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Advisory Appointments Committees and Job Plans

Advisory Appointment Committees, or AACs, are recruitment panels used when hiring consultants and specialty doctors in Trusts across the UK. The College works with Trusts and other NHS bodies to approve job descriptions and send a volunteer College adviser to provide College guidance on the suitability of the applicants for appointment. Here you can find information about becoming an AAC representative and what Trusts need to provide to the College for recruitment.

RCOphth’s role in AACs

College involvement in AACs is important. Anyone hiring a consultant ophthalmologist for an NHS provider must organise an AAC recruitment interview, with a College representative on all panels for consultant appointments. Our Regional Representatives approve job descriptions to ensure job planning offers adequate SPAs and staffing in hospital ophthalmology departments can meet its training, administration and clinical experience needs. We rely on consultant ophthalmologists volunteering as AAC reps to provide a robust and thorough process for the recruitment of vital consultants in ophthalmology.

AAC Advisers

As an AAC adviser you will work alongside RCOphth regional representatives to provide quality assurance of appointed consultants by attending recruitment interviews. Your external perspective will ensure candidates are suitable to fulfill all elements of the role. This safeguards patients and the NHS provider.

You will:

  • Ensure a candidate is fit to train the next generation of ophthalmologists
  • Check that a candidate can offer safe and efficient patient care within the needs of the department
  • Ensure a fair and impartial recruitment process that accurately reflects a candidate’s suitability for the role

We recruit for AAC representatives on an ongoing basis. We receive requests from Trusts for an AAC representative every month at locations throughout the UK, so we’re looking for representatives from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We welcome applications from those with at least one years’ experience as a consultant ophthalmologist within the NHS. You do not need to have any prior experience as an AAC representative, you will be provided with guidance to support you in this role.  However, you must have had Trust approved equality and diversity training in the last 3 years.

Email [email protected] to add your name to our list of AAC representatives, or request further information. We send weekly emails to our representatives with a full list of AACs that we’re seeking a volunteer for. We endeavor to provide as much notice as possible and you can volunteer for as many as you are able to do. Expenses can be claimed from the hiring Trust.

Information for Trusts

We advise planning for an appointment as early as possible for both new and replacement posts. NHS Trusts must provide at least 12 weeks’ notice to the College for approval of job descriptions and organising an AAC panel.

NHS Trusts should:

  1. Contact the College at [email protected] as soon as possible to notify of a post being available
  2. Use College guidance on job descriptions for specialty doctors and consultants to write a job description and person specification for the post
  3. Send the College Regional Representative a copy of the job description for approval
  4. Once approval has been given, request a College Assessor/adviser by contacting the College at [email protected] and sending:
    1. The job description
    2. The person specification
    3. A letter from the regional representative confirming approval of the post
    4. Confirmation of the date, time and location of the AAC

Download our guide to the recruitment process for Trusts here.

We do not supply a list of Assessors; we will work with you to find an individual to attend the AAC.

We do not send AAC representatives for specialty doctor interviews, we only approve the job description for these roles. If two consultants who are College members are on the interview panel, we’re happy for one of them to act as the College Assessor if needed.

Resources for Trust recruitment teams

RCOphth- Checklist for Consultant Appointments

Consultant ophthalmologist guidance job plan

Advice on SPAs in consultant job planning

Advisory Appointments Committee process

Specialist doctor post in ophthalmology guidance

Department for Health Appointment of Consultants Good Practice Guidance