Introduction: In this background paper, we discuss the educational needs of family medicine teachers and trainers in the light of a EURACT (European Academy of Teachers in General Practice) project aimed at the development of a European framework for the professional development of general practice (GP) educators. Background: There is evidence that the ideal GP educator would benefit from systematic training in teaching skills. Although international literature indicates that such skills training should be in supervision, feedback, assessment and educational management, it is not clear if these needs vary between trainers who teach general practice in different settings and environments. Needs assessment: Recently EURACT, in collaboration with partners from five EU countries and Turkey, set up a project aimed at the development of a comprehensive 'training the trainers' programme. The project included a baseline survey of perceived educational needs and wants among both novice and expert European GP educators. The survey demonstrated that the educational needs of GP educators did not vary much in the content areas in which training was required throughout Europe but did vary in the level and depth of knowledge needed; this depended on their experience and level of expertise as teachers. Implications: Based on the information gathered and experience gained from previous EURACT courses, a Leonardo da Vinci project has developed and launched a comprehensive programme with courses at three levels of participant expertise, to address the personal learning needs of GP educators.
European Journal of General Practice, 2012, Vol 18, Issue 4, p. 233-237