Medical Director to the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards

Body: Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards
Appointing Department: Department of Health
Sector: Health
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £52,540 per annum
Time Requirements: Up to around two days per week

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    16/12/2019 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Medical Director is appointed by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to assist and support the Chair in the efficient and transparent delivery and governance of the National Clinical Excellence Awards (CEA) scheme. The main areas of responsibility are to:

  • advise on the medical and professional aspects of the scheme, to include reviews of eligibility, changes of circumstances and other matters arising relating to existing and prospective award holders;
  • together with the Chair, ensure that consultants who are recommended for new awards represent the highest standards of excellence and that they and successful renewals are justified by the evidence submitted by the consultants. This involves quality assuring new applications and meeting with and presenting applications of interest to ACCEA’s regional sub-committees to agree recommendations to ACCEA’s Main Committee;
  • together with the Chair, review and approve applications for sub-committee membership, monitoring diversity and representation from professional, lay and employer groups; and
  • work with the Chair to contribute to the discussions with the Department about revisions to the national clinical excellence awards scheme, to ensure that it is fit for purpose and that transitional arrangements are both reasonable and practical to administer.

Person Specification

To be considered, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the qualities, skills and experience to meet all the essential criteria for appointment.

You must confirm that you hold or have held a senior medical or dental post in NHS employment or have been an academic general practitioner. You may be retired and need not currently hold a licence to practice from the General Medical Council or General Dental Council, but you will be likely to have been in a senior role in the NHS recently. If you do not hold a licence to practice, you must be registered with either the General Medical or Dental Councils.

In addition, you must also:

  • be forward looking, objective and innovative, with sound judgement and attention to detail;
  • have a proven track record of effective negotiating skills, demonstrating the ability to secure the confidence of people who work in the field and use the NHS;
  • have experience of successful change management; and
  • have an appreciation of the ways in which developments in national policy influence the operation of a scheme to reward consultants.

Desirable criteria

  • You will have held a national excellence award (preferably an A or A+ Distinction Award or a Gold or Platinum Clinical Excellence Award).


Additional Information

Note from the Chair

“The Medical Director role is pivotal to the in-depth governance process and thus the credibility and standards of the national Clinical Excellence Awards scheme. His or her deep personal understanding of the challenges and working environment of the NHS, along with the ability to contextualise the evidence submitted, are essential to shaping the scheme and its operations and to ensuring the most deserving clinicians are recognised for their impact on patients and the wider NHS.”

Stuart Dollow, Chair of ACCEA

Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards role and responsibilities

The Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards (ACCEA) is the independent advisory non-departmental public body responsible for the operation of the national Clinical Excellence Awards scheme in England and Wales. It advises Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) Ministers and the Welsh Government on the granting of new awards.

Clinical Excellence Awards (CEAs) recognise and reward consultant doctors and dentists and academic General Practitioners who provide clear evidence of clinical excellence, demonstrating achievements that are significantly over and above what they would normally be expected to deliver in their roles. These achievements are in the areas of: developing and delivering high quality services, leadership, research, innovation, and teaching and training –important activities for ongoing improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of the NHS.

Broadly, we:

  • Ensure that the criteria against which candidates are assessed reflect achievement over and above what is normally expected contractually
  • Oversee the process by which all applications are judged, taking account of advice given by our regional sub-committees for bronze, silver and gold awards and by the platinum sub-committee for platinum awards
  • Recommend consultants and academic GPs for bronze, silver, gold and platinum awards with regard to the number of new awards allocated by ministers, taking account of advice from the chair and medical director and sub-committees
  • Recommend consultants and academic GPs for continuation of their awards through the review process, taking account of advice from the chair and medical director and sub-committees
  • Oversee and monitor a system that enables applicants to make appeals against the process, and for any concerns and complaints to be considered
  • Develop the administration of the scheme, taking into account issues encountered and feedback received.



ACCEA is led by a Chair and a Medical Director, who are appointed by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. Together, they are responsible for:

  • ensuring that ACCEA operates to high standards and reflects public sector values;
  • ensuring it is fair and robust in its assessment of applications;
  • ensuring it operates effectively, efficiently and transparently; and
  • advising on, and preparing for the development of, a new CEA scheme.

Our decision-making body is our Main Committee. It meets to discuss and agree changes to ACCEA policy and procedure and to agree the final recommendations to Ministers for new and renewed awards. A list of members is available here.

The Chair and Medical Director are supported by a small secretariat of civil servants, who sit within, and are employed by, the Department of Health and Social Care. In 2018, the Secretariat was staffed by 3.5 substantive full-time equivalents (4 staff).

The Awards Round

We run an annual competition for 300 new English and around 17 new Welsh awards, with applicants for an uncapped number of renewals having to meet or better the standard of successful new applicants. For 2 months (February to April in 2019), applications are made via our online portal. Applicants have to demonstrate evidence of excellence against five ‘domains’. In 2019, we received over 1,300 new and renewal applications.

We manage 15 regional sub-committees of volunteer scorers, comprising nearly 350 professional, employer and lay members. Invaluable to the awards process, we ensure that sufficient scorers are recruited and trained, keep them up-to-date and ensure that membership is periodically refreshed.

The sub-committee members consider the applications from their area. Independently, they score each of the allocated applications via the online portal over 6 weeks (April to June). Their summed scores provide a shortlist that the Chair and Medical Director scrutinise for quality assurance purposes, to identify applicants to discuss with each sub-committee face-to-face (14 meetings in total from July to September). Subject to the outcome of those discussions and a limited second scoring exercise for applicants where queries remain, the list of recommended applicants is submitted to Main Committee (November) and then Ministers (November). The ACCEA Chair and Medical Director will typically review 300-400 applications in an awards round. In addition, they provide external quality assurance to the Ministry of Defence scheme.

Awards Administration

Throughout the year, ACCEA carries out its day-to-day business. This includes:

  • Reporting and accounting to Main Committee and DHSC
  • Responding to customer e-mail and telephone enquiries
  • Responding to data requests
  • Processing award holder job changes and changes in circumstances
  • Maintaining the online portal and data security
  • Managing stakeholder relationships
  • Maintaining our forms, guidance and other literature

We are also responsible for ensuring accurate financial information is sent out via NHS England to Trusts and Arm’s Length bodies so that award holders receive the correct payments. In 2019, over 2,500 awards were in payment, worth over-£135million.


In addition to the above, we are currently focused on:

  • Securing a new IT system to replace our aging online portal
  • The development of a new national CEA scheme
  • Boosting the number of applications from women and from those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, who are currently under-represented
  • Improving the diversity profile of our scoring sub-committees

For more information, please see:


DHSC diversity & monitoring form (PA) (1)
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