Advisory Appointments Committees (AAC)

An Advisory Appointments Committee (AAC) is an interview panel for a consultant or a specialty doctor in an NHS Trust. This system was put in place by parliamentary legislation in 1996.

About the AAC

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health must provide an independent representative to sit on any NHS interview for a non-training doctor post in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. The College also supports a similar system, the National Panelists Scheme, in Scotland.

The job of the RCPCH representative is to give an external view on the suitability of the candidates interviewed.

This includes posts with clinical practice even if the majority of the workload will be:

  • academic
  • administrative
  • other non-clinical.

Why is the AAC needed?

This system provides quality assurance of shortlisted doctors for NHS patients and for NHS Trusts when they are employing doctors. The system also lets the RCPCH do the following:

  • check that the appointee is qualified to train doctors for the future
  • track increasing or decreasing numbers of doctors
  • track increases or decreases in different types of jobs
  • track where it may be difficult for NHS Trusts to attract new recruits.


The College has now issued revised guidance for all those involved in NHS recruitment of paediatricians of consultant or specialty doctor grades.

Go to AAC guidance

College activities

  • The College deals with around 450 AAC cases a year in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and has been helping Scotland with their cases since 2010.
  • During peak times in July, late November and early December we deal with up to 60 enquiries a week.
  • We hold two assessor training days a year to give the latest training to new and experienced assessors.  Upcoming training days are 10 May 2017 and 9 November 2017 at RCPCH London Office.  For further information, please email