Development of an instrument to measure the Practice Vocational Training Environment in Ireland

Med Teach. 2005 Jun;27(4):338-42. doi: 10.1080/01421590500150809.


The concept of the learning environment is increasingly recognized as an important feature within educational settings. Research on health-related educational environments has clearly demonstrated their impact on important outcomes such as student satisfaction and achievement, stress levels and ultimately on patient care. To date limited research has been carried out on the practice-based component of general practice training. This study was devised to measure the practice based training environment as experienced by GPs in training. A questionnaire was devised using a triangulated methodology and was administered to all practice-based general practice trainees in the Republic of Ireland. The results confirmed a high level of satisfaction with the educational environment in practice but several deficiencies were identified. These included the lack of availability of a stress support system, a lack of good clinical supervision at all times and a lack of understanding among practice staff regarding the role of the trainee in the practice. Having identified the deficiencies, the challenge to educators is to improve the educational environment for the benefit of the GPs in training and ultimately the communities they serve.

MeSH terms

  • Ireland
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Vocational Education / organization & administration*