World class learning for world class care

We are proud of our strong tradition in educating and training both the future NHS workforce and our current staff. 

We are a partner of University College London Medical School (UCLMS), and our undergraduate medical education is internationally recognised. 

As one of the largest providers of postgraduate medical education in the country, we have more than 600 doctors in training in our hospitals across a wide range of specialties. 

We also have a track record of excellence in our teaching of nurses, midwives, therapists, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals, working closely in collaboration with our university partners. We are an approved main provider of apprenticeships, rated ‘good’ by Ofsted.

medical records logo 600+ postgraduate medical training posts across 70+ specialties 



learning logo 100+ apprenticeships annually  


doctor logoAround 250 medical students and 300 pre-registration nursing and  midwifery students on placement at any one time.


microscopeStudents and trainees from 12 different allied health professions and 7 different scientific specialties.

teacher with board and pupilsContinued professional and career development for more than 11,000 staff.

Our aspirations for education, training and development are encapsulated in our vision:   

World class learning for world class care

Excellent health outcomes

  • Providing a workforce that responds to innovation, is research-active and reflects the needs of changing clinical pathways.
  • Supporting the development of a learning organisation, driving quality improvement and patient safety.

Outstanding experience of care

  • Enabling true patient-centred care through shared learning with patients and carers.
  • Ensuring our staff have the required knowledge, skills, behaviours and values needed to deliver world class care and communicate effectively with patients and carers. 

Outstanding experience for our people

  • Helping to make the Royal Free London a great place to work by supporting career development for all, being inclusive and offering wellbeing initiatives.

A sustainable organisation

  • Supporting sustainable practices within our hospitals and enabling an agile, resilient and entrepreneurial organisation.

Education, training and development at the Royal Free London 

We provide placements for medical students undertaking the MBBS (bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery) degree programme at the world-leading UCLMS. 

The Royal Free Hospital is one of the principal campuses of the medical school and Barnet Hospital is a partner teaching hospital for the university, hosting students in a range of clinical specialties. We also have a growing teaching presence at Chase Farm Hospital.  

We consistently receive outstanding feedback from medical students on the quality of teaching across all our hospitals and we have an innovative clinical teaching fellow programme that helps to enhance student teaching and experience.

As one of the largest postgraduate medical education providers, we have more than 600 Health Education England-commissioned postgraduate training posts across 70 specialties covering foundation, core and higher specialty training. 

The scope and breadth of our training reflects our considerable range of clinical services and our global centres of excellence, with our research-active services providing outstanding training environments.

We also have an increasing education and training offering for our international medical graduates, clinical fellows, and staff and associate specialist (SAS) doctors, as well as a growing role in supporting the development of physician associates.

Our placements for pre-registration nursing and midwifery students are provided in conjunction with our partners — Middlesex University and the University of Hertfordshire. 

We directly provide apprenticeships for nursing assistants and offer an apprenticeship-based trainee nursing associate programme and degree-level registered nurse apprenticeships in partnership with Middlesex University.

We train overseas qualified nurses who wish to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and work in UK practice. 

A range of in-house and external training opportunities are offered to our nursing and midwifery staff, from newly qualified nurses through to advanced clinical practice. 

We also have a range of university-accredited in-house post-registration programmes for nursing staff, with 16 programmes currently accredited by university partners in areas such as acute medical care, frailty, perioperative care and critical care. 

The Royal Free London is a regional leader in the delivery of a specialty training qualification in several areas, notably for intensive care nurses.

We offer a wide range of clinical placements for allied health professionals on programmes with our university partners.

A range of in-house and external training opportunities are also provided for newly qualified staff through to advanced clinical practice, and we have successfully rolled out apprenticeships for those wishing to become registered practitioners in a range of different disciplines.

In addition, we provide placements to support the development of professionals in psychological and counselling disciplines.

Within healthcare sciences, we help train the next generation of scientists through the national practitioner training programme and the scientific training programme.  

We play a leading role in regional training events for scientists and offer an increasing range of apprenticeships to support career pathways in scientific and technical disciplines. 

Our educators also support the training of the next generation of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy assistants.

We have a faculty of experts in simulation-based learning that support the development of students, trainees and staff in simulated environments at the Royal Free Hospital and Barnet Hospital.

The faculty also perform in situ simulation in clinical areas to support learning from incidents and the identification of latent errors as part of our continuous improvement in patient safety. 

Our virtual reality surgical simulation facility at the Royal Free Hospital provides a unique opportunity for the development of surgical techniques in a safe environment. 

More than 100 of our staff commence apprenticeships annually at the Royal Free London across 25 different areas from sterile services to accountancy, and from healthcare support workers to operating department practitioners. These apprenticeships represent both professional development opportunities for our own staff plus new ways into healthcare careers for those working in the NHS for the first time. 

The trust is on the Register of Approved Training Providers (RoATP) and we deliver in-house healthcare support worker apprenticeships. 

We are also a provider on behalf of NHS partner organisations for primary care business and administration, community health and wellbeing and mammography associate apprenticeships. 

We are proud participant in Project Choice, a pre-employment programme designed to help young students with a learning disability or other special educational needs find work or go onto further education.

Our leadership development programmes are designed to prepare our leaders for the challenges they face now and in the future. 

The programmes employ current business insights, internal organisational development research, and published papers on leadership in the NHS. 

They aim to increase self-awareness, build confidence and strengthen skills.

We support applications for study leave funding for the continuing personal and professional development of all staff across the organisation, including postgraduate certificates, master’s programmes, attendance at clinical conferences and professional qualifications.

Medical staff can access study leave entitlements in line with contractual terms and conditions. 

We also provide in-house training for colleagues in areas such as medical terminology for non-clinical staff, communications skills and advanced care planning training for those looking after patients at the end of their lives.