What is a Teach the Teacher Course?

In medicine, we have a fantastic culture of passing down our knowledge to junior colleagues and students, through bedside teaching, small group sessions, and large clinical lectures. We’re also frequently expected to deliver teaching to our peers in the form of grand round presentations and weekly meetings. 

But have you ever had training on how to teach others? 

How to take your knowledge and experience, and deliver it in a way that others can understand and learn from?

You may have picked up techniques unwittingly throughout your training or figured out a teaching method that works for you, but the theory behind how to deliver effective teaching is often neglected.

Teach the teacher is a course in which you’ll learn about adult education theory and how to confidently lead a teaching session for your peers, colleagues, and students. You’ll study different educational techniques, how to find your teaching style, and how to give effective feedback.

Having attended a teach the teacher course, you will be able to incorporate effective teaching into your daily working life. From impromptu bedside teaching for medical students to formal teaching roles within a university, a teach the teacher course gives you the framework to adapt your teaching style to your audience.

As a bonus, teaching in training also gains you additional points for speciality applications such as Core Surgical Training and IMT. Attending a teach the teacher course provides a fantastic boost to your portfolio if you’re considering a future in education, or have yet to find other opportunities in teaching.

What’s covered in a Teach the Teacher course?

Teach the teacher is a healthcare-focused training in teaching course which helps you to gain confidence in your presenting skills and teaches you a framework for delivering effective medical education.

These courses cover a variety of teaching methods in general and include specific advice on teaching in a healthcare environment. On-the-job learning is a vital part of medical training, with bedside teaching unique to medical education, so teach the teacher courses are perfect for doctors and nurses.

Teach the teachers generally cover topics including:

  • Adult education theories such as Kolb’s learning cycle, Knowles principles of andragogy, and various learning styles.
  • Setting learning objectives to help give your teaching sessions structure and set expectations.
  • How to adapt your teaching style to your students, your teaching environment, and your available resources.
  • Interpersonal skills so that you can work well with others whilst retaining the authority to manage difficult behaviours.
  • How to deliver feedback to your students in a manner which allows them to reflect on their experience without being downtrodden about criticism.

How long is a Teach the Teacher course?

The length of a teach the teacher course depends on which type of course you choose. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, there are more options for on-demand learning courses and virtual online courses available. 

Face-to-face teach the teacher courses are normally delivered over 2 full days, and sometimes provide pre-course learning materials.

Virtual teach the teacher courses generally follow the same structure as face-to-face courses – delivering the course over 2 days.

Online teach the teacher courses provide a more convenient option for those who want to learn in their own time. The suggested duration of these courses is usually between 10 and 14 hours.

How does an online Teach the Teacher course work?

There are two types of online teach the teacher courses available:

Virtual Events

Virtual teach the teacher courses are delivered using the same structure as face-to-face courses, but instead of delivering the course in person, the course is facilitated online using video-conferencing software such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

These courses offer some element of interaction with the course facilitator but can be attended from home and save you the cost of travelling to the course location. Virtual event courses have become more common following the COVID-19 pandemic, with many face-to-face courses moving online to comply with social distancing requirements.

On-Demand Learning

These e-learning courses are delivered over the web using learning management systems which allow you to learn at your own pace, from the comfort of your home. After purchasing an on-demand learning course you will have access to all the course modules usually included in event-based teach the teacher courses. Depending on the course provider, these can be delivered in several different formats.

On-demand teach the teacher courses can be made up of video presentations, interactive elements, or a mix of the two. Video-based courses utilise pre-recorded videos in which a course facilitator will go through key concepts of educational theory. Interactive e-learning courses use learning management systems which feature interactive slides, end-of-module quizzes, and immersive videos. 

How much does a Teach the Teacher course cost?

The cost of teach the teacher courses vary depending on whether it is a face-to-face course, virtual event, or online learning course.

2-day face-to-face and virtual courses generally charge around £400.

