There are three types of visits undertaken as part of the quality assurance of surgical training: GMC visits; LETB/Deanery visits; and SAC visits to the Republic of Ireland.
There are a number of different GMC visits:
Routine regional visits
Involve visiting all medical schools and LETBs/Deaneries within a geographical region in the same cycle. Organisations can be expected to be visited at least every 5 years. The visits are risk-based and therefore focus on areas where standards are potentially not being met.
May be targeted in response to identified risks or conducted on a random basis. Checks test the accuracy of evidence and focus on a subset of standards rather than providing a global view of an organisation's performance.
Investigate possible serious educational failures or risks to patient safety as part of the GMC's enhanced monitoring process.
Visits to new medical schools/programmes
Cycles of visits to new schools/programmes, which take place over a number of years.
LETB / Deanery visits
The LETBs/Deaneries undertake visits to LEPs as part of their quality management mechanisms to ensure the standard of surgical training. These visits can either be part of a planned visiting programme or can be triggered by specific concerns. The visits aim to determine whether the delivery of training meets the required standards and meets the requirements of the relevant curriculum. In addition, the visits highlight any areas for improvement, agree the timetable for any appropriate action and identify areas of notable practice. Specialty Advisory Committee (SAC) Liaison Members may be involved in the visits to provide both specialty-specific input and externality.
SAC visits to the Republic of Ireland
As the Republic of Ireland is not within the geographical remit of the GMC, the SACs participate in a system of visits to its training programmes. The aim is for each programme to be visited every five years, with the opportunity for more frequent visits if serious problems are identified. The visits often take the form of a regional visit whereby a number of hospitals within a training programme are visited over a period of several days.