United Kingdom 04/20/2017 04/03/2017 Final Review Redetermination

U.S. Department of Education

Redetermination of Comparability for United Kingdom

Prepared April 2017


In Spring 1995, the National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA) first determined that the standards used by the United Kingdom (UK) to approve medical schools offering programs leading to the M.D. (or equivalent) degree in the UK were comparable to the standards of accreditation applied to M.D. degree programs in the United States. The country's comparability determination has been formally reaffirmed on a regular basis since that time. The current petition is its latest request for reaffirmation of its prior comparability determination.

Summary of Findings

Additional information is requested for the following questions. These issues are summarized below and discussed in detail under the Staff Analysis section. -- Regarding the requirement for the country to provide the selection process of the chief academic officer of a medical school, the country has responded that the GMC does not determine or provide standards by which medical schools must follow for the selection of this position. In addition, the country did not discuss how a quality assurance review of the medical school's practice would include the selection a chief academic officer. Therefore, additional information is requested. The country must provide additional information regarding an established process to determine if a medical school has met qualification standards for the selection of the chief academic officer. [Chief Academic Official, Question 2] -- The country has responded with documents and discussions about the quality assurance review standards for financial stability. However, the agency notes it uses "experts" to review financial documents submitted by medical schools but does not identify the qualifications and training of such experts to demonstrate competence for this role. In addition, the agency has not documented to which body within the GMC these experts report. The agency must provide documentation to demonstrate competence of the expert reviewers or additional information and documentation concerning the agency's oversight the financial stability and audit process of its schools. [Finances, Question 1] -- The staff analysis notes the need for the GMC to demonstrate actual review of affiliation agreements as part of the accreditation/reaccreditation site visit process. The country has provided documentation of an on site review with notes regarding the discussion of an affiliation agreement, but does not provide the sample documentation to support this requirement. The NCFMEA may wish to enquire further regarding this matter. [Onsite Review, Question 4] -- With regards to the use of benchmarks, the UK has described the data collection process for comparison of outcomes for medical schools but did not provide sufficient evidence of how the data is used with regards to the decision-making process for accreditation. [Accrediting/Approval Decisions, Question 4]

Staff Analysis