EQUIP (Education & Experience in QUality ImProvement)

The EQUIP (Education & Experience in QUality ImProvement) programme was developed to support geographically dispersed GP trainees to acquire the language, the skills, the tools, and to gain experience to equip them to lead improvement. Using the age-old approach of case-based learning and using video conferencing on the ECHO platform, EQUIP engages GP ST3 trainees into a community of practice where the ethos is “All Teach, All Learn, All Improve” and the goal is to move from “Know-how” to “Do-how”.


The EQUIP logo encapsulates the Q and the I of quality improvement and the PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) iterative cycle of change for improvement that characterises a QI approach. At the centre of the programme (and the logo) is the nurturing of a community of improvers working with and supporting one another to develop and refine their ideas for improvement.

The initial endeavour to formulate a QI training programme for GP trainees in 2016 received affirmation at the end-of-programme “Day of Celebration” in June 2017 (and has done each year since). Trainees stood up with confidence in front of their poster, one by one, took centre stage and said, “Well in my practice we tackled missed appointments…”, “In my practice, we realised that those with gestational diabetes were not adequately followed up”, “ In my practice…”,“In my practice,…”, “In my practice…” This was the point we knew that we had achieved what we set out to do.

Each year the standard of the QI work through EQUIP has improved and the GP trainers are increasingly speaking the language of QI, a fluency gained vicariously from their trainees.

The Covid19 pandemic meant that 2019-20 provided a different opportunity. We asked Trainees, Trainers and ProgrammeDirectors to help us document things observed, experienced or enacted in Clinical Practice during lockdown. We said they could be of a clinical innovation, a humorous story, a poignant moment, a staff wellbeing event; anything which, on reflection in years to come, would be an image that might bring to mind one of those #CovidStories, something to capture the moment.

The virtual “Equip day of celebration”  took place on 25th June 2020. This session allowed trainees to share some of their Covid stories. You can view the event at the link below:


In this short video, Dr Nigel Hart, Associate Director of GP Training and Associate Director for Primary Care shares his experience of how NIMDTA developed the EQUIP programme to provide quality improvement training for GP trainees in Northern Ireland.

It also provides an overview of the importance of quality improvement, how to get started and the essential elements that make the EQUIP programme work.

The Royal College of GPs published a new MRCGP curriculum to take effect from August 2020. It puts a greater emphasis on Quality Improvement which is included

 within the ‘Working well in organisations and systems of care” curriculum theme. All trainees are expected to demonstrate involvement in QI activity at least once a year.

We look forward to hearing more about the projects they have undertaken soon