Recruiting Paediatricians

Anyone hiring a paediatrician to provide an NHS service has to organise a special interview panel (an Advisory Appointments Committee - AAC) if they are recruiting a consultant or a specialty doctor.

About AACs

When Parliament set up this system they agreed an AAC should include a representative from the relevant Medical Royal College. For paediatricians the college responsible for this is the RCPCH.

The RCPCH provides support to any NHS interview for a non-training doctor post in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. The College also supports a similar system, the External Adviser Scheme, in Scotland.

The job of the RCPCH rep is quality assurance - to give an external view on the adequacy and the level of suitability of the candidates interviewed for the specific job advertised.

This is to safeguard both the NHS service provider making the recruitment and the patients the doctor will see. It is for any post with clinical practice even if the majority of the workload will be:

  • academic
  • administrative
  • other non-clinical.

What does the College rep add?

The College rep provides quality assurance of shortlisted doctors for NHS patients and for NHS service providers when they are employing doctors. The system also enables:

  • checking the appointee is qualified to train doctors for the future
  • tracking increasing or decreasing medical workforce numbers in the UK
  • tracking increases or decreases in different types of jobs across the UK and in different Regions
  • tracking where it may be difficult for NHS service providers to attract new recruits.

College activities

  • The College deals with around 450 AAC cases a year in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and has been helping Scotland since 2010.
  • During peak times in late June/early July and late November/early December we deal with up to 60 enquiries a week.
  • The College has provided guidance for anyone involved in this process including NHS services' HR staff, managers and recruiting clinicians.
  • We hold two assessor training days a year to give the latest training to new and experienced assessors.