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Exploring new models of lay visitor involvement in education quality assurance

16 Mar 2020

On 10 March 2020, the Education and Training Committee (ETC) agreed we should undertake a project to review Lay visitor involvement in our education quality assurance processes. The paper can be viewed here.

Lay visitors have been involved with our approval process since 2014 as a third member of the visit panel. Since this time, our experience shows that there is a disparity between the lay visitor and profession specific role in how fully a lay visitor can contribute to the range of discussions / decisions across the standards. This is due to the role brief for lay visitors focussing on the traditional service user perspective, without the requirement for specific knowledge or experience of education delivery.

This means that, in cases, lay visitors defer to registrant visitor judgements in areas outside those specifically related to service user and carer involvement.

ETC therefore agreed the start of a project to explore more effective models for lay visitor involvement – some of these possibilities are outlined in the paper indicated above.

As part of this, we will undertake focussed work with lay visitors to explore various opportunities and review how other organisations involve lay visitors. One of the key aims of the review is to provide a channel for lay visitors to help shape their involvement going forward, whether that is in the approval and / or monitoring processes. We have committed to taking a paper outlining the possible model options back to ETC over the summer.

While we are undertaking this review, ETC agreed to pause lay visitor involvement in the approval process. This means that lay visitors will no longer attend visits from 8 May 2020.

Should you have any queries about this development, please contact the Education Department on 020 7840 9724 or

Page updated on: 03/04/2020