Quality Panels - Information for use in Severn School of Psychiatry, HESW

Quality panels are the new way that Health Education South West (HESW) aims to improve postgraduate education across Peninsula and Severn.

Panels will run annually between July and December.

They may take place in each trust or be Severn-wide.  This will depend on the number of trainees in the programme.

The goal of these panels is to appraise whether a training post is providing good quality training. If it is then the hard work of those involved needs to be recognised and shared with others. If it isn’t, then ways in which it can improve need to be identified.

Every post will be reviewed every year by a Quality Panel. The aim is to ensure that a consistent process is run across Peninsula and Severn and that, for e.g. a Quality Panel grading on a General Psychiatry post in Peninsula is comparable to a Quality Panel grading on a General Psychiatry post in Severn.

What are TPD responsibilities?

  • Decide how your posts will be grouped
  • Confirm a date for your Quality Panel
  • Decide who you wish to sit on the Quality Panel; the panel will need to comprise of trainee representatives, training programme directors, lay representatives and others such as educational supervisors
  • Decide who you wish to be your trainee representatives.  You may ask for volunteers or nominate individuals.  There must be more trainees on each panel than other representatives
  • Clearly allocate responsibility for collating feedback on different posts to individual trainees.  Ensure they are aware that they must use the Quality Panel Scoring Matrix to gather feedback and that the trainee voice is central to the Quality Panel process.  Once feedback has been gathered trainee representatives are responsible for recommending an overall grade for Effective Educational Environment (EEE) and Safe Supportive Working Environment (SWE) based on the survey responses received.
  • Where possible, the results of the trainee survey(s) i.e. the grading attributed by the trainee reps for EEE and SWE should be circulated prior to the panel taking place; failing that, results must be available on the day. It should be made clear to the panel, how many trainees were involved in the survey
  • Chair the panel on the day

What happens on the day of the Quality Panel and afterwards?

In addition to the trainee grading, the Quality Team will recommend a grade for each post based on current evidence; this may include GMC NTS data, LEP visit reports, End of Post surveys, etc.  This grade will be made available to the panel on the day in addition to a copy of the evidence used to form the grade.  This grade is known as the Quality Data Grade.  The aim of the panel is to give each post an Overall Grade: Excellent, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate.  To come to this conclusion, the panel will put together feedback from trainees in the post (SWE & EEE grade), the Quality Data Grade and will review evidence such as the GMC survey, end of placement surveys, previous visits/reports and any concerns that have been raised previously. The panel must confine discussions to posts and not the performance of individual trainees.

To attribute an Overall Grade panels should consider all three contributing grades from SWE, EEE and the Quality Data Grade, there are 3 possible combinations:

  • All three are the same grade in which case this becomes the Overall Grade
  • There are two of one grade and one of another and the majority grade becomes the Overall Grade
  • Each of the three grades are different in which case the middle grade becomes the overall

When the panel agree on the grade for the post they will also need to suggest ways in which the post can be improved and highlight areas of good practice. If there is a significant issue then an action plan and timeframe will be agreed and the post reviewed again after this period.
There is no requirement to document the detailed discussion.  Even if a post is graded as ‘good’ a note needs to be made as to how the post can become ‘Excellent’ – this will help us ensure we are aspiring to excellence.
On rare occasions one issue may stand out as a problem in a post with an otherwise good score.  It is important to capture the problem in the Quality Panel report and therefore an Anomaly Score will be available for the panel to use
Following the Quality Panel, the TPD will be responsible for producing a report – please see template report (available from Quality Team).

The report will need to be agreed by the panel following which it should be sent to the educational leads of the posts cited in the report for comment and response. The Chair of the panel (usually the TPD) will respond to any feedback and decide whether this alters the outcome of the panel. The TPD will submit the final report to the HoS and Quality Team for approval and clarification. Once agreed between stakeholders the report will be published on the HESW website and any actions and recommendations will be monitored and followed through by the HESW Quality Team.

