Lay Representatives

The Role of Lay Representatives


The GMC requires Health Education England to have a system for the use of external advisers and Lay Representatives at key stages of training.

All of our Lay representatives are suitably trained including Equality and Diversity, Information Governance and Fitness to Practice. This training is refreshed every three years.

It is the role of our Lay Representatives to represent public interest, provide impartial advice, scrutinise policy and process and apply their own expertise.

We have a pool of 45 Lay Representatives for Health Education England (working across the North West) who play an integral part in our quality assurance process. The Lay Representative will sit on ARCP Panels, attend Hospital Monitoring Visits, Recruitment events and Educator interviews.

Our Lay representatives are encouraged to be proactive and play an active role in the above events. Following their attendance they will provide feedback on our processes via our online report tool. The report will then be shared with the relevant HEE personnel, departments and Medical Leads to improve our policies and processes.


This protocol sets out the role of the Lay Member in connection with ARCP panels. The protocol is designed to be compatible with the more detailed information on the ARCP process provided in the Gold Guide and the Health Education England (working across the North West) ARCP protocol.


ARCP Panel Objectives:

  • To consider and approve the adequacy of the evidence and documentation provided by the trainee (and their educational supervisor) in connection with the trainee’s progress in the training programme.
  • Provided that adequate documentation has been presented, to make a judgement about the trainee’s suitability to progress to the next stage of training or confirm training has been satisfactorily been completed.

Lay Attendance at Panels

Lay representation should be arranged for 10% of ARCP panel As and 100% of ARCP panel Bs within each specialty school. This will be co-ordinated centrally by the HEE (working across the North West) contact point:

Role of the Lay Representative

Lay members should adopt the following practice at ARCP panels:

  • Familiarise themselves in advance with the purpose, practice and outcomes for an ARCP. The range of possible outcomes are described at References 1 and 2
  • On arrival, discuss with the panel chair the format of the ARCP process to be used on that occasion and agree the lay role
  • Attend the panel as member but not as chair
  • Check that the panel is properly constituted as laid out in the HEE (working across the the NW) protocol
  • Monitor the process to check that it is consistent and fair
  • Evaluate whether the outcome decisions appear to be consistent with the panel discussion and the evidence
  • Raise questions and involve themselves in the panel assessment and decision-making
  • Provide feedback if appropriate to the panel chair and subsequently complete written feedback and submit to the usual HEE (working across the NW) contact point.