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Scotland Deanery

Home of medical and dental excellence

Quality management

Hospital and Programme Visits

Visits to local education providers (LEPs) and to training programmes are a key element of the Scotland Deanery Quality Management-Quality Improvement (QM-QI) Framework.

These visits allow assessment of the quality of the training environment within a LEP or training programme which informs us about whether training meets the General Medical Council’s standards. 

Visits are conducted to all LEPs and training programmes once every five years, as a minimum. These are called scheduled visits and take place even if there is no evidence of risk or concern. We also have a range of visit categories which are risk-based and allow us to conduct a visit outside of this five-year schedule. More detail about each type of visit is included below and information on the evidence sQMGs use to identify the need for risk-based visits can be found in the monitoring section of this framework. Prior to conducting a visit, panel members have access to an information pack that includes all relevant data, information and intelligence.  Content of the pack includes data that has been submitted via our Pre-Visit Questionnaire (PVQ). This is conducted 2-6 weeks prior to the visit and only trainees who are currently in the unit or programme are asked to participate. 

All visits look for areas of good practice as well as identifying actions which are required to meet the GMC standards. Good practice which is identified at a visit and that could be used in other training environments is followed up using the tools detailed in the Improving section of this framework. If the panel identify a number of concerns, they can reference the guidance document to determine if a revisit is required. 

All visits are conducted using a structured question guide for Trainers, Trainees and Nursing/Midwifery/Allied Health Professionals. The question guide covers each of the GMC standards and is structured around indicator headings from the GMC National Training Survey and Scottish Training Survey.

We have four approaches to Deanery QM-QI visits (that are most commonly arranged as LEP visits but can also focus on a whole regional or national training programme and include all trainees within the programme, regardless of site).

  1. Scheduled visit - Scotland Deanery is committed to undertaking a cycle of routine or scheduled visits whereby all posts within LEPs that deliver specialty training will be visited, to assess the quality of training they deliver, at least once per 5years. The sQMG is responsible for determining the schedule for these visits.
  2. Triggered visit - The sQMG will consider various sources of data and intelligence throughout the annual quality cycle. When potential concerns around the quality of training that is provided have been signalled by any of the sources of data, the sQMG may decide to undertake a “triggered” visit. Most of these decisions will be made at the QRP, but the need to undertake triggered visits can arise at any time in the training year at the discretion of the sQMG in response to emerging concerns.
  3. Immediate Triggered visit – like a triggered visit but conducted at shorter notice, typically, because of a new patient or trainee safety concern.
  4. Enhanced Monitoring visit – as described in Enhanced Monitoring.

Further detail of how we conduct visits can be found in our standard operating procedure and our virtual visit standard operating procedure.


Following a visit, the DME will be provided with an immediate feedback document within 3 business days from the date of the visit.


A copy of our standard visit report template can be found here, and you can view completed reports in Specialty Visit Reports.



This page was last updated on: 10.02.2021 at 11.20