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Peer Reviews

ECT Accreditation ServiceThis page contains guidance for ECTAS 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 a ECT Psychiatrist, ECT Anaesthetist and an ECT Nurse.

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


Why become a peer reviewer?

  • Being a peer reviewer gives you the chance to visit other ECT clinics in the UK, and for ECT Clinic teams 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 reviewers value the experience, particularly as part of preparation for their own peer review.
  • As part of the agreement of joining, member services are requested to nominate staff to become peer reviewers. 


Who can become a peer reviewer? 

To become an ECTAS peer reviewer, you need to be one of the following:


  • ECT Psychiatrist
  • ECT Anaesthetist
  • ECT Nurse
  • ODP working in ECT
  • Someone who has received ECT


How do I become a peer reviewer?

A peer review team is made up of a lead reviewer and two other peer reviewers. All peer reviewers need to complete a training course, which is free for members to attend.

To find out more and register for the training, please contact the ECTAS team.


What does the peer reviewer training involve?


  • Training to become a peer reviewer takes one day and is free; it usually takes place in London.


  • The training day is structured like a peer review day and involves some role play (delivered by the ECTAS team!), guidance and group sessions to give you an idea of how to be part of a peer review team.  There is also a section of the training day focused on how to become a lead reviewer. 


  • Training days are eligible for your CPD programme.


  • We have recently devised an online training course specifically for anaesthetists/ODPs who want to train as reviewers, due to having a particular need for additional reviewers in this area.  You can complete this at any point.


  • More information on peer reviewer training days can be found by contacting the ECTAS team


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

  • All ECTAS peer review dates are advertised via the ECTAS email discussion forum.
  • We will send you email updates every few weeks with new peer review dates; usually these will be several months in advance.
  • You can choose which review(s) you would like to attend.  We will never force you to attend a review or send you somewhere you don't want to go.
  • Teams are chosen by the ECTAS team and made up of experienced and new reviewers. Depending on distance, sometimes an overnight stay is necessary the night before a review.


What about expenses?

Travel and accommodation

  • The ECTAS team reimburses all reasonable travel and expenses for attending peer reviews, including meals and accommodation for overnight stays.  You must retain all receipts/tickets to support your expense claim, including taxi journeys.


  • We will book travel (trains etc.) 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 for you, a member of the ECTAS 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, ECTAS will refund petrol costs up to the price of an advance train ticket.

Reimbursement of alcohol

Please be advised that ECTAS 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.


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 people who have contact with the clinic. These data are put together in a peer review booklet which is easy to understand.
  • A review takes place over half a day, in the morning (10am-1pm) or the afternoon (1pm-4pm). An example timetable can be seen here.
  • The main part of the day is a walkthrough of the ECT Clinic, during which standards relevant to each part of the clinic and each profession will be assessed. There are also parts of the day involving sit-down discussions.
  • Reviewers will not observe an ECT treatment, or see patient case notes.
  • A scribe can be appointed to take notes in their peer review booklet during the day, or the team can share this responsibility.
  • Refreshments are provided by the hosts. It is optional for hosts to provide lunch, but you will be notified whether or not this will be provided.
  • At the end of the day, the review team must decide whether each standard should be rated as Met or Not Met. This can be written in the shaded boxes in the booklet.


What does the lead reviewer do?

To become a lead reviewer, you need to have attended at least two ECTAS peer review visits and attend an ECTAS peer reviewer training day, which happens annually.

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

  • They should get 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.
  • The lead reviewer welcomes 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 self review data during the meetings themselves, or share this responsibility.
  • At the end of the day, the lead reviewer thanks the host team and review team. 
  • They then collect in all the peer review booklets from the rest of the team, compile the comments into one booklet and return all the copies, including notes to the ECTAS team within 3 working days.
  • They can also send a courtesy email to the review team and host team after the review, to thank them again.


ECTAS | 21 Prescot Street | London | E1 8BB
Tel: 020 3701 2653   Fax: 020 3701 2761    Email:

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