College Assessors & Advisory Appointment Committees
IMPORTANT: New training for College
Dates have now been set for training events
for College Assessors. The training events will be open to all
existing, new and prospective College Assessors. The training
events, which will run for most of the day, will be held on:
- Friday 9 May in London (very few places still left)
- Friday 30 May in Leeds
- Wednesday 1 October in Blagdon, near Bristol
To register your interest, please email the workforce helpdesk with
your preference(s). Places will be provided on a first come, first
served basis, but we are keen to attract new College Assessors and
widen the pool of College representatives available to trusts.
Please note that the event in London is very popular and
there is very limited availability for this day. If further
events are required in specific parts of the country, these
will be arranged as soon as possible. Reasonable expenses will be
met for members attending the training.
Further information on becoming a College Assessor can be
found below, but the process
is managed locally via the divisional chairs, and then approved by
the Education, Training and Standards Committee. This committee
next meets on 13 June 2014.
Advisory Appointments Committees
An Advisory Appointments Committee (AAC) is a legally
constituted interview panel. It is established by the
appointing body and should include the following persons:
- The Chief Executive of the appointing body
- The Medical Director of the appointing body
- A Consultant employed by the appointing body and from the
- A University representative (if required)
- A lay member, normally the Chair
- A College Assessor
- Any other additional members considered appropriate by the
The function of an AAC is to decide the applicants suitable for
the post and to recommend these names to the recruiting
Trust. This applies equally to Consultant and Specialty
The College Assessor’s role in this process is to ensure the AAC
runs fairly by providing an impartial, external opinion as a
representative of The Royal College of Psychiatrists. Their
presence aims to maintain standards of practice in the profession
as well as enables a reliable and constructive assessment of the
training and experience of a candidate. As a core member of
the AAC, the College Assessor must be involved in all stages of the
process, including shortlisting.
In order that the most suitable candidate is identified for the
post, the nominated College Assessor should ensure that the
applicants are eligible for appointment in terms of inclusion on
the Specialist Register. Additionally, they should encourage
Trusts to provide mentorship for newly qualified Consultants.
Appointment criteria for consultants
Since 1 January 1997, inclusion on the GMC’s Specialist
Register is a legal requirement for doctors who wish to take up a
consultant appointment in the NHS. This is with the exception
of Specialist Registrars who are able to apply for consultant posts
if the expected date of the award of their CCT falls no more than 6
months after the date of interview. It is important to not
discriminate against doctors who do not hold either MRCPsych or a
CCT, but have obtained Specialist Registration via other
Consultant job descriptions
In accordance with the NHS (Appointment of Consultants)
Regulations, amended in January 2005, the Trust should consult the
Regional Advisor with regard to the job description and person
specification prior to advertisement. This aims to ensure
that proper consideration has been given to all areas of the
appointment in relation to the facilities provided, including
clinical, research, teaching and managerial responsibilities, and a
satisfactory balance has been achieved.
Organising an Advisory Appointments Committee
An AAC is arranged by the appointing body once the Regional
Advisor has commented on and agreed the job description, and the
post has been advertised.
Once a College Assessor has been identified for the AAC,
the College should be notified of the details of the
interview as soon as possible,
via the workforce helpdesk
is important to ensure accurate records are maintained, which is
fundamental to workforce monitoring, as well as enabling the
College to send Assessors the appropriate paperwork in advance of
How to find a College Assessor
The contact details of all approved, trained College Assessors
can be found on a secure section of the College website
Trusts can access this with a username and password, which permits
them to search by specialty and region. If your Trust requires
access to the secure pages of the website to identify an College
Assessor, please contact the workforce
Trusts should ask an Assessor if they are available to attend
an interview at least six weeks prior to the AAC or, if possible,
at the beginning of the recruitment process.
It is important to remember that, in order to fulfil their
role as an external Assessor, the College representative must not
be an employee of the recruiting Trust. It is also essential
that the Assessor specialises in the specialty of psychiatry the
interview is for.
If recruiting for an unusual specialty area such as perinatal
psychiatry or neuropsychiatry, the Trust should contact the College
directly and they can provide a list of names. If you are
experiencing difficulties finding an Assessor, please contact the
College who will be happy to advise you further.
Following an AAC, all Colege Assessors must complete a
feedback form for the College and the Regional Advisor, hence the
importance of informing the College once an Assessor is
identified. This is invaluable for monitoring the recruitment
of psychiatrists in the NHS.
Further information and resources
How to become a College Assessor
- The College Assessor Job
Description can be accessed here.
- The applicant is required to be
nominated by their Regional Advisor, the Chair of their Division or
the Chair of their Faculty. Details of these can be found on the
website. The nomination should be sent to the College, along
with a copy of their CV.
- The applicant’s name will be put
forward to the Education, Training and Standards Committee for
endorsement. This committee sits three times per year.
- Once ETSC approval and College
Assessor training has been completed, the new College Assessor will
be put on a protected page of the College website, with permission,
for NHS Trusts to access when they require a College Assessor to
attend their Advisory Appointments Committee.
- It is important Assessors have
obtained Diversity/Equal Opportunities Training and the College
requires confirmation that the Assessor has attended such training
or will undertake training within their Trust or Deanery.
Training and Workforce
Royal College of Psychiatrists
21 Prescot Street
London, E1 8BB
Tel: 020 3701 2616
Fax: 020 3701 2761