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Multi-disciplinary team working


The core curriculum is divided into 14 Capabilities in practice (CiP’s). Each CiP outlines the key skills expected, along with a set of descriptors to help assess progress.

Within the curriculum specifically the following CiP’s address aspects of working together as a team:

CiP 3. Manages conflict, understands the challenges and negative effects of conflict within teams and organisations. Understands methods and tools used to manage conflict and its resolution.

CiP 5. Team working, understands team working in complex dynamic situations. Ability to adapt to changing teams. Works effectively as part of a multi-professional team in different roles. Communicates effectively within the multi-professional team and with patients, relatives and members of the public. Understands that multiple methods of communication are required. Demonstrates appropriate assertiveness and challenges constructively. Reflects on breakdowns in team working and communication. Recognises and celebrates effective multi-professional team working

CiP 6: The doctor takes an active role in helping self and others to develop themselves: Develops people, acts as a supportive colleague and critical friend

CiP 8: The doctor is effective as a teacher and supervisor of healthcare professionals.

Specific eLearning modules in team working include the following courses:


The College’s continuous professional development (CPD)  has various strengths in supporting effective team working.

The ‘professional behaviours’ section of the profession dimension encompasses team working, communication skills, self-awareness of behaviour and its impact on others.

The ‘all clinical practice’ section of the clinical dimension encompasses team working in specific environments.

The ‘leadership role’ section of the extended role dimension encompasses developing team working, team leadership and cross-team collaboration, and the ability to develop others.

Non-technical Skills for surgeons (NOTSS)) is a tool allowing trainers to give feedback to colleagues and trainees based on structured observations of non-technical aspects of performance. Non-technical skills are the cognitive and interpersonal skills that complement practical and technical competences, such as decision making, leadership and team working. Guidance on using NOTSS tool has been adapted for labour ward.


The College has developed a framework of high level maternity service standards aiming to improve outcomes and reduce variation in maternity care. Standards for Maternity Care (2016). This includes guidance on team work and gathering and using feedback. One of the overarching standards 1.6 states “The planning and organising of maternity care takes place through multi-disciplinary collaboration under obstetric and midwifery and neonatal leadership which supports a high quality clinical governance framework that delivers personalised maternity services”.

The Workforce report has numerous references to building learning and supportive environments, respect for colleagues, the importance of a shared vision. It is acknowledged that for multi-professional teams to work well together there is a need for them to train together, be supported by governance systems which look to improve systems rather than blame individuals, and for there to be continuous methods of feedback.

In the certificate of eligibility Guidance for short and long-term locums, locum doctors will need to be officially signed off for evidence of competencies in their ability to delegate and escalate appropriately to the multidisciplinary team.

The Roles and responsibilities of consultant guidance highlights the role of the consultant as key clinical decision makers in an effective team; playing a pivotal role in building and maintaining relationships across teams, maintaining standards, reducing variations in patient care and role modelling professional behaviour.

The Workplace behaviours (WPB) toolkit supports the development of positive workplace culture and promotes an understanding of what poor workplace behaviour looks like and its impact on individuals, teams, organisations and importantly the women and families cared for.

Clinical quality projects:

The Avoiding Brain Injury in Childbirth (ABC) programme aims to support maternity services to improve and personalise care in labour to reduce risks of avoidable harm. Through the ABC programme maternity staff will train together as a team, based on the principle that “staff who work together must train together”. The training enables staff to learn together in a supportive ‘one team’ atmosphere and equips them to work together effectively in an emergency or situation of pressure. Both training and toolkits are focused on evidence-based principles including good teamwork, civility and communicating with each other that are essential to deliver patient-centred care.