Annual supervisor and practice manager survey results - GP Synergy

Annual supervisor and practice manager survey results

Thank you to all the supervisors and practice managers that provided feedback via our annual supervisor and practice manager surveys circulated earlier this year. The number of responses received increased again from last year, with 536 supervisor and 391 practice manager respondents.

Whilst the annual feedback surveys form an important part of our quality improvement process, they are only one of many ways we collect feedback. If you have any feedback you would like to share with us, at any time of the year, please don’t hesitate to let us know via your local Supervisor Liaison Officer (SLO), Practice Liaison and Support Officer (PLSO) or Medical Educator with a  Supervisor Focus (MESP). You can also submit feedback on our website, via our complaints and compliments register, or via professional development evaluations.

Please find below a snapshot of the key findings from the 2019 supervisor and practice manager surveys.

Key findings

Overall satisfaction amongst both groups is high

Overall satisfaction with GP Synergy amongst supervisor respondents has improved for the third consecutive year from 74% to 80%.

Overall satisfaction with GP Synergy amongst practice managers also remains high at 86%.

The percentage of respondents describing GP Synergy in positive terms again increased with the most commonly cited descriptors being excellent/great/good, supportive, professional and organised. A smaller and decreasing percentage described GP Synergy in negative terms, with key phrases being large/big, city-centric and bureaucratic.

Respondents’ perceptions of GP Synergy across our core brand values remain consistent with previous results, and remain at a high level with 81% of supervisor and 84% of practice manager respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that GP Synergy delivers high quality education and training.

Supervisors remain committed to training the next generation of GPs.

The majority of supervisor respondents (84%) said they are likely to continue as a supervisor in the next 12 months, with retirement being the most commonly cited reason for not continuing to supervise.

Ninety-two percent of practice manager respondents said they expected to be continuing to train registrars in the next 12 months.

Supervisors and practice managers have a high awareness of support GP Synergy support personnel and positive experiences

Most supervisors are aware of their key support staff – the Supervisor Liaison Officer (SLO), Practice Liaison and Support Officer (PLSO) or Medical Educator with a Supervisor Focus (MESP). Their experience when they have contacted these staff are high (ranging from 88% – 90% satisfaction).

Practice managers also had high rates of satisfaction, with 92% of respondent shaving contacted their PLSO, with a 96% satisfaction rating.

The overwhelming majority of supervisors and practice managers were highly satisfied with interactions with both administrative and medical education staff such as willingness to help, knowledge, responsiveness, and accuracy in information provided. Although highly rated, for both groups, the lowest area was providing individualised support which we will investigate to seek to continue to improve.

More support may be needed for supervisors and practices with registrars requiring additional assistance

Around one fifth of supervisor respondents (21%) had a registrar requiring additional assistance in their practice in the last 12 months. Of these, 77% sought support from GP Synergy, with 69% satisfied with the support they received.

Practice manager feedback was similar, with 23% of respondents training a registrar requiring additional assistance in their practice in the last 12 months. Of these, 82% support from GP Synergy, and of this group, 79% were either highly satisfied or satisfied with the support they received.

Verbatim responses for why supervisors and practices didn’t seek support, or were neither satisfied or unsatisfied, or unsatisfied with the support received were varied.

These results are being tabled with the GP Synergy Education Executive for further discussion and investigation.

Supervisor and practice managers made several suggestions for GP Synergy Educational Continuing Professional Development (EdCPD)

Overall satisfaction with the GP Synergy supervisor EdCPD program is strong, with 74% of respondents having high to very high satisfaction with the program, and a further 24% experiencing average satisfaction with the program. 90% of respondents had indicated they had participated in the program in the last 12 months.

Responses from practice managers indicated a strong interest in professional development. We are pleased to confirm a practice manager professional development workshop will be held on Saturday 20 March in Sydney. Full details will be circulated shortly.

Supervisors and practice managers have mixed feelings about term placement

Similar to 2017 and 2018 results, 60% of supervisor respondents are satisfied with the term placement process. Amongst practice managers, 73% are satisfied with the process.

Similar to 2017 and 2018 results, for supervisors, ‘the ability to choose which registrar/s we wanted to train’ (31%) was the most commonly cited benefit, followed by ‘getting a registrar’ (24%). Practice managers also cited the same benefits, but in reverse order – getting a registrar (33%), followed by ‘the ability to choose which registrar/s we wanted to train’ (26%).

The challenges of the term placement process experienced by supervisors varied. Aside from those that didn’t participate in term placement (15%) or didn’t have any challenges with the process (11%), the most common challenging aspect of the term placement process was having capacity for more registrars (15%) and uncertainty about whether a registrar would accept a placement (12%).

For practice managers, 20% of respondents didn’t experience any challenges with the term placement process. The next five most commonly cited challenges related to the number of registrars either to choose from, or that the practice received.

In response to feedback collected from supervisors, practice managers and registrars, for the 2020.1 term placement process we have implemented several changes designed to alleviate some of the challenges experienced in the term placement process. This has included:

  • trialling setting practices caps once at the start of the training year (2020.1), not every six-month term
  • practices being able to continue to receive applications (if they choose to do so) whilst they are making offers to registrars
  • a two-week hiatus after the term placement lists open for application during which GP Synergy will not process paperwork, to allow practices and registrars more time to consider offers.

The frequency of communication is about right

The majority of respondents felt the amount of communication from GP Synergy is just right (85% for supervisors and 92%) with a smaller number of requests either side for more or less communication. Many respondents made suggestions for improvement which are being reviewed and considered.

Many supervisors don’t know they have access to SupportGPT but those that do really like it!

Only 40% of GP Synergy supervisor respondents had used SupportGPT, and of those that did, 86% found it useful. The most common reason for not using it was because supervisors didn’t know about it, or they didn’t know they had access to it.

Support GPT is a teaching resource written by GP supervisors, for GP supervisors. It includes teaching modules on important topics supervisors can cover with registrars in early training terms, modules on teaching and supervision skills, and a curated list of resources supervisors can use with their registrar.

SupportGPT can be a great resource to help provide some structure to registrar teaching, to supplement your teaching on certain topics, or fill a gap in your teaching program during a busy week. Find out more here.

Last year, GP Synergy extended access of SupportGPT to all GP supervisors. You can access SupportGPT through GPRime – just click on ‘Quick Links’ on the top toolbar of your GPRime dashboard homepage.

How to provide feedback

There are a number of ongoing ways you can provide GP Synergy with feedback:

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you require assistance.