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College Assessors

College assessors nominated to sit on AACs play a vital role in helping us uphold the highest standards of surgical practice in all specialties. 

College assessor role and responsibilities

The College assessor is the only statutory external influence on an AAC. Along with the other committee members, the assessor must ensure that the best candidate for the job is appointed and that the process is fair and open within current legislation, and current employment practice. 

Job planning guidance

The RCS sees the appointment of every new consultant in surgery as key to delivering the highest possible standards of surgical practice. The Consultant Job Plan needs to allow enough time, support and recognition for these well-trained individuals to develop their clinical, teaching and leadership skills and deliver excellent care.

The aim of this guidance is to assist in the creation of new or replacement consultant job descriptions, providing a suggested structure and set of standards that the RCS believes will best ensure that the appointee to the post can deliver a safe and effective service to patients.

Read RCS Job Planning Guidance


Assessors must take part in the shortlisting ahead of the AAC. 

In order to be shortlisted, a candidate must appear on the GMC’s specialist register, or the date of the interview must be within six months of the candidate’s expected CCT date.

These can be checked by contacting the relevant department within the Joint Committee on Surgical Training (JCST).

Applicants who are awaiting Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) entry to the specialist register should not be considered unless a decision on their equivalency has been confirmed.

Job description

Any issues relating to the job description that a Regional Specialty Professional Advisor (RSPA) or Regional Director feels the assessor should be made aware of will be communicated ahead of the AAC.

Further information

  • The Handbook for College Assessors is a comprehensive reference document designed to assist College assessors in undertaking their role. 
  • Our FAQ section provides detailed answers to questions you may have about the AAC process and the College assessor role. 
  • Alternatively, please contact us by emailing or calling 020 7405 3474. 

Upcoming events

The Royal College of Surgeons is hosting two workshops to give College representatives the necessary skills in order to act effectively as members of an Advisory Appointment Committee. The event is free of charge and open to all surgeons who have been practicing as a consultant for at least five years.

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