A consultation on draft amendment regulations and response to the policy consultation "Responsible officers in the new health architecture"

Closed 4 Jan 2013

Opened 7 Dec 2012


This document serves two purposes: it provides the Department’s response to the April consultation, but it also consults on the draft regulations that will amend the Medical Profession (Responsible Officer) Regulations 2010.

The April consultation considered the role of the responsible officer in three particular areas: the new structures in health, the new structures in public health and checking the language competence of doctors. This consultation summarises the responses received and, taking these into consideration, sets out the changes we intend to implement in each area, including:

  • amendments to reflect the changes to the NHS architecture;
  • changes in the structures for public health;
  • an additional requirement on responsible officers for language checking;
  • details of additions to the list of designated bodies; and
  • changes for postgraduate trainees.


The documents included as part of this publication are:

  • consultation and consultation response document
  • annex A – draft set of amendment regulations
  • annex B – 2010 regulations
  • annex C – consultation questionnaire
  • impact assessment
  • equality assessment


A draft set of the amendment regulations are provided at Annex A. At Annex B we have provided a copy of the 2010 regulations that shows the effect of the amendments.

The closing date for responses is 4 January 2013. 

For enquiries or responding by e-mail send to: responsibleofficer@dh.gsi.gov.uk

Why We Are Consulting

The Medical Profession (Responsible Officer) Regulations 2010 came into force on 1 January 2011. The Regulations create the role of responsible officer and set out the requirements of the role and its functions, but also sets out which bodies must appoint a responsible officer. 

Responsible officers must ensure that their organisations provide regular appraisals for their doctors and introduce appropriate clinical governance procedures. Every five years, responsible officers will make a recommendation to the General Medical Council as to whether or not the doctor should have their licence to practise revalidated.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 sets out a new health architecture which affects the Responsible Officer Regulations. The new architecture requires amendments to be made to the Regulations.

In April of this year, the Department consulted on proposed changes in policy. That consultation closed in July.


  • GPs
  • Doctors
  • Responsible Officers
  • NHS Commissioning Board
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • Regulatory body
  • Academic/ Professional institution
  • Trade union
  • Deaneries
  • Royal Colleges
  • PCT Cluster CEs
  • NHS Trust CEs
  • SHA Cluster CEs
  • Directors of PH
  • Local Authority CEs
  • Academics


  • Health and Social Care Act 2012
  • Accountability
  • NHS Commissioning Board
  • Clinical Governance
  • Regulation