguarding children.

However, there is a regulatory requirement to safeguard ‘service users’ from abuse and improper treatment, and that systems and processes must be established and operative effectively to prevent abuse of service users.

Who should do it?

Staff at level two and three. The minimum level required for non-clinical and clinical staff who, within their role, have contact with children and young people, parents or carers or adults who may pose a risk to children. Staff working at level three will be general practitioners and practice nurses.

How it should be completed

Face to face or e-learning.


Safeguarding vulnerable adults

Fire safety

In most healthcare premises, written instructions should be provided to your staff who have been nominated to carry out a designed safety task, such as calling the fire and rescue service or checking that exit doors are available for use at the start of each shift.

Who should do it?

All staff should complete fire safety training and be given instructions and information as soon as possible after they are appointed and regularly after that. It’s important to include staff who work outside of normal working hours, such as contract cleaners or maintenance staff.

How it should be completed

Face to face combined with e-learning. E-learning on its own is not sufficient as it won’t take into account individual circumstances.

Information and instructions should be given in a form that can be used and understood. They should take account of those with disabilities such as hearing or sight impairment, those with learning difficulties or those who do not use English as their first language.

Practice staff should be able to:

  • know what to do if there is a fire
  • understand the measures that have been put in place to reduce the risk of fire
  • identify the people who have been nominated with responsibilities for fire safety
  • understand what the fire protection arrangements are including: the designated escape routes, location and operation of the fire-warning system and any fire-safety equipment required.


Mental capacity act and deprivation of liberty safeguards

Health and safety

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires you to provide whatever information, instruction and training and supervision necessary to ensure, so far is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of your employees at work.

Who should do it?

All staff.

How it should be completed

Face to face or e-learning combined with face to face. E-learning alone will not cover local arrangements.


Manual handling

Employers have a legal obligation under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk to employees from manual handling.

Who should do it?

This is dependent on the tasks undertaken by staff.

How it should be completed

Face to face or e-learning.


First aid

The training and experience of a GMC registered and licensed doctor, or a NMC registered nurse, qualifies them to administer first aid in the workplace.

This means there is no need for other staff to hold a First Aid at Work / Emergency First Aid at Work, or equivalent qualification.


CQC and GMC viewpoints

CQC viewpoint

  • The CQC does not have a list of mandatory training for members of the GP practice team.
  • Advises that the exact training requirements is dependent on the role and specific responsibilities of each practice and the needs of the people using the service.
  • Advises that ultimately the practice is responsible for determining what training staff need to meet the needs of their patients.
  • Practice must have sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, competent, skilled and experienced staff to meet the needs of the people using the service at all times.

What do the CQC look at when carrying out an inspection?

  • Whether staff have the right qualifications, skills and knowledge and experience to do their job.
  • How the practice identifies the learning needs of staff.
  • Whether they have appropriate training to meet the learning needs of staff and to cover the scope of their work.
  • Read more in CQC guidance on staffing.

GMC viewpoint

The GMC’s Good Medical Practice sets out the following:

  • places a duty on doctors to keep their knowledge and skills up to date by regularly taking part in activities that maintain and develop their competence and performance
  • the GMC does not tell doctors what continuing professional development (CPD), or how much CPD, is right for them
  • doctors will need to judge how best to apply the principles of the GMC’s guidance to their own practice and professional development
  • doctors must consider their CPD needs across the whole of their professional practice. This includes both the clinical and the non-clinical aspects of practice, and any management, research, and teaching or training responsibilities they have.