Clinical Excellence Awards 2017

Clinical Excellence Awards (CEAs) are intended to recognise and reward exceptional contribution over and above what is normally expected in a post. The awards are made to medically or dentally qualified NHS consultants for a fixed term and may be renewed following review.

In England national CEA awards are assessed by the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards (ACCEA) administered by the Department of Health (England). The Welsh Government has arranged that national applications for CEAs will also be assessed by the ACCEA. In Northern Ireland national level applications have been suspended in recent years. In Scotland there is no current national CEA process for new applicants.


After a successful open call for expressions of interest the Clinical Excellence Awards Panel (CEAP) has now recruited to fill all of the vacancies and the membership reflects some of the diversity of the College Fellowship. 


The Royal College of Pathologists is one of the recognised ACCEA national nominating bodies and is permitted to nominate a limited number of applicants but is also keen to help pathologists with supportive citations. NHS consultants in England and Wales can choose to seek support for their application for a national level award from the College. For Platinum applications the College will assess prior to submission to the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and for renewals the College will assess the applications for citation to ACCEA in support. Consultants who have made a substantial contribution to the NHS, but are not permanently, wholly or principally employed in an NHS position, may make a submission to the College for support. However, College support does not denote eligibility to receive an award and for definitive details applicants are advised to check with ACCEA.


Therefore for all levels of national awards, from Bronze to Platinum, the date for submission for College support is 17:00 on 10th March 2017. In order to be considered please send your application, cover sheet, draft citation and equality and diversity monitoring form to before the deadline. Late applications, or ones not accompanied by the completed documentation above will not be considered. Please note THIS YEAR CITATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED WITH YOUR APPLICATION.

The College will acknowledge all submissions and then inform all applicants of the outcome as soon as the CEAP has met.

1) The 2017 ACCEA round opens on Tuesday, 28th February

2) The deadline for applying for College support and submitting all documentation, including citation, is 17:00 on 10th March 2017

3) The 2017 ACCEA round closes at 17:00 on Tuesday, 25th April


Since the timetable usually does not leave long for the College nomination and citation process, those requesting College support are advised to arrange for someone who knows them to draft a supportive citation and to submit this to the College with their application for College support. Applicants with support from more than one nominating body are advised to ensure that a different citation is submitted from each organisation as identical citations are not likely to achieve the desired effect.


Anyone considering applying for an Award should read the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards’ (ACCEA) Procedures.

The College has established a Clinical Excellence Awards Panel to assess applications for nomination and citation.

The CEAP will use ACCEA’s five domains to determine their assessment of applications. These domains are:

  • Delivering a high quality service
  • Developing a high quality service
  • Managing a high quality service
  • Research and innovation
  • Teaching and training


College Fellows who wish to be considered for a new award or a renewal should submit their ACCEA CVQ electronically to identifying the level of award you are applying for, new or renewal, your pathology discipline, College activities and the citation drafted by a colleague to support your nomination, or renewal. Also, in order to monitor applications and outcome for the ACCEA process, the Equality and Diversity monitoring form should also be completed:

Bronze and Silver applicants may choose to submit ONE of the following options:

Gold applicants may choose to submit up to TWO of these options:

  • Research & Innovation (Form D)
  • Teaching/Training (Form E)
  • Managing & Leading (Form F)

Platinum applicants generally submit THREE of these options:

  • Research & Innovation (Form D)
  • Teaching/Training (Form E)
  • Managing & Leading (Form F)

Members should be aware that it is their responsibility and not the College’s to ensure that they complete the CVQ form on ACCEA’s website and submit it by their closing date.

The success or not of an application for a new or renewed award is based on the scores and ranking by the regional ACCEA and national ACCEA NRes committees and not the College process. However, ACCEA considers College nominations and citations to be triangulation and so a Fellow who is supported by the College is more likely to be successful.

Fellows considering an application or renewal are encouraged to read very carefully the guidance documents on the ACCEA website Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards’ (ACCEA) Procedures and to consider in advance the pension and tax implications of gaining or losing an award.

As Fellows may know, the Clinical Excellence Awards scheme has been under review and an independent report by the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration was published in December 2012. This report is the subject of on-going discussions between NHS Employers and the BMA. In these circumstances, the duration of any award will depend on the transitional arrangements into any new Scheme.


In response to a consultation with the Fellowship on clinical excellence awards, and a review of compliance with the principles of good corporate governance, in January 2016 College Council approved reforms to the College processes to make these more open and transparent.

In summary the reforms included:

As well as guidance about how to apply, details of the College processes for scoring and ranking applications are now published on the website.

College Council provides oversight for the Clinical Excellence Awards Panel (CEAP). Terms of Reference for the College CEAP were agreed by Council and are published on the RCPath website.

CEAP reports to Council with an anonymised breakdown of applications, nominations and citations. This report will be published on the College website. College CEAP members are appointed by agreement of Council for a defined term with the intention to provide adequate representation of the Fellows in terms of geographic region, pathology discipline, gender and ethnicity.

On appointment, or renewal, CEAP members are asked to demonstrate recent Equality and Diversity training, sign a Code of Conduct and complete a declaration of interests.

Dr Rachael Liebmann, RCPath Registrar

January 2017