Lay Representatives - NHS England, South West


What is a Lay Representative?

A Lay Representative is a non-clinical professional who works with NHS England South West (NHSE SW) to ensure correct policies are applied fairly and equitably across the many aspects of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education (PGMDE).

  • Lay Representatives bring a valuable non-medical perspective to various aspects of PGMDE work
  • The purpose of the Lay Representative is to bring knowledge and experience that, combined with a non-medical perspective, provides objectivity
  • The Lay Representative brings an independent external view and a broader basis for our inquiries and judgement's
  • Lay Representatives are part of Medical Directorate panels/committees at various local and national events relating to the management of Postgraduate Medical Education 
  • The Lay Representative is non-medical and impartial, with a fundamental role of ensuring transparency and adherence to due process
  • Lay Representatives are asked to complete a short online feedback form after each event they attend 
  • If the Lay Representative observed non-adherence to due process they would be contacted by the local Quality Improvement Manager (QIM) for further information
  • The Lay Representative can also raise an issue with the event chair during or at the end of an event

What activities do Lay Representatives get involved with?

Within NHSE SW our Lay Representatives are involved in many activities, these include:

Recruitment: NHSE SW is involved in many Postgraduate Medical and Dental recruitment processes. These processes follow strict policies and procedures to ensure fairness and equality and our Lay Representatives act as the candidates’ ombudsmen’s during this process.

Assessments: All Postgraduate Medical and Dental trainees are required to undertake annual competence based assessments to ensure they are meeting the requirements of their curriculum at the correct stages of their training. Lay Representatives will sit in on a minimum of 10% of these reviews to ensure the process being followed by the assessment panels is fair and equitable.

Education Quality Assurance: As an education commissioner one of NHSE SW’s key roles is to quality assure the education provision being provided by our various providers. NHSE SW undertakes annual quality panels, where by each one of our training posts are reviewed by a panel containing Trainers’, Trainees’, and Lay Representatives’. Training posts which are a cause for concern are refereed to our Quality Team who will take appropriate action.

 Various ad-hoc duties: Our Lay Representatives are also used for various tasks which vary from School to School. Some attend events such as Board Meetings and Specialty training Committees etc.

 What is a Lay Representative’s Term of Office?

NHSE SW will now be engaging with Lay Representatives on an initial five-year basis. After five years, Lay Representatives will be invited to attend a formal review meeting and discuss whether an extension of the arrangement is in the best interest of NHSE SW and the Lay Representative. It is important to highlight NHSE SW do not employ Lay Representatives. Instead, Lay Representatives attend our meetings and events as Self Employed individuals. For more information please see payment information below. 

How are Lay Representatives supported during their tenure?

Our Lay Representatives play an important role and as such we are keen to engage with them on a regular basis.  All our Lay Representatives will be invited to attend an annual workshop currently led by the Recruitment Team, whereby they will receive updates and training on subjects such as ED&I and recruitment and assessment processes.

What and how do Lay Representatives get paid?

Lay Representatives are paid a fixed rate of £75 for half a day’s engagement and £150 for a full day’s engagement. Most travel expenses only, are also reimbursed according to the requests to attend an assessment.

As previously stated, Lay Representatives are not employees of NHSE SW and as such work for us is carried out on a self-employed basis. To ensure we meet IR35 regulations, all our Lay Representatives are required to undertake the HMRC assessment.  Further guidance relating to IR35 can be found here.    

Contact Us

If you have any queries relating to Lay Representation then please contact us via: