ST3 Portfolio Building Essentials: Area 9 & 10: Clinician Leadership


In summary, Areas 9 and 10 assess your ability to demonstrate leadership as a clinician. The GMC considers a good doctor to be more than just a clinician; they should also be able to carry out a wide range of leadership responsibilities, such as management, teaching, and training. Management involves skills in planning, organising, coordination and prioritisation, resource management, and quality improvement. You have an opportunity to score high points in this area even with last-minute planning.

Area 9: Leadership and management

This area seeks evidence of experience in any formal leadership or management roles. The best part is that it’s not limited to medicine and can include any role. Maximum points (2) are awarded for involvement at the national or regional level, with lower points (1) given for local or trust-level leadership.

You have the benefit of time. If you don’t have any experience here, you can easily get involved in leadership at the local level by becoming a representative at the local young doctors’ forum, taking on departmental coordination roles (e.g., rota coordination), or engaging in local community activities. Your imagination is your only limitation. At the national or regional level, you can get involved with the BMA or other specialist-specific organizations. These organizations always have junior doctor forums/groups that recruit every year. If you are an IMG doctor like myself, you can join various IMG groups or associations. It may be easier to join and obtain a management position in IMG associations from your country of origin. Joining or forming a committee in these associations can count as national experience for the highest points. You can also synergise this section with audits by becoming a Hospital or Regional Lead in a collaborative audit project. With this approach, you can build both research, audit, and leadership experience with a single project.

I was personally able to score the highest points in this area by using my experience in the Kenya Medical Association, where I was a committee member. Membership to these committees is advertised annually and was not as competitive to join. Additionally, I volunteered in a local community social impact project and included this as well. For my evidence, I used a letter of appointment and a reference letter confirming my engagements and role played. I’m deeply passionate about leadership and management; this may not come naturally to everyone. However, you can still achieve maximum points here by choosing a role that fits with your personality and capabilities.

Area 10: Teaching experience

This section looks at evidence of post-graduate training and experience in teaching. The highest points (2) are awarded for a PG certificate or above, while 1 point is given for “Training the Trainer” courses. As mentioned previously, this section can be synergized with Area 8: Higher Degrees if you plan early and undertake a Medical Education degree.

The first step is to get a “Training the Trainer” course certification. Many of these are available online and can be completed over a weekend. Most Hospitals also offer some certificate medical training courses throughout the year in their post-graduate training centre calendar. Doing one locally at your trust might save you £300-500. However, if you are more passionate about medical education, you can undertake a master’s program online from many universities in the UK.

I personally provided evidence of a “Training the Trainer” course I had taken on Primary Trauma Care while I was still in Kenya. I provided my course certificate as evidence. This evidence was accepted by the Vascular Surgery assessment team but rejected in the General Surgery evaluation. The reason for the rejection was that I did not provide the course curriculum, even though I had it on my computer and hadn’t uploaded it. They did not allow me to upload further evidence, and I ended up losing 1 point. My advice would be to upload all evidence, including certificates and course curriculums.

I had multiple pieces of evidence of teaching experience, including teaching sessions conducted and feedback received. However, this was not assessed in this section of the portfolio evaluation. These experiences were, however, valuable in my interviews although not assessed on my portfolio evaluation.


  • Leadership Experience: Seek out formal leadership or management roles, as the highest points are awarded for national or regional involvement. Local roles also count, so take on departmental coordination or community activities.
  • Use Your Time Wisely: If you lack leadership experience, get involved in local forums, departmental roles, or community engagements. National opportunities include joining BMA or IMG associations.
  • Synergise: consider joining collaborative audits as a Hospital or Regional lead to gain points in both Leadership, Research, and Audit.
  • Documentation: Always provide comprehensive evidence, including certificates and course curriculums, to avoid losing points. Upload all necessary documents to support your claims.
  • Teaching Experience: Obtain a “Training the Trainer” certification as a starting point. Local training courses can save money, but consider pursuing a master’s in medical education for higher points.
  • Leveraging Past Experiences: Use previous leadership and teaching roles from your home country or other positions. Ensure all relevant documents are organized and submitted to maximize your portfolio score.

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