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Invited reviews are commissioned by healthcare partners.  If you are redesigning a service or would like an external independent review of a particular issue, then a Royal College independent review could offer input.  Our multi professional teams of subject matter experts are drawn from across the UK to address areas including IT, governance, multidisciplinary team working, skillmix and specialist roles.

The following sets out the standard process and timelines of a review, from the point of commissioning until issue of the final report:


Step 1 - Informal Discussion with QRS team

  • Following an informal discussion to determine that a Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh review is possible/applicable, a Terms of Reference will be required from the commissioning body.

Step 2 - Terms of Reference (twelve weeks prior to visit) - see section below for further details on what this should contain.

Step 3 - Meeting/call to confirm the Terms of Reference scope and detail/timescales

Step 4 - Review Team identified 

  • An RCPE Clinical Review Lead will be appointed and a team convened to conduct the review.

Step 5 - Contract and indemnification issued (eight weeks prior to visit)

Step 6 - Contract signed (four to six weeks prior to visit)

Step 7 - Data /information issued by commissioning body

Step 8 - Review team desktop review/meeting

  • A first meeting with clincal leads/managers will provide an early opportunity to discuss the scope following which a contract will be issued.   This will confirm the Review arrangements, costs and Review Lead and Team.  Additional data may be requested at this time.

Step 9 - Visit programme agreed

  • A review will normaly take both desktop and visit format, with one to two review team meetings prior to a visit, across one to two days. A visit programme will be agreed between the commissioning body and the review team.  This will include a review of facilities, a meeting with the executive team and interviews with local teams.

Step 10 - Visit with high level feedback

  • Immediately following the visit, early feedback will be provided to the executive team. A report will be issued within four weeks of the visit.

Step 11 - Report agreed/issued

Step 12 - Review complete


A Terms of Reference (ToR) will be required from the commissioning body.  This should clearly set out the areas/specialties of the review, along with objectives and particularly areas of focus that the commissioning body would like the review team to focus on. The ToR will also set out the data and background information that is required.


A review by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh is advisory in nature, will be independent and has no statutory or regulatory status.

Confidentiality and anonymity of the review will follow the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Invited Review Guidelines unless any staff welfare, patient safety or other significant concerns are identified during the course of the review.

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh service reviews are are designed to take a physicianly critical friend multi-specialty approach.

The review report will be issued to the commissioning body or group, and it will be the responsibility of the commissioning body to communicate the results of the review internally and/or externally.


The healthcare organisation commissioning the review is required to indemnify the RCPE, the specialist society/association and members of the review team by signing a Deed of Indemnity. A review cannot take place until a signed copy of the Deed of Indemnity within the Contact has been received by the College.


The costs will be dependant on the scope and nature of the review to be undertaken.  Please contact us (details below) to discuss further.