This section explains the role of the appointed doctor and the appointment process.
HSE appoints registered and licensed medical practitioners to undertake statutory medical surveillance. Under certain regulations employers have a duty to ensure workers are placed under medical surveillance by an appointed doctor.
The doctor's role is to inform employees of early signs of potential health problems caused by the work they are doing, advise them on whether further exposure to the particular hazard is appropriate and make the employer aware of any emerging issues so they can review their risk assessment and ensure risks to their employees' health are properly controlled. HSE appoints doctors by issuing a Certificate of Appointment covering one or more regulations, valid for a stated period.
Appointed doctors are accountable to HSE for the work they carry out. As a condition of appointment they undertake to adhere to standards set by HSE in regulation specific guidance for appointed doctors.
To be appointed by HSE to become an appointed doctor you will need to meet the following requirements:
To provide medical surveillance for workers exposed to ionising radiation or work in compressed air, appointed doctors must undertake specific training and maintain up to date knowledge. Completion of an initial training course in itself does not guarantee that HSE will either grant an appointment or renew an appointment.
The doctor must complete an initial one-day course followed by a one-day refresher course at least once every five years. The following organisations can provide suitable courses (inclusion in the list does not imply HSE approval or accreditation):
Healthy Working Lives Group
Public Health and Health Policy Section
Faculty of Medicine
University of Glasgow
1 Lilybank Gardens
Tel: 0141 330 3719
Institute of Naval Medicine
Tel: 023 9276 8091
Robens Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
4 Huxley Road
Surrey Research Park
Tel: 01483 686690
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel: 0191 286 9927
A doctor appointed to provide medical surveillance in relation to work in compressed air should have the same level of training as an HSE Approved Medical Examiner of Divers (AMED).
You should only apply for appointment if you fully meet our criteria AND there is a demand for your services, if appointed.
To apply for an appointment, you should complete application form FODMS38 and provide HSE with the following information (Incomplete applications will be rejected):
The application form and the additional information requested should be sent by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and marked New Applicant.
If satisfactory, HSE will issue you with a Certificate of Appointment for one year in the first instance. You should note the certificate is issued to you as an individual doctor and cannot be transferred to another doctor. You are responsible for ensuring you do not undertake medicals beyond the expiry date on your certificate unless issued with a new certificate.
When HSE notifies you that your Certificate of Appointment is due for renewal we will check you continue to be registered with the GMC and hold a licence to practise. You should complete the renewal form FODMS38R, the Appointed Doctor Audit Form and provide the following information:
HSE will not renew your appointment if you provide incomplete information. For example where appointment is subject to holding a current training certificate, it will not be renewed until HSE is in receipt of a copy of that certificate. Therefore if your appointment requires specialist training you are responsible for arranging that training takes place before your appointment is due for renewal. In these circumstances, once your appointment has expired you will no longer be appointed by HSE and therefore, you will not be able to undertake statutory medicals under the regulations for which you were appointed.
If satisfactory, HSE will renew your Certificate of Appointment, normally for five years. You are responsible for ensuring you do not undertake medicals beyond the expiry date on your certificate.
HSE takes a risk based approach to performance reviews, depending on the regulations under which a doctor is appointed. Consequently, while any appointed doctor could be subject to review not all appointed doctors whose appointments are due for renewal will undergo a performance review at the same time. If selected for review, you will be assessed against standards based on the regulation-specific guidance for appointed doctors.
Following assessment of your renewal papers, HSE will notify you if it wishes to review your performance as an Appointed Doctor by evaluating medical records from your most recent cases. You will need to provide medical records for at least three workers (copies only, do not send originals), under the regulations HSE wishes to review, including both male and female workers if available. To review your work under the Control of Lead at Work Regulations, one of the medical records should be for the employee with the highest blood lead level you have recorded.
In submitting records you should anonymise them by removing or redacting the employee's name and address but still retain their gender and date of birth. If you submit records by post you should mark them ‘Medical in Confidence’. HSE will destroy the records on completion of the review.
Following the review, an HSE Medical Adviser will write to you, indicating whether the outcome was satisfactory or if minor or major improvements are required, setting out any remedial action considered necessary. In exceptional cases, remedial action may include face to face review, usually at an HSE office. Once you have addressed any remedial action that may be necessary, HSE will renew your Certificate of Appointment, normally for five years. If serious compliance problems are identified, HSE may decide not to renew your certificate or to issue a certificate of short duration, for no longer than one year.
Established appointed doctors can extend their appointment to cover additional regulations by completing form FODMS38 and submitting it to HSE. If appropriate, HSE will issue you with an amended Certificate of Appointment.
HSE no longer issues Schedules or requires doctors to submit new FODMS38 forms when you take up work for new companies or self-employed workers. However, HSE still requires you to maintain an up to date list of the companies and self-employed workers for whom you provide appointed doctor services.
If you require temporary cover because of maternity leave or other protracted absence, another HSE appointed doctor may be required to ensure continuity of medical surveillance until you can resume your duties. You should discuss this matter with the duty holder so that they can ensure that another HSE Appointed Doctor will be available in your absence. A list of appointed doctors can be found on our website.
You may appeal against a decision:
If you wish to appeal, you should submit your request within 28 days of receiving formal notice of the decision. You should provide documentary evidence in support of the appeal and send the request in an email to email@example.com. The email should be marked Appeal and cite your PIN Number.
If there is a verbal complaint made about your work as an appointed doctor, HSE will request written confirmation. To investigate a formal, written complaint, HSE will ask you to provide written comments in response. Alternatively, an HSE Medical Adviser may visit you to gather evidence on which to base their judgement.