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Scotland Deanery

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Quality management

Quality review panels (QRPs)

A key responsibility of our 8 Specialty Quality Management Groups (sQMGs) is to monitor and respond to the data, information and intelligence relating to the quality of postgraduate training in their specialties. This includes the running of their specialties’ QRPs.

QRPs are held at the beginning of our quality cycle each year. The usual membership of the sQMG participates in the QRP. Representatives from relevant Royal Colleges and from the Director of Medical Education group are also invited. 

Our Postgraduate QRPs consider all the data, information and intelligence for the training year that has just ended about the training in the specialties covered by that sQMG across Scotland.  The purpose of the QRP is to decide what actions are needed to ensure standards are being met and to improve the quality of training. The information considered during QRPs, that is also used by sQMGs throughout the year to monitor the quality of education and training, includes:

  • Annual General Medical Council's (GMC's) National Trainee Survey (NTS) – both flags and free text comments are considered; as are UK overall satisfaction rankings for each programme.
  • Annual GMC's National Trainer Survey – flags are included.
  • Scottish Trainee Survey (an end of post survey) - flags and free text comments are considered.
  • Annual review of competence (ARCP) outcomes – the annual review of trainee competence & progression is reviewed to consider outlying programmes compared to UK results.
  • Reports from Training Programme Directors (TPDs) – this includes comments from the TPDs on survey data & their general summary of highlights and concerns.
  • Reports from Directors of Medical Education (DMEs) – this includes comment from the DME on survey data
  • Notifications of concern – this is the process by which trainees, trainers or other relevant staff can report a concern to us throughout the year.
  • Previous visit reports
  • Local intelligence – this may be provided from specialty training committees or shared by members of the panel during the meeting.
  • Entries from the Dean’s Report to the GMC.

Training programme director (TPD) report from NES on Vimeo.

The Medical Schools run an undergraduate QRP that considers all the available data, information and intelligence for the academic teaching year that has just ended relating to undergraduate medical teaching in all relevant units across Scotland. The undergraduate QRP also has access to the NTS and STS results for postgraduate training.  Its purpose is to decide what actions are necessary to improve the quality of undergraduate teaching. The output of the undergraduate QRP informs decisions made at specialty QRPs. 

The Foundation QRP and GP/OM/PH QRP decisions also inform the specialty QRPs.  In specialties where Core training programmes exist these will be considered first during the QRP and will then inform higher specialty discussions. As an illustration, the QRP for Higher Medical Training (for those specialties that provide dual training including general internal medicine) considers all the outputs of the undergraduate QRP, the Foundation QRP, the GP/OM/PH QRP and the core medical training QRP as well as the information relating to training in higher general internal medicine.


The decisions from QRPs include:

  • the need to obtain more information from a TPD or DME (enquires)
  • or to conduct a visit (a triggered visit, an immediate triggered visit)
  • or to continue close monitoring of future data (such as surveys) at the sQMG (this may ultimately lead to either of the above actions or to a decision that the potential concern is now resolved).

These activities inform the sQMG’s understanding of the quality of training that is provided at a site or in a programme. The QRPs also identify sites where there are multiple signals of potential good practice and issue letters commending the quality of training to the trainers, DMEs and TPDs who are associated with the relevant units. Full details of how QRPs are conducted is provided through the QRP standard operating procedure. This document also contains details of our decision aid tool which is used to assign a red/amber/green (RAG) rating to each site and specialty based on the available evidence (or where there is lack of evidence). The decision aid was introduced to support standardisation of decision making among the different QRPs and sQMGs. 

This page was last updated on: 23.06.2021 at 12.57