The General Medical Council (GMC) requires that Deaneries must have a system for use of external advisers. (PMETB/GMC Standards for Deaneries Standard 4. A summary of the mandatory requirements for Standard 4 is shown in the Appendix).
This policy sets out the process for appointments, expectations and remuneration policy the Deanery has of its external advisors.
External advisors are appointed to the Deanery to provide the public or professional scrutiny of postgraduate medical education. They are drawn from a wide range of experience and backgrounds in business and public life or specialised clinical expertise. They are:-
- Expected to be independent and impartial
- Medical or lay depending on the area in which they are required to provide advice or scrutiny
Responsibilities and duties
External Lay Advisors
In accordance with the guidance set out in the Guide to Postgraduate Specialty Training in the UK (the “Gold Guide”) the deanery lay members are specifically appointed by the Deanery or are executive or nonexecutive member of an employing authority board or other senior nonmedical member of management.
In accordance with the Gold Guide all lay participants receive appropriate training to undertake this work. This includes training in equality and diversity issues. Further training is kept-up-to date and is refreshed regularly and as a minimum every three years.
External lay advisors appointed by Severn Deanery will undertake the roles described in the Gold Guide
- Represent the public interest and safeguard patient safety
- Ensure consistent, transparent and robust decision making on behalf of both the public and trainees
- Scrutinise appointment and assessment processes to confirm that they are sound and fairly operated
- Raising any concerns about the assessment outcomes
- Input in the development of assessment activity
- Assist the Deanery to maintain the quality of its education and training
- Verify that trainees are attaining and maintaining certain standards
- Identify and record notable and best practice so that it can be used to promote comparable standards of trainee experience in the same speciality, across deaneries
- Enhance the accountability of doctors by questioning the assumptions a predominantly professional body might otherwise make
- Write and submit reports/evaluations following visits/panels
- Attend lay member training and development events
- Perform their duties in a way that supports and promotes Severn Deanery’s commitment to equality and diversity
- Maintain confidentiality and discretion about matters of which they will acquire knowledge in the course of their duties
Range of duties
- Trust quality monitoring visits – the inclusion of lay members here will serve as a reminder that the overriding purpose is to safeguard patient safety and promote high quality training
- ARCP/RITA panels (including appeals)
- Recruitment panels
- Speciality school activities
- School Boards*
- Working groups on particular issues
*The School of Psychiatry are piloting the use of user and carer participation into postgraduate medical education of psychiatrists
External clinical advisers
Clinical advisers will have expertise appropriate for the programme, course or school being considered. They will normally be drawn from the Royal Colleges, Faculties or specialty associations. Regional Advisers from neighbouring regions, or Heads of School (who are joint deanery/college appointments) will commonly be used.
In addition to this Medical Directors and Directors of Medical Education will contribute specific expertise on Deanery quality visits to Trusts.
As with lay representatives and in accordance with the guidance set out in the Gold Guide the deanery will ensure that they receive the appropriate training to undertake this work. This includes training in equality and diversity issues. Further training is kept-up-to date and is refreshed regularly and as a minimum every three years.
Range of duties of external clinical advisers
- ARCP/RITA panels as described in the Gold Guide and its predecessor A Guide to Specialist Registrar Training
- Post quality grading panels (once established)
- Senior Deanery appointments
- Visits to Trusts by deanery or Schools
Severn Deanery will:
- Clearly identify the roles, powers and responsibilities of the external advisors it appoints and uses
- Provide a clear induction programme for newly appointed external lay advisers with appropriate updates when required
- Take careful note of all comments, considerations and feedback from external advisors and incorporate the Deanery’s response to these in its annual report to GMC
- Appoint external lay advisors for a period of three years, after which time they may reapply
- Remunerate external lay advisers and reimburse their travel expenses
- Pay travel expenses for external clinical advisers attending at the invitation of the deanery
Standards for Deaneries
Standard 4 - The postgraduate deanery must have a system of external use of advisers
The must be external input at key stages of the postgraduate medical and education training involving “independent and impartial advisers”. The number of such externals will depend on the size of the deanery and where relevant, the number of specialty programmes.
External Advisers may be medical or lay, depending on the area for advice and/or scrutiny. Medical adviser will have expertise appropriate for the programme, course or school being considered and will normally be drawn from the Royal Colleges, Faculties or specialty associations.
The external advisers will verify that standards are being attained by trainees and so help deaneries maintain the quality of the provision.
The external advisers scrutinising the assessment processes should be able to confirm that they are sound and fairly operated.
External advisers should record notable practice that they have identified. This should promote comparability of the trainee experience between deaneries in the same speciality.
There must be clear identification of roles, powers and responsibilities assigned to external advisers by the deanery.
Deaneries should incorporate their responses to the external adviser’s comments and considerations into the annual report to GMC