Clinical Excellence Awards (CEAs) for Paediatrics

CEAs are fixed term awards that recognise and reward the exceptional contribution of NHS consultants - over and above that normally expected in a post - to the values and goals of the NHS and to patient care.

Awards are time limited, usually for five years, and are renewable by competitive application. This page explains the process and how to seek support for your application from RCPCH.
Last modified
8 September 2021

ACCEA process 2021

RCPCH has now undertaken and completed its own window of applications for a College citation in support of an application to ACCEA and the College citation application window is now closed.

ACCEA has now also closed the 2021 national CEAs competition in England and Wales. The deadline for applications to the ACCEA was 17:00, Thursday 18 March.

Systems in the UK

England - Applications at the national level are assessed by the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards (ACCEA), administered by staff of the Department of Health and Social Care (England).

Wales - The Welsh Government has arranged that national level applications for CEAs are also assessed by the ACCEA.

Northern Ireland - National level applications are assessed by the Northern Ireland Department of Health. The Northern Ireland process is currently suspended and there is no indication of when a CEA round will next be launched in Northern Ireland. The College continues to seek updates regularly. More information on any national round for Northern Ireland will be found on the Northern Ireland Department of Health website.

Scotland - No current national CEA process for new applicants.

Application process

During a round, applications are made by individual consultants either to their employer locally for local awards at levels L1-L9, or at the national level for CEAs at the Bronze (L9 equivalent), Silver (L10), Gold (L11) or Platinum (L12) levels.

Consultants can choose to seek support from their Medical Royal College for their application for a national level award in England or Wales. For Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards this would be a citation to the ACCEA. For Platinum level this is in the form of a recommendation to the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges which produces citations to the ACCEA for Platinum Awards. 

Applications should be drafted using the latest available DHSC ACCEA forms and guidance - currently the 2021 Application Forms and 2021 Guidance.

When applying to a Round in Northern Ireland, a request to the Northern Ireland Department of Health to seek a citation from the applicant's Medical Royal College must be indicated on the application to the DH-NI. Citations would only be sought by the DH-NI for applicants at Gold (L11) and Platinum (L12) level.

For national level awards the College is especially conscious of the need to encourage applications from colleagues in groups that are under-represented as award-holders at national levels and believes it is vital for there to be applications that reflect the breadth and diversity in the paediatric workforce.

The DHSC ACCEA has made clear their application process treats all applications equally and on merit and the College strongly encourages colleagues from under-represented backgrounds to submit applications during application Rounds.

New Bronze, Silver and Gold applications (England and Wales)

The College is permitted to submit a very limited number of College citations to the ACCEA for new Bronze, Silver and Gold awards in the ACCEA Round in England and Wales. In 2021 a total of 2 Gold, 4 Silver and 26 Bronze citations were permitted to the College by the ACCEA for all members applying from across England and Wales.

How applications for College citations are assessed

Applications are assessed by the College Area Ranking Committee (ARC). Each ARC is permitted to put forward a limited number of Bronze, Silver and Gold applicants for assessment in the second round by the College National Ranking Committee (NRC).

New Platinum applications (England and Wales)

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges competition for Platinum Level Award citations involves the RCPCH acting as the Paediatrics Platinum Ranking Committee of the AoMRC.

Applying for a higher award

Members are reminded if they are renewing an existing award they can at the same time apply in parallel for a new higher level of National Award to the ACCEA using a copy of the same text and application form. (For example, a renewal applicant for a Silver Award can at the same time seek a new Gold Award.)