PGCert Healthcare & Biomedical Education (PgCert HBE) Frequently Asked Questions
Who can apply for the PgCert HBE?
From 2022 entry, we accept applications from two categories of applicants. Category 1 are St George's, University of London employees who need or wish to obtain the PgCert HBE qualification. This includes staff who are required to undertake the course as part of their probation. Category 2 are those teaching St George's, University of London students who are not employed by the University, most notably Clinical Teaching Fellows (CTFs) and clinical educators holding St George's, University of London honorary contracts. Places on the course are limited and priority during admissions will be given to Category 1 applicants.
In addition to these employment requirements, applicants must also meet the other entry criteria for the course including teaching role requirements.
I am currently on the Foundation Programme. Can I apply for the course?
No. We do not accept applications from FY1 and FY2 doctors due to the teaching hours requirements for the course and clinical focus of the Foundation Programme. We invite you to apply for the course at a later stage in your medical training.
If you are due to complete your Foundation Programme before the course commences in October you are eligible to apply as long as you meet the other entry criteria for the course.
I am a postdoctoral researcher. Can I apply for the course?
Yes. As university employees, postdoctoral researchers are included in this category and are eligible to apply, but subject to the approval of the grant holder/Principal Investigator for whom they are working, and only if consistent with the terms of the funding body.
Do I need to already have a teaching or learning support role to apply for the course?
Yes. The course is a practice-oriented qualification and all the assessments require you to develop and reflect on the teaching and assessment that you will be undertaking during the year. You will also complete an assessed observation of your practice as an educator.
All applicants are required to evidence substantive teaching and/or learning support role when making an application. For applicants in Category 2 who are Clinical Teaching Fellows or clinical educators, you must be able to confirm normally a teaching role equivalent to 168 hours per annum or one-half day of teaching and/or assessment per week. For Category 2 applicants at least 50% of this teaching must be for St George's, University of London students.
The course team are not able to arrange teaching opportunities for applicants to enable them to fulfill the teaching hours requirement. Further opportunities for contributing to skills or PBL teaching and assessment (e.g. OSCEs, SBAs, SAQs) at St George’s, University of London may be advertised to participants at the beginning of the course.
How long does it take to complete the certificate? Can I complete it in a shorter period of time?
The course has one intake and commences in October of each academic year. If you complete the three modules within the normal schedule with no interruptions to study or extensions you will normally complete the course within a 12-month period.
In line with university regulations relating to the minimum length of the course, you cannot complete the PGCert HBE in a shorter period of time than stated in the course specification.
I applied for the course several weeks ago but have not received an outcome. When will I know if I have a place?
There are limited places on the course and therefore the admissions process is very competitive. We also prioritise applications from Category 1 during admissions. As a result, we normally do not finalise places until after the closing date for applications in September. You will be notified if you have been offered a place shortly after the deadline and asked to confirm if you wish to take up this place.
Am I eligible for a reduced fee?
From 2022, we no longer operate a full and reduced fee structure. All applicants meeting the course entry criteria related to employment and teaching responsibilities will pay a single, subsidised fee of £1500 for the PgCert HBE.
I am employed by St George’s, University of London. Will the university pay my fees?
Yes, as long as your application is fully supported by your line-manager, the university will pay your fees via the Education Staff Development budget.
Is the course accredited?
The course is accredited by Advance HE and successful completion of the course and evidencing of your practice in relation to the UK Professional Standards Framework will entitle you to recognition as a Fellow of Advance HE (FHEA).
If you are employed by a non-Advance HE member, you will normally need to pay an additional fee directly to Advance HE to register your Fellowship. This fee is currently £200 and is not included in the PgCert course fee. Most universities in the UK are members of Advance HE while NHS Trusts are not Advance HE members. Upon completion of the course and successful evidencing of your practice in relation to the UKPSF ratified by the Board of Examiners in November each year, you will be registered by the course team on the Advance HE database of completers. At this stage you will be asked to confirm your current employer.
What are the dates for the intensive teaching blocks?
Teaching is undertaken in intensive blocks rather than on a regular weekly or bi-weekly basis. Dates for the next academic year are normally published in July/August. Induction and pre-course reading will be provided from October. The 5 teaching blocks are normally 1 to 2 days in length depending on the module. The total number of days of teaching for the course is 7.5 days.
We use a blended approach to the delivery of teaching blocks with, normally, one day onsite and one day online. In both face-to-face and online teaching we use a combination of lecture, individual self-directed and peer-to-peer learning activities.
How is the course assessed?
Module 1 is assessed by a single 1500-word reflective essay based on the collection and analysis of student evaluation data for a period of teaching.
Module 2 is assessed by a poster and recorded 10-minute oral presentation, an assessed teaching observation in practice and two 1500-word reflective essays on teaching and assessment practice.
Module 3 is assessed by a 2500-word reflective account.
What is the time commitment for the course?
The PgCert HBE hours include attendance and/or completion of teaching blocks for the three modules, completion of the teaching observation, engagement with your allocated PgCert HBE tutor and preparation of assessments. You are also expected to complete formative assessments and contribute to peer discussion and peer feedback activities as part of the course.
Module 2 is the longest module and is undertaken in the Spring term. This can often clash with other commitments and you are strongly advised to work with your tutor and your line manager to plan your completion of the course.
Can I contact someone about the course if I need more information?
If the information on the course application page and this Frequently Asked Questions document has not answered your question please email your query to Dr Saranne Weller, PGCert HBE Course Director.