Visits to medical schools and deaneries
We set standards for undergraduate medical education and postgraduate training. As part of our quality assurance processes to ensure that medical schools, postgraduate deaneries and local education providers are complying with these, we conduct visits to review education and training against our standards.
This visiting activity takes a number of different forms:
Regional reviews: we visit all of the medical schools and deaneries in a geographical region (or country) to make judgements about each individual organisation and to get a picture of education and training in that area. This includes visits to local education providers (LEPs) providing clinical placements for medical schools and delivering the postgraduate training managed by postgraduate deaneries.
Small specialty reviews: currently a pilot, these reviews look at the quality of training in specialties that have been traditionally difficult to quality assure due to the small number of trainees involved and the limited evidence we hold about them
New schools and programmes: new UK medical schools or programmes outside the UK that want to be able to award a UK PMQ must undergo a rolling series of visits to ensure that the programme is fully compliant with our standards and outcomes for graduates. This includes requests for independent recognition of a medical school which has previously jointly provided programmes with another school.
Checks: short, targeted visits to investigate a specific issue or a gap in our evidence base, or to test the accuracy of the evidence we hold.
Most of our visits are risk-based and we review our evidence base to identify the regions and small specialties to review and where we need checks. The exceptions to this approach are the rolling reviews of new schools and programmes, and random checks to test the accuracy of our evidence.
As well as exploring areas of risk during visits, we are very keen to identify and share examples of good practice and we also explore these areas on visits.