Lay Members

The Role of Lay Representatives

Introduction

The GMC requires Health Education England to have a system for the use of external advisers and Lay Representatives at key stages of training.

All of our Lay representatives are suitably trained including Equality and Diversity, Information Governance and Fitness to Practice. This training is refreshed every three years.

 It is the role of our Lay Representatives to represent public interest, provide impartial advice, scrutinise policy and process and apply their own expertise.

We have a pool of 40 Lay Representatives for Health Education England (Working across the North West) who play an integral part in our quality assurance process. The Lay Representative will sit on ARCP/RITA Panels, attend Hospital Monitoring Visits, Recruitment events and Educator interviews.

Our Lay representatives are encouraged to be proactive and play an active role in the above events. Following their attendance they will provide feedback on our processes via our online report tool. The report will then be shared with the relevant HEE personnel, departments and Medical Leads to improve our policies and processes.

We appraise our Lay Representatives bi-annually using the 360 degree tool as well as self-appraisal. We also organise annual development sessions based on current hot topics.

This protocol sets out the role of the Lay Member in connection with ARCP and RITA panels. The protocol is designed to be compatible with the more detailed information on the ARCP process provided in the Gold Guide and Health Education North West (Mersey) ARCP protocol and with the information provided on the RITA process in the Orange Guide.

ARCP

ARCP Panel Objectives:

  • To consider and approve the adequacy of the evidence and documentation provided by the trainee (and their educational supervisor) in connection with the trainee’s progress in the training programme.
  • Provided that adequate documentation has been presented, to make a judgement about the trainee’s suitability to progress to the next stage of training or confirm training has been satisfactorily been completed.

Lay Attendance at Panels

Lay representation should be arranged for all ARCP panel assessments within each specialty. This will be co-ordinated centrally by HEE frances.mclaughlin@hee.nhs.uk

Role of the Lay Representative

Lay members should adopt the following practice at ARCP panels:

  • Familiarise themselves in advance with the purpose, practice and outcomes for an ARCP. The range of possible outcomes are described at References 1 and 2
  • On arrival, discuss with the panel chair the format of the ARCP process to be used on that occasion and agree the lay role
  • Attend the panel as member but not as chair
  • Check that the panel is properly constituted as laid out in the HENW protocol
  • Monitor the process to check that it is consistent and fair
  • Evaluate whether the outcome decisions appear to be consistent with the panel discussion and the evidence
  • Raise questions and involve themselves in the panel assessment and decision-making
  • Provide feedback if appropriate to the panel chair and subsequently complete written feedback and submit to the usual HENW contact point. 

RITA

The Record of In-Training Assessment (RITA) provides a record of the annual review and therefore of the Specialist Registrar's (SpR) progress through his/her training programme. It will remain in use for whilst SpR grades persist.

RITA Panel Objectives:

  • To provide a mechanism for recording and managing trainees' progress towards their training goal and through the SpR grade
  • To evaluate evidence of the trainees performance and progress in the grade

Lay Attendance at Panels

Lay members are asked to attend a proportion of RITA panels as decided by HENW

RITA Panel Format

The RITA Panel will assess a variety of written evidence concerning the trainees progress and experience. The panel will be attended by the trainee who will normally make a presentation concerning achievements in the past year and development objectives for the coming year. The trainee will normally be asked to leave the room while the panel decides on the outcome. Details of RITA outcomes can be found in the ‘Orange Guide’ (Ref 3)

Role of the Lay Member

Lay members should adopt the following practice at RITA panels:

  • Familiarise themselves in advance with the purpose, practice and outcomes from a RITA panel
  • On arrival, discuss with the panel chair the format of the RITA process to be used on that occasion and agree the lay role
  • Attend the panel as member but not as chair.
  • Monitor the process to check that it is consistent.
  • Evaluate whether the outcome decisions appear to be consistent with the panel discussion and the evidence.
  • Raise questions and involve themselves in any aspect of the panel assessment and decision-making.
  • Ask questions of the trainee as appropriate within the panel format.
  • Provide feedback if appropriate to the panel chair and subsequently complete written feedback and submit to the usual HENW contact point.