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NWT Buddy Scheme

Principles of the Buddy Scheme: (with thanks to our friends from the NET Deanery)

  • The buddy scheme has started!

  • The buddy scheme is a paper-free scheme; no forms or documents need be filled in by either the junior or the senior trainee.


  • Senior trainees act as volunteers. However, it is an opt-out scheme for the junior buddies – they will automatically be paired with a senior buddy and it is up to them to inform them if they don’t want to proceed with meeting. The idea is that by having an opt-out system it normalises the concept of mentoring and support in our region.


  • Senior trainees should be post-membership and have at least a year of training left


  • The senior trainee makes contact with their buddy via email and arrange to meet socially in a location of their choosing. They can choose to meet simultaneously with other buddy pairs.


  • It is then up to the individual pairs to meet as they prefer; this may be as much as monthly, it may be that one meeting suffices. It is not anticipated that the pair would make contact more than once a month, as this would potentially prove too burdensome for the senior buddy.


  • Initially the period of support should be for a year, however this can be extended through to cover pre-membership if it’s mutually agreed by both parties.


  • Both the senior and junior trainee must read and agree on the following set of rules before embarking on the scheme:


–        The Buddy system is confidential. Issues discussed regarding work or personal issues should not be shared out with the Buddies unless there is there is agreement between the pairing, or a safety issue arises (see point 2).


–        The Senior Buddy is expected to uphold the GMC Duties Of A Doctor should a safety issue become apparent. Concerns should be addressed to the appropriate consultant / educational supervisor as the situation demands. If a safety issue arises, it is the duty of the Senior to report the issue, but they should not be taking responsibility for remedying the problem. However, they can help support the Junior Buddy as the pair feel is appropriate.


–        The Senior trainee is not able to offer counselling, but can put the Junior in contact with counselling or other services as required


–        The Senior Buddy should not be involved in WPBAs or educational supervisors’ paperwork for the Junior, as this creates a potential conflict of interest. Likewise, the Junior should not complete TO1s for the Senior.


–        The Senior Buddy is not a mentoring or careers advice service, and may not be entirely up-to-date with developments or changes in the training structure.


–        If a trainee is having problems, the Senior Buddy should encourage the junior to seek appropriate help or advice. The Senior Buddy can help arrange help or advice.


If you are interested in being a senior buddy, please email Please include a little bit about yourself – where you have worked, where you are due to rotate to, whether you have any special or academic interests, whether you’re LTFT etc. We will try to pair people accordingly if possible. Please also indicate whether you’d be happy to have more than one junior buddy.

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