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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness


Peer Reviews

This page contains guidance for MSNAP peer reviewers, as well as information on how to become a peer reviewer.


As part of the accreditation process, each service receives a peer review from a team made up of clinicians from other member services, as well as a person with dementia and/or carer and a member of the MSNAP team.


For more information on the accreditation process, visit How accreditation works.


Why become a peer reviewer?

  • Being a peer reviewer gives you the chance to visit other clinics in the UK, and for memory service staff and clinicians this means becoming part of a network where you can share ideas and resources and gives you the opportunity to see how diverse other services work.  Many of our staff and clinician reviewers value the experience, particularly as part of preparation for their own peer review
  • As part of the agreement of joining, member services are required to nominate staff to become peer reviewers.  Bear in mind that your service will receive a visit from at least 2 clinician peer reviewers every 2 years, so you should provide at least 2 reviewers every 2 years in order to keep the programme running fairly and efficiently
  • As a person with dementia or a carer, you will become part of a programme which aims to improve the quality of services that assess and diagnose dementia.  We want to improve the experience of people like you who use these services and as part of that, your views are vital

Who can become a peer reviewer? 

  • People who work in a memory service or memory clinic which is a member of MSNAP.
  • People with dementia, or people who care or have cared for someone with dementia, who have experience of using a memory service.

How do I become a peer reviewer - professionals?

You will need to be trained in peer reviewing. 

Dates of upcoming peer review training days are listed below. 

Contact your MSNAP lead, your memory service or the MSNAP Team to register your interest. 

If there are no dates listed, we will take your details and contact you as soon as a new date is organised.


How do I become a peer reviewer - patients and carers?

If you would like to become a peer reviewer, please contact the MSNAP Team on 020 3701 2656 or

What does the training involve?

  • Training to become a peer reviewer takes one day and is free; we hold training days several times a year spread across the country.  See below for details.
  • The training day is structured like a peer review day and involves some role play (delivered by the MSNAP team!) to give you an idea of how the peer review visit works, as well as guidance and group exercises
  • Training days are eligible for your CPD programme
  • For people with dementia and their carers, we will book or reimburse travel, as well as paying a session fee of £100/day for training

When is your next training day? 

We will be holding the following training days in 2017: 

  • Wednesday 12th April- London
  • Wednesday 7th June- Manchester

To register for any of these training days, please contact the MSNAP team.

How can I find out where and when the visits are?

  • Once you are trained you are required to attend at least one peer review, however, you can choose which review(s) you would like to attend.  We rely on volunteers and will not allocate people to reviews they don't want to attend. 
  • We will send you email updates every few weeks with new peer review dates; usually these will be several months in advance.
  • Depending on distance, sometimes an overnight stay is necessary the night before a review.

What about expenses?

Please note that from 1 January 2017 MSNAP is no longer able to reimburse travel costs for professional peer reviewers.

MSNAP will reimburse reasonable travel expenses for patient and carer reviewers. We will also pay a service fee of £100 per day to people with dementia and carers who attend our reviews.


  • You must retain all receipts/tickets to support your expense claim, including taxi journeys
  • We will book travel (trains etc.) and accommodation in advance on your behalf wherever possible.  The College is part of the 10:10 campaign to reduce carbon emissions and as part of this we encourage you to travel by public transport as much as possible  
  • If you would like us to book travel and/or accommodation for you, a member of the MSNAP team should be notified at least 3 weeks in advance.
  • If a ticket is bought by the reviewer on the day, we will only be able to refund the cost up to the price of an advance ticket
  • If you choose to drive, MSNAP will refund petrol costs up to the price of an advance train ticket

Reimbursement of alcohol

Please be advised that MSNAP will only reimburse you the cost of one alcoholic beverage per day whilst on review.

This is to be consumed with your dinner (for which you are permitted to claim a maximum of £25). 

Any further alcoholic beverages will be purchased by yourself at your own discretion.

Info for people with dementia and their carers

MSNAP Job Description

For more detailed information for people with dementia and their carers about peer reviews, please download our Service User/Carer Job Description


Who attends a peer review visit?

  • Each peer review team is made up of two clinicians/staff members and a person with dementia and/or carer, as well as a representative from the MSNAP team
  • The two clinicians/staff will be from different memory clinics participating in MSNAP.  However, people with dementia or carers may attend reviews with a staff member who they know from their own clinic
  • The peer review team members must not be from within the same Trust as the clinic under review.

What happens on a peer review visit?

  • The purpose of a peer review is to validate the self review data - taken from questionnaires filled in by all kinds of people who have contact with the service. These data are put together in a peer review booklet which is easy to understand
  • A review takes place from 9:30am - 4:15pm.  See an example timetable.
  • A series of meetings take place on a peer review day, including the person with dementia or carer meeting with other people with dementia and carers who use the service to ask them about their experiences
  • A scribe can be appointed to take notes in their peer review booklet in each meeting, or the team can share this responsibility
  • Lunch and refreshments are provided by the hosts
  • At the end of the day, the review team must decide whether each standard should be rated as Met or Not Met. 

What does the lead reviewer do?

The lead reviewer does just that - lead the review team.  They have a few extra responsibilities:

  • Getting in touch with the rest of the review team and the host team, before the review, to introduce themselves and offer to answer any queries.  This is a good opportunity to exchange mobile phone numbers in case of an emergency or late running
  • Welcoming the host team at the introductory meeting, explaining a bit about the programme, the process and asking for introductions. Guidance on what to say is in the peer review guidance document you will have been supplied with
  • The lead reviewer can choose to lead discussion about the peer review booklet during the meetings themselves, or share this responsibility
  • They can also send a courtesy email to the review team and host team after the review, to thank them again
  • Being a lead reviewer is not as scary as it might sound!  A member of the MSNAP team is always on hand to take over, or offer assistance or support if you want it.

What is an honorary lead reviewer?

Honorary lead reviewers are experienced reviewers who are able to lead reviews without a member of the MSNAP project team being present.

As well as carrying out the tasks that the lead reviewer is responsible for listed above, they also need to ensure that all of the paperwork from the review, including each reviewer's copy of the peer review booklet and the notes from the patient and carer meetings, is collected at the end of the day and posted back to the MSNAP project team the following working day.

The criteria for becoming an honorary lead reviewer is listed below:

  • The reviewer has attended at least 3 MSNAP peer reviews
  • The reviewer has led at least 2 MSNAP peer reviews, supported by a member of the MSNAP team
  • The reviewer is prepared to attend top-up lead reviewer training as required
  • The reviewer is happy to lead MSNAP peer reviews without the presence of a member of the project team
  • The reviewer is prepared to lead 2 MSNAP peer reviews per year (the contract lasts for 1 year and can be renewed as necessary)

What are the benefits of becoming an honorary lead reviewer?

  • Travel and expenses to attend peer reviews are always paid for by MSNAP
  • Free place at the annual National Memory Services Forum
  • Good addition to the CV

How do I apply?

Contact the MSNAP team who will consider your suitability for becoming an honorary lead reviewer in accordance with the above criteria. If suitable, MSNAP will issue an honorary contract, valid for one year. You will be required to sign and return a copy of the contract to confirm your acceptance of the position.





MSNAP, 21 Prescot Street, London, E1 8BB    

Tel: 020 3701 2656   Fax: 020 3701 2761   Email:

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