Quality Panels

Lay Rep Information Sheet


What are Quality Panels?


  • Quality panels are the new way that Health Education England (HEE), working across the south west will aim to improve postgraduate medical education across Peninsula and Severn
  • The goal of these panels is to appraise whether a training post is providing good quality training. If it is then the hard work of those involved needs to be recognised and shared with others. If it isn’t, then ways in which it can improve need to be identified
  • The aim is to ensure that a consistent process is run across Peninsula and Severn and that, for e.g. a Quality Panel grading on a Cardiology post in Peninsula is comparable to a Quality Panel grading on a Cardiology post in Severn


 How will Quality Panels run?

  • Panels will run annually between July and December
  • They may take place in each trust or be deanery wide.  This will depend on the number of trainees in the programme
  • The panel will be comprised of trainee representatives, training programme directors, lay representatives and others such as educational supervisors
  • There will be more trainees on each panel than other representatives
  • Each trainee on the panel will collect feedback from other trainees in the post
  • TPDs will decide who they want to act as a post’s trainee representative(s).  They may ask for volunteers or they may nominate individuals.  Timings will depend on the date of the Quality Panel and trainee numbers will depend on the size of the programme.  The principle of trainee numbers exceeding other panel members needs adhering to
  • The TPD will allocate specific posts within a programme for trainees to report on.  This will be made clear to them at the time they are recruited/volunteer for the role
  • Two matrices are used to gather feedback on:
    • Safe Supportive Working Environment (SWE); and
    • Effective Educational Environment (EEE)

These are reflective of the new GMC standards introduced in January 2016


  • Once feedback has been gathered trainee representatives are responsible for recommending an EEE grade and SWE grade based on the survey responses received. Where possible, the results of the trainee survey(s) should be circulated prior to the day of the panel; failing that, results must be available on the day.  It should be made clear to the panel, how many trainees were involved in the survey
  • In addition to the trainee grading, the Quality Team will recommend a grade for each post based on current evidence (GMC Survey Grade and 2015 Overall Grade).  This will be made available to the panel on the day in addition to a copy of the evidence used to form the grade
  • The aim of the panel is to give each post an Overall Grade: Excellent, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate
  • To come to this conclusion, the panel will put together feedback from trainees in the post (SWE & EEE grade), the GMC Survey Grade and previous years Overall Grade.  Following discussion the panel must attribute the grade that best fits the data and outcome of the discussion held.  This will not necessarily be the average of the three grades.  The panel needs to use its discretion in light of the trainees’ narrative and importance of the specific issues identified.
  • When the panel agree on the grade for the post they will also need to suggest ways in which the post can be improved and highlight areas of good practice. If there is a significant issue then an action plan and timeframe will be agreed and the post reviewed again after this period
  • The comments should indicate whether the suggested action is a recommendation or requirement.
  • On rare occasions one issue may stand out as a problem in a post with an otherwise good score.  It is important to capture the problem in the Quality Panel report and therefore an Anomaly Score will be available for the panel to use
  • Following the Quality Panel, the TPD will be responsible for producing a report and once agreed between stakeholders the report will be published on the local HEE website and any actions and recommendations will be monitored and followed through by the local HEE Quality Team


What is the Lay Representatives role?


  • Your role is to help ensure that the process for running a Quality Panel is adhered to. Key points include:
    • The number of trainee representatives on the panel must exceed other panel members
    • The panel must confine discussions to posts and not the performance of individual trainees
    • The panel needs to include in its report ways in which the post can be improved as well as highlight areas of good practice.  There is no requirement to document the detailed discussion.  Even if a post is graded as ‘good’ a note needs to be made as to how the post can become ‘Excellent’ – this will help us ensure we are aspiring to excellence
    • Along with recording actions for improvement, panels must include a timeframe for implementation
    • Help ensure the panel is aware of the guidelines for attributing its overall grade:


To attribute an Overall Grade panels should consider all four contributing grades from SWE, EEE and the GMC Survey Grade and previous years Quality Panel Grade and then following discussion attribute the grade that best fits the data and outcome of the discussion held.  This will not necessarily be the average of the three grades.  The panel needs to use its discretion in light of the trainees narrative and importance of the specific issues identified. 


  • There are a number of Questions and Answers available on the PPME website which you may find helpful to access beforehand or on the day. 
  • Where issues are deemed significant a School may wish to conduct a Triggered Review the guidelines for which are included within the HEE Quality Framework.




Thank you for your involvement in quality panels.


Lay Representatives Quality Panel key responsibilities at a glance