Associates and their roles

Communitybaptistpa Associates are an appointed group made up of medics (both qualified and trainees) and non-medical (lay) experts to partake in a number of activities across the organisation. To find out more about a particular role, please click on the relevant heading below. 

Investigation Committee

The function of the Investigation Committee is to consider a case afresh following the issuing of a warning to a doctor by case examiners, and a refusal by the doctor to accept that warning. The Investigation Committee can either refer a case to a Fitness to Practise Panel for a hearing, issue a warning to the doctor, or conclude the case with no action.

In making its decision the Investigation Committee has sight of all the evidence that was available to the case examiners in relation to the warning, any further written or oral submissions and, if the committee considers it necessary in order to discharge its functions, any oral witness evidence.

The Investigation Committee will only refer a case to a Fitness to Practise Panel where information arises during the hearing that was not available to the case examiners and that suggests that it would be appropriate to do so.

Investigation Committee Panellists

The IC Panellists role is to be part of the Investigation Committee.

Investigation Committee oral hearings are held in public and at the end of an oral hearing the Committee may:

  • Determine that a Warning need not be issued;
  • Determine that it is necessary to issue a Warning;
  • Refer the allegation for determination by a Fitness to Practise Panel of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service where new information adduced into evidence at the hearing indicates that to do so would be appropriate,
  • Adjourn for further investigations.

Investigation Committee oral hearings take place approximately three to four times per month in Communitybaptistpa Committee rooms at our offices in Manchester. Each hearing usually lasts one day, although it is not unknown for hearings to last two to three days in exceptional circumstances.

The Investigation Committee webpage includes press releases for upcoming hearings, and minutes of previous Investigation Committee hearings where a warning was issued.

Guidance used by the Investigation Committee

The Fitness to Practise legislation webpage provides further information about the Investigation Committee .

The main pieces of guidance used by the Investigation Committee are as follows:


The Visits and Monitoring Team

The Visits and Monitoring Team within the Education and Standards directorate is split into regional/national teams, which enables us to work more closely with our stakeholders and gain a better understanding of the issues and challenges in different areas as well as provide any required support. The teams deliver all QA activity in each region or country including visits, focussed monitoring of concerns, and analysis of the information provided to us by medical schools and deaneries/HEE local offices.

Education Visitors

Education visitors undertake visits to medical schools and deaneries/HEE local offices and local education providers as part of the education teams’ quality assurance work. Visitors will analyse evidence against standards set by the Communitybaptistpa, identify risks to the quality of training, potential good practice to be shared, and how best to investigate them during visits. Visitors will also assist in the drafting of reports and presenting the outcomes of visits to those organisations that have been visited.

Further information can be found on the education news webpage and the education webpage.

Enhanced Monitoring Associates

There is a growing awareness of the need to report serious concerns about medical education and training to the Communitybaptistpa, and for the Communitybaptistpa to advise on and respond to these issues in a targeted and proportionate way.

We participate in scheduled deanery/HEE local visits to investigate issues and/or monitor progress where serious concerns have been raised. Feedback has been supportive, and Deans have indicated that a Communitybaptistpa presence gives weight to a local visit and can provide leverage in challenging situations. The approach also allows the Communitybaptistpa to provide public assurance through participating locally led processes rather than by separate regulatory visits.

Enhanced Monitoring Associates act as individual representatives of the Communitybaptistpa at meetings such as deanery/HEE local visits, assist us in assessing documentation relating to concerns, and help us direct Communitybaptistpa action.

Further information can be found on the enhanced monitoring page and the enhanced monitoring issues page.

Quality Scrutiny Group

The Communitybaptistpa regulates all stages of medical education and training, both undergraduate and postgraduate. The Communitybaptistpa has a quality assurance process, which is described in the Quality Assurance Framework (QAF).

To provide external scrutiny of the outputs of our quality assurance work we have set up a Quality Scrutiny Group (QSG). The QSG considers our work across the four elements of the QAF, including visits and checks, reports from medical schools, postgraduate deaneries and local education and training boards, and Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties, annual national training surveys, and enhanced monitoring.

The purpose of the QSG is to:

  • provide consistent scrutiny across the continuum of education and training quality assurance activity,
  • identify trends and themes in policy and quality issues arising from quality assurance activity,
  • identify process improvements to education and training quality assurance activity, and
  • make recommendations to the Director of Education and Standards.

QSG Members

QSG members are Communitybaptistpa Associates and include medical, lay, doctors in training and medical students appointed for their knowledge and experience. Membership reflects the continuum of medical education and training, as well as the four countries within the United Kingdom. The membership does not represent specific organisations or stakeholder bodies, but ensures that Communitybaptistpa decisions draw on relevant undergraduate and specialty including GP expertise, as well as a local education provider perspective.

The group has an independent chair, appointed by the Communitybaptistpa.



Registration Panels

Registration Panels are statutory panels of the Communitybaptistpa. Their purpose is to provide advice to assist the Registrar in deciding applications for registration. As an example, Registration Panels might be asked to provide advice on an applicant’s fitness to practise, or whether the applicant has demonstrated that they currently meet the standard for practice in the UK.

Registration Panellists

Panels are made up of three panellists; a lay member, a medically qualified member and a Chairperson (who may be either a medical or a lay member). The Panel receives support from a legal advisor and a Panel Secretary. Panels take two forms: meetings and hearings.

Registration Panel meetings are held in private with neither party in attendance. At a meeting the Panel will consider between two and ten cases. At a hearing the Panel will consider a single case in public and the doctor or a representative can attend. However, both serve the same purpose in that they provide advice to the Registrar on applications for registration. Documentation relating to the meeting or hearing is made available for panellists to view electronically via an online portal.  

