Advisory Appointments Committees (AACs) are vital for ensuring the quality of new physician appointments.
As a fellow of the RCP, you can volunteer as a college representative and make a valuable contribution in providing independent quality assurance at the shortlisting and interview stages, to ensure that the best candidate is appointed to deliver patient care.
The RCP has a statutory right to be asked to provide a representative on AACs for consultant posts. This statutory right does not apply to foundation trusts or for academic and SAS doctor appointments. However, we are continuing to work in partnership with NHS authorities with them under a concordat agreed between the medical royal colleges.
The RCP places great importance on the role of its representatives and we invite fellows to attend over 400 AACs each year.
Train to be a college representative
Register your interest to join a network of trained college of representatives. It is important that college representatives are trained in fair and non-discriminatory interviewing techniques and the application of equal opportunities. The RCP offers a short online course aimed at interviewers who sit on AACs. The course provides an overview of AAC procedures for consultant posts but will be of interest to all those involved in the recruitment process and for recruiting to academic and SAS doctor posts also.
By registering you will be able to manage your preferences and update your availability to attends AACs at any time. The course is free for RCP members and worth 1 CPD point. We will ask you to refresh your training every three years.
To represent the RCP on AACs you will:
- be a member of the Royal College of Physicians and have FRCP
- be on the General Medical Council (GMC) specialist register (unless exemptions apply or a SAS doctor representing on SAS AACs)
- have practised in the NHS in the past two years
- have undertaken equality and diversity training.
The National Health Service (Appointment of Consultants) Regulations 1996 (Amendment 2004) states that a health authority must appoint to the AAC a professional member:
- who practises in the relevant specialty
- is not employed within the area of the authority making the appointment
- in consultation with the relevant royal college.
If an AAC invitation is made on behalf of the college, the recruiting authority or the invitee should immediately declare to the college if the invitee works with the recruiting authority in any capacity. So that an alternative college representative can be found.
Being a college representative on AACs can be rewarding and add an extra perspective to your career, whatever your specialty. Reasons to be a college representative include:
- contributing to the medical profession to ensure that new consultants are of high calibre
- support your continuous professional development by taking the online training course worth 1 CPD point.
- experiencing the appointment process from the point of view of an assessor
- having the opportunity to visit other hospitals and teams and experience being part of a consultant appointment in a different region
- supporting the RCP in its work to maintain high standards of medical practice and the continual improvement of patient care.
Being a registered college representative is not too onerous as it may only involve attending two to three AACs each year.
Please note that if you are not registered you may still be invited to attend AACs. We have partnered with NHS authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to deliver the statutory requirement and to provide an efficient service. Provided you meet the eligibility requirements, the RCP may contact you or may provide your name and NHS contact details to our partners (NHS authorities) to invite you to AACs. If you do not wish to be involved in this activity or for your contact details to be passed on in this manner then please contact the AACs Unit.