The Spark Programme – Now open to Applications

The Spark Programme – Funded CPD, educational sessions, peer support and mentorship opportunities for Newly Qualified GPs in Gloucestershire.

What is the Spark Programme?:

This is part of the NHSE New To Practice programme aiming to provide ongoing CPD and post-CCT support to GPs who are within their first 12 months of CCT.

Who is eligible to apply?

Any newly-qualified GP working in primary care in Gloucestershire who has attained, or will attain, CCT between August 2020 and November 2021.

When will it start?

The core programme comprises 20 educational sessions spread over 2 years from August 2021 to May 2023, to support post-CCT development.

What does it involve?

Please see below for more details of the components of the programme.

I am interested – how do I apply?

Please see the link at the bottom of this advert for the application form.

The Spark programme offer comprises:

  • A series of evening or afternoon educational events (currently virtual), roughly one a month (20 in total over 2 years), with both local and external speakers. These are on non-clinical topics, encompassing leadership skills, emotional wellbeing at work, conflict resolution, portfolio careers, QI, change management, sharing and receiving feedback, working in networks, and influencing & negotiating skills. Some of these are delivered by the Spark programme, and some by the South West Primary Care Academy, with participants from the New To Practice programmes elsewhere in the South West.
  • The option of accessing free mentoring, from a local senior GP who has undertaken mentorship training – the initial offer is for 4 x 1hr sessions across a 12 month period. We try to match you with a mentor who is well placed to help you with any specific circumstances or decisions that you may require guidance on.
  • The option of joining a Peer Support Group with other GPs on the Spark Programme. The group would meet once every 2 months, for an hour on a weekday evening (the day selected by a group poll) These sessions will initially be facilitated by a GP from the Training Hub, but after a few meetings, the idea is that the group would then become self-sufficient going forward.
  • The opportunity to apply for a funded CPD project. We have a limited number of spaces for GPs on the Spark programme to be funded for up to 26 sessions (104 hours) for a CPD project of some kind. In the NHSE plan for these projects there is an explicit focus on working within PCNs, as well as considering projects that can help you develop a portfolio career. Therefore you may wish to think about opportunities within your PCN for shadowing or collaboration, and relate this to any goals you may have in the coming years to have a portfolio role. Funding will be at the GP00 educator rate (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gp-and-dental-clinical-educator-pay-scales-2020-to-2021/gp-educator-pay-scale-2020-to-2021) and projects should aim to start between August and December 2021 (unless there were extenuating circumstances)
    • If you think this opportunity is something you would like to take up, then please get your thinking caps on and start approaching potential colleagues and planning your projects now! If you indicate interest in this project, then we will be contacting you for a rough proposal in the couple of weeks following your application, so we can review and approve the projects ahead of the Spark course commencing in August.
    • You wouldn’t have to have finalised details at this stage but you would need to have an outline of how you would spend the funded time, what outcomes you’d be hoping to achieve, and how this might benefit local primary care services.
    • If you indicate interest on the form and then later change your mind and decide not to pursue an application, then this is fine. So if you’re not sure yet, we would advise indicating interest at the time of applying and then you can investigate your options.
    • You may wish to consider approaching colleagues in your PCN to enquire about QI or shadowing opportunities, or to consider educational opportunities within your PCN. Or you may wish to develop a clinical interest (for example to complete a diploma or qualification) – although if this was the case, your project proposal should consider how you can use some of your funded time to share your learning in a way that benefits your practice and/or PCN – for example a teaching session or collaboration on a project with an allied HCP in your PCN or practice.
    • You can do a mixture of activities in one project – for example you may wish to spend some of the time shadowing a GP with a specialist interest, then with the remaining time, undertake a QI project on this topic, and deliver a teaching session at a PLT for your PCN, to share the learning from this.

Is this programme for you? If so, please complete an application form here:

 The deadline is Friday 2nd July 2021. For any queries please do contact the Spark team by emailing glccg.sparkgp@nhs.net.


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