Quality Panel - Frequently Asked Questions


  • The timing for Quality Panels between July and December annually is problematic for our programme.

    It is up to the TPD to determine which month is most appropriate for them to undertake a Quality Panel but it must take place between July and December annually so that the calendar year's GMC NTS results can be considered by the panel.

  • How can we be sure trainees will feel comfortable enough to provide honest feedback?

    By ensuring your panel has more trainees on it than other members. By asking any trainers on the panel who may be closely linked to any of the trainee reps to leave the room at certain points.

  • Do trainee reps all sit on the panel at the same time, or are they interviewed separately?

    Trainee reps are equal panel members and all sit on the panel together.

  • What if it isn't possible for a programme to have more trainees than trainers in a Quality Panel e.g. for very small programmes?

    We encourage compliance with having more trainees than trainers at Quality Panels to ensure the trainee voice. However, we appreciate that with one trainee in a small specialty this may not be practical. We do encourage a conversation with that trainee though to ensure that their voice is heard.

  • What about programmes with trainees who undertake multiple posts in a year?

    Trainees should report on a particular post rather than a programme and each programme can decide which is the most appropriate census date to report on. This will vary according to the programme rotation and start dates for trainees.

  • If posts come back from trainee representatives graded as 'good', do we have to hold a panel?

    Yes. In these circumstances we would ask you to consider how 'good' feedback could be increased to 'Excellent'. In addition, we would encourage you to discuss and record Good Practice.

  • How are the trainers view considered in the process?

    If the trainer is not at the Quality Panel, they have the opportunity to give feedback on the draft Quality Panel report. The report will become final once the Chair is content that due consideration has been given to their views.

  • What if the matrices don’t cover topics which are important for the programme?

    The matrices are only one source of evidence at the quality panel. It is possible to review any source of relevant information at the Quality Panel.

  • Is there one particular category on the matrices which will automatically make a post a specific grade?

    No, we use the principle of ‘best fit’. However, where one aspect of the post causes significant concern this can be reported via an anomaly grade on the report pro forma.

  • What if actions are required but we don't know timescales for improvement because the supervisors responsible for change are not at the panel?

    The draft Quality Panel report should be sent to relevant stakeholders for comment in order to capture actions. Supervisors can then have a chance to comment on the report, particularly with regard to an investigation and action planning.

  • What about Trust Executive Team input?

    The Quality Team meets with each of the Trusts at Contract Meetings. We use this opportunity to discuss any issues held on our Quality Register which includes Quality Panel outcomes.

  • How long do Quality Panels usually take?

    An average Quality Panel, e.g. Anaesthetics covering 6 Trusts, is likely to take 2-3 hours.