Frequency of Panel Meeting


Composition of Panel to Evaluate Training Posts

  • Lay advisor (Chair)
  • Training Programme Director or
  • Associate Patch Dean (Primary Care)
  • Specialty Tutors (not from the same Department or Practice as the Training Programme Director or Patch Dean).
  • Trainees (in general terms, one trainee should be from the early years of the training programme ST1-3, and another trainee should be from the later part of the training programme ST4-6).
  • Trainees and trainers should be equally represented
  • Training Programme Director or Head of School from a non related programme. The external input may be beneficial to the panel. It will also provide a degree of faculty development for the external participant.

Evidence Reviewed

  • GMC Surveys Current and Past to determine progress
  • Trainee input
  • Soft intelligence from ARCP/RITA process
  • The preceding Annual Report to the Deanery from the Training Programme Director

Other Evidence that could be Considered

  • Local surveys within the programme
  • Results of external visits to the programme from GMC, another training programme or a visit from a Royal College.

Scrutiny and Reporting

The process is training programme based. We have over 50 training programmes within the Severn Deanery. Each Training Programme Director should feed their results to the Deanery Quality Team.


The Quality Panel will report to the local Specialty Training Committee through the Training Programme Director who sits on the panel. The Deanery Quality Team will review the gradings of the panel. The Deanery Quality Team will disseminate the gradings for each programme back to Directors of Medical Education, Training Programme Directors and Heads of School.

Evaluation of Training Posts

The training posts will be graded as follows:

  • A Excellent (Green)
  • B Good (Green)
  • C1 Action and feedback (Amber)
  • C2 Action soon (Amber)
  • D Unsatisfactory and immediate action (Red)

In this evaluation of training posts, all training posts within a training unit will be evaluated collectively. It is not yet possible to identify posts within a 'firm' structure in a training unit.

Grading excellence is subjective. It is acknowledged that there will be debate about what defines excellence. Where a training post is graded as excellent (A), or good (B), it is important (particularly for excellent posts) to identify the factors that make them excellent, to encourage development elsewhere within the Deanery. An amber grading (C1/2) indicates that there are areas for improvement. Where a post is graded as C1 (Action and feedback), C2 (Action soon), D (Unsatisfactory), the reason(s) that it has not achieved "good" status need to be given. With regard to gradings that are red, a red grading (D) would be given because there were multiple or important areas for improvement Training posts should be evaluated broadly under the nine GMC domains.

GMC Generic Standards for Training can be found on the GMC Website.

GMC Domains

One Patient Safety

Supervision, workload intensity, handover, consent procedures, EWTR (European Working Time Regulation).

Two Quality Control, review and evaluation

Governance, local review of GMC and Deanery Surveys with trainee input.

Three Equality, diversity and opportunity

Wide access to training and participation in training, fair recruitment, programme design, job adjustment and provision of information. Adherence to all equal opportunity legislation

Four Recruitment, selection and appointment

Probably not directly relevant for Quality Panels.

Five Delivery of approved curriculum and assessment

Ability to deliver the curriculum within any department, adequate experience and competence, access to learning opportunities. Workplace based assessments, appraisal and feedback.

Six Support and development of trainees, trainers and local Faculty

Departmental induction and meetings with the Educational Supervisor, learning agreements, feedback, career advice and support. Work intensity, bullying, audit, organized educational activity, generic professional skills and counseling. Study leave and academic opportunities

Seven Management of education and Training

Accountability at all levels of training; Deanery; Schools; Programmes and Trusts. Adherence to GMC standards

Eight Educational resources and capacity

Educational capacity of the unit offering training. Facilities including internet access and library. Suitable ratio of trainers: trainees; adequate provision of training time for trainers

Nine Outcomes

Evidence of trainee progression such as examination and assessment results.

Prizes or commendations acquired by the training unit.

Example of Report Detail




Post Duration

Reason not "satisfactory"

Action needed

Timescale of action


RUH, Bath


3 years

Superb teaching programme



Frenchay, NBT


3 years

Only attends 1 clinic per month

Ensure trainees attend 1 clinic per week

6 months

General Practice

Newtown House,


1 year

1. Poorly supervised, sometimes no other GPs in building

2. Less than 1 tutorial per week

1. Partner always to be present

2. 2 hours protected teaching time per week

1. Immediate

2. 3 months


Please contact the quality team for copies of the feedback matrix, post recording sheet and quality panel report templates: lynette.cox@southwest.hee.nhs.uk