On-demand learning courses vary in price and can be found for between £140 and £230.

Who is the course suitable for?

Teach the teacher courses are aimed at healthcare professionals. This includes NHS consultants, junior doctors, nurses, and physician associates. There are also non-medical educational theory courses available – usually titled “train the trainer” – however, these courses do not give specific advice on delivering bedside teaching or scenario-based clinical teaching.

While teach the teacher courses are a career boost to any healthcare professional, they might be especially useful if you are considering taking on a formal teaching role. Voluntary roles as OSCE examiners, communications tutors, and clinical lecturers are common in teaching hospitals and obtaining these career-boosting roles will be easier if you have evidence of formal training in teaching. 

If you have a passion for medical education, booking a teach the teacher course may be the first step in your journey to becoming a teaching fellow, an educational supervisor, or a member of the medical school teaching faculty.

When should I do my Teach the Teacher course? 

Teach the teacher courses are very accessible and don’t require a significant amount of prior teaching experience. This means that you can purchase a teach the teacher course at any point of your training.

If you’re a doctor, you may be able to utilise your study budget to cover the cost of a teach the teacher course, once you’re in Foundation Year 2 and beyond. 

While you can book a teach the teacher course at any time, booking a course earlier in your career may be wise. Not only can this give you additional speciality application points and make your CV more competitive, but it gives you more opportunities to obtain a formal teaching role earlier in your career.

Are Teach the Teacher and Train the Trainer courses the same?

“Teach the teacher” and “train the trainer” are often interchangeable and can both refer to medical training in teaching courses, depending on the company.

“Teach the teacher” is generally more specific to medical-focused training in teaching courses, and while “train the trainer” courses can still be medical, many non-medical course companies also use this terminology.

When booking a course, ensure that the course is healthcare-focused, or you’ll miss out on specific advice for teaching in a medical environment.

Are Teach the Teacher courses accredited? 

Some teach the teacher courses are CPD/CME accredited, though this depends on the company you choose and does not always guarantee that the CPD points will be accepted by your employer.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Continuing Medical Education (CME) are terms used for professional learning activities. CPD and CME accredited courses have been reviewed and accredited by CPD certification services to demonstrate that the course has reached the required standards and benchmarks of the certifying organisation. 

Many NHS organisations require healthcare professionals to obtain a certain amount of CPD points per year. CPD points are assigned to courses depending on how many hours are undertaken as part of that educational activity – normally at a rate of 1 point per hour of learning.

If you need to collect CPD points, check whether your teach the teacher course has been CPD accredited, and whether your employer or training organisation accepts CPD points from that course’s CPD accreditation service.

Where should I do my Teach the Teacher course?

While you’re searching for teach the teacher courses, look out for symbols of CPD accreditation. Even if you’re not collecting CPD points, this accreditation signals that the course has reached the required standards of CPD certifying services.

When searching for the right teach the teacher course for you, you’ll need to consider a few factors:

Your physical location

Many courses take part in large population centres such as London, Manchester, and Edinburgh. If you don’t live in these cities, consider how long it will take you to travel to the course and whether you’ll need accommodation. If you’d prefer to attend the course from the comfort of your home, search for an online teach the teacher course.

Your learning style

Some people love to attend teaching at a physical location and mingle with tutors and other students, while others would prefer to be in their home environment. Consider what you prefer when deciding between face to face and virtual courses. It’s also worth thinking about whether you would prefer to interact with the tutor at a face-to-face or virtual course. If you would prefer to take the course at your own pace, on-demand learning might be better suited to you.

Your budget

If you’re on a budget an on-demand learning course might be better suited to you, as these are significantly cheaper than face-to-face or virtual courses.


Written for Medibuddy by Dr James Davidson. James was a medical trainee in the NHS for 5 years, before leaving to pursue his passion for technology and education. He founded the postgraduate medical course platform MedCourse in 2022.