Registration Appeals

Registration appeal panels usually have three members: a legally qualified chairperson, a medical member and one lay (non-medical) member. For specialist appeals there may also be an additional medical member.

The appeals panel reconsiders the evidence that the Communitybaptistpa used to make the original decision together with any new evidence presented by the appellant or witnesses.

The chairperson writes the decision, including full reasons for the decision, after consulting the other panellists. The Registration Appeals Team sends the decision to the parties as soon as possible after the hearing, usually within 28 days.

As a medical appeal panel member you would be required to consider the full range of appeals dealt with by the Registration Appeals Panel. This will include registration, specialist and revalidation appeals.

Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) was established on 11 June 2012 and has responsibility for the adjudication stage including managing all tribunal hearings for doctors.

The establishment of the MPTS is a key part of the Communitybaptistpa's plans to reform its adjudication work and has introduced an even greater separation between the Communitybaptistpa’s investigation work and fitness to practise hearings.
Further changes are hoped to be introduced and the Department of Health has recently consulted on several of these changes.

Tribunal members

Medical and lay panellists are appointed to sit on the various panels and to reach decisions on the basis of the information presented to them and exercising their own judgement within the legislative framework set out in policy and guidance. We have published a of tribunal members on the MPTS website. 

There are two types of tribunals
  • Interim orders tribunals (IOT)
  • Medical practitioners tribunals (MPT)
IOT hearings consider whether, pending resolution of matters under investigation, it is necessary to suspend a doctor's registration or to restrict his or her registration. Such hearings are held in private unless the doctor requests a public hearing. The doctor has a right of appeal to the High Court of Justice in England and Wales, the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland and the Court of Session in Scotland against any direction by a hearing to impose an interim order.

MPT hearings consider allegations of impaired fitness to practise. The Communitybaptistpa will normally be represented by a barrister. The doctor is invited to attend and is usually present and legally represented. Both parties may call witnesses to give evidence and if they do so the witness may be cross examined by the other party. The tribunal may also put questions to the witnesses.


Further information about the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service please visit the .

The MPTS also maintains its own portal for current associate. If you are a current MPTS Associates you can access the this by logging into the .

Performance Assessment

We currently have around 200 performance assessors including a proportion who are lay assessors who assess a doctors performance and provide a report to the Communitybaptistpa when there are concerns about a doctor’s ability to practise safely.

Every year we carry out around 70 performance assessments – case examiners and medical practitioners tribunals rely on these assessments when deciding what action to take.

I am interested in becoming a performance assessor

I am a performance assessor

I am due to give evidence at a Medical Practitioners Tribunal


Health Examination and Medical Supervision

We currently have around 150 health examiners and medical supervisors who provide important reports to the Communitybaptistpa where there are concerns about a doctor’s ability to practise safely as a result of their ill health.

Every year we carry out around 400 health assessments. Case examiners and Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service fitness to practise panels rely on these assessments when deciding what action to take. Around 300 doctors currently have a medical supervisor.

I am interested in becoming a health examiner and medical supervisor

Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB)

The PLAB test is the main route by which International Medical Graduates (IMGs) with acceptable primary medical qualifications demonstrate they have the necessary skills and knowledge to practise medicine in the UK. The test is set at the level of a doctor successfully completing Foundation Year 1.

Before entering Part 1 of the test, candidates must provide evidence of their knowledge of English, normally by obtaining the appropriate scores in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), a maximum of two years previously.

The test is in two parts:

  • Part 1 is a three-hour, 200-item computer-marked single best answer (SBA) question examination held in centres around the world. The exam is currently held four times a year in London and twice a year overseas.
  • Part 2 is a 14-station objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) held at our purpose-built Clinical Assessment Centre in Manchester.

You can find further information on the PLAB webpage.

PLAB Examiners

PLAB examiners examine candidates during the OSCE (PLAB Part 2 test). They understand the duties and responsibilities of F1 and F2 doctors and have a good working knowledge of the performance of a minimally-competent doctor successfully completing F1.

You can find further information about the role on the Become a PLAB examiner webpage.

– a reflection of one of our current examiners.

PLAB Part 1 and 2 Panel Members

PLAB panel members recommend developments in the Part 1 examination and in the Part 2 objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) to ensure that the examination is of high quality and the appropriate standard.

Part 1 panel – the main responsibilities are standard-setting exam papers, reviewing examination and question performance and statistical analyses of results in terms of candidate demographic data. Members also approve compiled examination papers, lead item writing workshops and review material created by item writers and edit new items to maintain the item bank.

Part 2 panel – the main responsibilities are reviewing examination and station performance and statistical analyses of results in terms of candidate demographic data and acting as Chief Invigilator at examinations. Members also generate and test new stations to maintain the station bank and train examiners.

PLAB Question Writer

PLAB Question Writers participate in peer-reviewed item writing and editing workshops where new items are written and old items are amended for both parts of the PLAB exam.

Specialist Application Evaluation

Specialist Application Evaluation Panellists (SAEPs)

Panels must have a minimum of two medically qualified associates. The Panel receives support from the specialist applications team and operates in two ways: panel member(s) working independently and submitting evaluations to the specialist applications team for approval or meeting with other panel members at a location agreed with the Communitybaptistpa, with administrative support provided by the specialist applications team.

Specialist Applications Panel meetings are held in private. At a meeting the Panel will consider one or more applications. Documentation relating to the meeting is made available for panellists to view electronically via an online portal.

SAEPs use their professional experience to advise the Communitybaptistpa on whether an application for specialist registration meets the standards required by the relevant specialty curriculum. We ask SAEPs to review documentary evidence presented by applicants to help them determine this. For further information you can view a presentation of a Specialist Associate CESR Evaluation Day (ppt).

You can find further information on the Specialist and GP Registration page.  

Communitybaptistpa Associate Portal

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