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Job plan approval process for new consultants

Process for getting College approval for a consultant job description

Who’s involved

Key individuals involved in getting College approval for a consultant job description:

  • Clinical Director / HR from the employer organisation submitting a role for review
  • RCOG job plan reviewers (experienced clinicians)
  • Vice President for Workforce and Membership

Job description approval process

Please send job descriptions ready for approval to .

Please note that  the RCOG requires 1 job description to be sent per email, when sending JDs to the job planning inbox.

Each JD always needs to be accompanied by a job planning form (linked below), to then be reviewed by one of our Council representatives.

Approval checklist for RCOG job descriptions

The RCOG encourages a transparent approach to job planning linked to the developmental objectives of the new appointee and the department. To submit a job plan for approval please complete the RCOG Job Planning Checklist and send it to along with your job plan, once approved by the Clinical Director.

To support you in this process we have also produced a template person specification and sample weekly timetables.

Principles of job plan approval for new consultant posts

  • RCOG encourages a transparent, departmental approach to job planning and this should be linked to developmental objectives of the new appointee and the department.
  • A timetabled job plan should enable the Consultant to maintain continuity of patient care with his/her caseload
  • For Consultant posts with resident night shifts, time off before and after night shifts should be clear in the job plan and should neither  impinge on clinical care, nor on professional development
  • Consultants should not have to travel between sites more than once in a day
  • Those with an academic/management component to their job plans should have this taken into account
  • Subspecialty posts should have at least 2 PAs per week (or equivalent) for subspecialty activities
  • Jobs advertised with a special interest should have appropriate PA’s built into the job plan.


  • The total number of PAs per week must be clearly stated in a regular timetable, showing clinical duties and allocated DCC’s, SPAs and time off (which may be used for private practice).
  • If annualised, this needs to be shown as the average per week
  • If total job plan is 7 or more PA’s then a minimum of 1.5 SPA’s should be allocated.
  • If total job plan is less than 7 PA’s there should be a minimum of 1 SPA.
DCC Time
  • Job plans will have a maximum of 85% DCC, of which at least 10% will be clinical administration
  • DCC time must be allocated for appropriate ward rounds (e.g. pre and post-operative, and obstetric inpatients)
  • MDT’s and ward rounds should be included in DCC’s and activity captured in job plans
  • Other aspects of direct clinical care should be captured during DCC planning, including communications with patients and colleagues, GP advice and related administration
SPA Time
  • SPA’s must be minimum 15% of the total PAs, including at least 1 SPA for mandatory training, appraisal, audit and CPD.
  • Trusts may wish to allocate further SPA’s for research, education or specific activities.
Out of Hours (OOH) Work
  • Job plans should include a maximum of 3 PAs per week OOH, i.e. 5pm-9am and weekends, either predictable / unpredictable on call, or resident shifts (job plans may be approved with up to 4 OOH PA’s in those trusts who are actively planning to reduce this number).
  • All OOH (non-resident) on-call work should be Band A.
 Obstetrics On Call
  • Posts which cover obstetrics OOH, should have at least 0.5 PA per week (or equivalent in annualised job plans) on labour ward during normal daytime working hours (8am-5pm)
  • It should be made clear within the job plan that the Consultant is not on duty for the labour ward whilst covering services on another site or doing private practice.
  • Consultants should not be on duty for the labour ward whilst being timetabled for other clinical duties, such as antenatal or gynaecology clinics.
Gynaecology On Call
  • The recommended number of gynaecology theatre lists is at least alternate weekly, but on call gynaecology capabilities should be competency based.
  • Competency should be maintained in laparotomy, diagnostic laparoscopy, management of miscarriage and ectopic for OOH work.
  • The job plan should specify how competency will be maintained in emergency gynaecology, or include a description of how patient safety will be assured. For example, individualising their gynaecology emergency cover or having a ‘second on’ rota for gynaecology.
  • Trusts need to consider regional network models for complex emergency gynaecological surgery.