Advisory Appointments Committees (AACs) are vital for ensuring the quality of new consultants, and as a fellow of the RCP you have the opportunity to volunteer as an AAC representative.
As a college representative you have the opportunity to make a valuable contribution and provide independent quality assurance, at the shortlisting and interview stages, to ensure that the best candidate is appointed to deliver patient care.
Equality and diversity training
If you are a fellow and practising in the NHS please let us know the status of your equality and diversity training by answering three short questions.
If you have not undertaken equality and diversity training you should be able to request this with your employer and then let us know when this is completed.
Being a college representative
The RCP places great importance on the role of its representatives and on a daily basis we invite fellows to attend AACs from our UK pool of over 9,000 fellows currently practising in the NHS (or recently retired).
The RCP has a statutory right to be asked to provide a representative on AACs for consultant posts. This statutory right does not extend to foundation trusts. However, we are continuing to work in partnership with them under a concordat agreed between the Foundation Trust Network and the medical royal colleges.
Being a registered college representative is not too onerous as it may only involve attending two to three AACs each year.
Reasons to be a college representative include:
- contributing to the medical profession to ensure that new consultants are of high calibre
- 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.
To represent the RCP on AACs you will:
- be a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (London)
- be on the General Medical Council (GMC) specialist register (unless exemptions apply)
- have practised in the NHS in the past 2 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.
Join a network of college representatives
Registering to be a college representative on AACs can be rewarding and add an extra perspective to your career, whatever your specialty. By registering you can manage your availability to attend AACs at any time.
In addition to the eligibility criteria above:
- You will have undertaken mandatory equality and diversity training within the past 3 years. You will be required to refresh your training after 3 years to retain your registration.
- There is an expectation that you can commit to attending two AACs a year provided you are given sufficient notice.
Registered college representatives will soon benefit from receiving bespoke training in fair and non-discriminatory interviewing techniques and the application of equal opportunities, which will contribute towards your continuing professional development.
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.