Our evidence shows that quality management systems are maturing and becoming embedded. However, evidence also shows us that overall, quality control within local education providers can be less developed at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. We aim to address this disparity through our new standards Promoting excellence and our visits, which include a particular focus on the provision of education and training at the local level.

Visits are flexible tools, designed to reflect local differences and targeted towards areas of identified risk. We will also identify any good practice. We have developed exploratory questions that are mapped to our standards, and will set out in some detail our expectations of organisations that we visit. These exploratory questions may change from time to time.

We carry out visits to

  • medical schools
  • deaneries and local education and training boards (LETBs) and
  • local education providers

to check they are complying with our standards for undergraduate and postgraduate medical education.

Our visits are risk based, which means we look at our evidence and decide which areas of education are most likely to be of concern and we focus our visits on those areas.

We also explore areas of good practice on visits so we can raise standards by promoting things which are working well and which other organisations might want to adopt. Read more about visits here.

Regional reviews

On a regional review we visit all of the medical schools and the deanery or local education and training board in a geographical region (or country) to make judgements about each individual organisation against our standards, and to get a picture of education and training in that area.

Read more about regional and national reviews.

Thematic reviews

We conduct reviews which focus on particular aspects or areas of medical education and training. These include

  • Small specialty reviews
  • Risk based spot checks
  • A review into undermining and bullying.

Read more about thematic reviews.

Visits to new schools and programmes

We visit new UK medical schools, or programmes outside the UK that want to be able to award a UK medical qualification, to ensure that they comply with our standards for undergraduate education.

Read more about our visits to new schools and programmes.

Enhanced monitoring

If we are particularly concerned about an issue at a medical school, deanery, LETB or local education provider – and the issue is not quickly resolved – we introduce what we call enhanced monitoring.

Read more about enhanced monitoring.

Exploratory questions

Explanatory questions are questions that we use when we carry out quality assurance visits to help identify areas of concern or good practice.

See further information on exploratory questions.